Mentee NameTitle of ManuscriptMentor NameAge CategoryGenre(s)Total word count (approx.)
Lucy BulkeleyThe Fairy Cycling Squad: Sophia’s StabilisersEmma Finlayson-PalmerCBFantasy9500

I’m writing to you to pitch a children’s chapter book concept full of learning how to ride a bike, fairies getting into trouble and talking gnomes. ‘The Fairy Cycling Squad: Sophia’s Stabilisers’ is a fantasy book of 9,492 words and could possibly be compared to the likes of ‘Flying Fergus’ by Chris Hoy and the ‘Rainbow Magic’ Series by Daisy Meadows. 

‘Sophia’s Stabilisers’ follows young girl, Sophia Brookes, who happens to be crazy about mountain biking like her big brother Charlie. Sophia is desperate to ride her bike without stabilisers, which is where Bella the Cycling Squad fairy comes into the story. When staying at her Nana and Grandad’s farm, Sophia meets Bella the fairy who wants to help her cycle without stabilisers. On her pursuit to ditch the stabilisers, Sophia learns about the Fairy Cycling World Cup and the Fairy Cycling Squad HQ underneath Turnhill Velodrome. When the boy next door to Narrow Lane Farm, Henry, captures Bella it’s up to Sophia to save her before the sun sets where Bella would lose all of her magical powers.

The main aim of the book is to inspire young girls to try cycling. Sophia’s love for the outdoors is clear throughout the book, so I hope the book sparks the drive for adventure in the young girls who happen to read it. Sophia actively thinks on her feet and solves problems when it comes to saving Bella demonstrating her independence. 

The cycling theme stems from the fact I’m a cyclist myself. I’ve cycled for as long as I can remember, but have taken part in competitive cycling since the age of 16. Cycling has provided me with some funny memories that still put a smile on my face, yet it has helped me through some tough times without me even realising it. I guess The Fairy Cycling Squad is my way of putting everything I’ve learnt from cycling onto paper. Lessons intertwined with a young girl hopelessly trying to get rid of her stabilisers, and a cheeky fairy with a talking gnome who flies around on a Buzzard named Sprocket.

Whether you think my idea is suitable for publication or not, I hope some of the pages make you laugh even if just a little bit.

Sincerely,

Lucy Bulkeley

THE FAIRY CYCLING SQUAD: SOPHIA’S STABILISERS

“Sophia, darling. Chop, chop, we’ve got to get you to Nana’s before driving your brother to Scotland,” Mum called, but Sophia didn’t hear a thing as she sat cross-legged with her eyes glued to the TV screen. Edie Smith was about to win her 6th World Cup Mountain Bike race this season! Sophia wasn’t up for going anywhere.
“Sophia!” her Mum shouted again.

“Oh Mum, but there’s one lap to go… please can I just see if Edie wins? Charlie isn’t even ready yet.” Sophia pleaded.

“I don’t think there was ever any chance we’d get ourselves a ballerina from you, was there Sophia?” Mum said with a giggle.

“Ugh, those tutu’s are itchy,” Sophia replied. 

Sophia watched the TV screen intently as Edie made her way around the mountain bike course. Edie’s stark rival, Tallulah-May, was getting ever closer and Sophia jumped at the slightest sign of Edie coming off. Edie would have a perfect season of 6 World Cup wins if she could stay on her bike to the finish line. 

“AND EDIE CROSSES THE LINE! WHAT A GREAT SEASON FOR THE BRITISH RIDER!” Screams came from the TV as commentator, Ross Bryant, jumped out of his seat.

Sophia jumped so high in the air with excitement that her signed cap from Edie Smith herself fell to the floor. 

“Most people would have that autographed cap displayed on the wall,” Charlie said as he picked it up and handed it back to Sophia. 

“Is she racing with you next weekend?” Sophia asked.

“Yea, I think she is. In the Elite Women’s category. We’ll have to try and get you another cap, won’t we?” Charlie replied.  

Wow, Sophia thought as she wondered what Charlie might be able to find at the big race. Charlie had to concentrate when he was racing, which is why Sophia would go to Nana’s, but he’d always bring her something back. 

“Come on you two…we’d best be off now,” Mum shouted one last time. 

Sophia quickly switched the TV off and grabbed her bag and bike helmet. “Dad put my bike in, didn’t he, Mum?” Sophia asked.

“I did it myself,” Charlie replied, as he picked Sophia up, span her round then raced her to the campervan.

It wasn’t too long of a drive to Nana’s house, but enough for Sophia to fall asleep after all of the excitement of the World Cup race. Sophia often dreamed about racing like Edie Smith and this dream was no different. 

Sophia was pedalling as hard as she could up a tricky woods section. Bump, bump, bump her bum went on her bicycle seat as she rode over tree roots and rocks. Sophia may have been dreaming, but that didn’t stop her bum from hurting! As she pedalled out of the trees, she zoomed down a fast section overtaking Edie sending her into 1st place. With only the finish straight left, Sophia was pedalling and pedalling.