|Mentee Name||Title of Manuscript||Mentor Name||Age Category||Genre(s)||Total word count (approx.)|
|Anna Moutran||Amelia Skyhart and the Iron Age Treasure||Meagan Dallner||MG||Adventure/Mystery||49000|
Amelia Skyhart and the Iron Age Treasure is a 49,000-word upper middle-grade adventure with series potential. Set in an alternate Britain where wild animals like wolves, lynx and bears still roam and with a focus on conservation, Amelia Skyhart and the Iron Age Treasure will appeal to fans of Lauren St John.
Twelve-year-old animal lover Amelia Skyhart longs to be on her mum’s latest adventure; a trip to the Wildlands in search of an Iron Age burial site. Unfortunately, last time she accompanied her mum, a wolf under her protection died, all because she trusted the wrong person. She’ll never forgive herself or adventure again, no matter how lonely it gets. The animals are safer without her.
But when her mum disappears, accused of stealing a priceless gold bracelet, Amelia must go to the one place she vowed never to return – the Wildlands. With secret agents and treasure thieves in pursuit, Amelia must learn to trust herself and others in order to decipher clues and maps to find her mum and the burial site first. If she fails, Amelia will not only lose her mum but will also jeopardise the conservation efforts in her beloved Wildlands, including all the animals that call it home.
I am a member of SCBWI and have a Bachelor of Law (Hons.) degree. My winning short stories have featured in WriteMentor magazine. I live in the West Midlands with my family, writing middle-grade stories inspired by nature, strong girls and the power of friendship.
Thank you for your time.
Chapter 1 – The mystery of the golden bracelet
Amelia checked her watch again as the school bus rumbled along. Come on. She wiped condensation from the window and pressed her forehead against the cold glass, willing her stop to appear. At last Steeple Hill’s crumbling townhouses reared out of the yellow smog, glossed doors and iron railings glistening in the damp evening air.
Amelia leapt off the bus, cold water trickling into her socks as she splashed through puddles, racing for home. Perhaps Mum would already be there, full of exciting stories about her two weeks away in the Wildlands. Reaching her house, Amelia clattered down the basement steps and into the hot steamy kitchen. The smell of sizzling sausages wafted out. ‘Where is she?’
‘Not here yet, sorry.’ Zara poked the sausages in the pan, her pink hair frizzy in the steam. ‘I think these are done. It’s a nightmare trying to get this old stove to cook anything properly.’
Amelia’s shoulders dropped. She plonked her bag on the worn oak table, pulling off her damp coat and hanging it on the brass hook by the door. ‘I thought she’d be home by now.’
‘I’m sure she won’t be long.’ Zara placed two plates piled high with fat juicy sausages and creamy mash on the table. ‘How do you turn this thing off?’
Amelia twiddled the stove dials. ‘Mum said we can redecorate once she’s home. We didn’t get a chance before she left.’ She thumped the stove and it clicked off.
Zara tilted her head, her mouth curling. ‘It’s what you’d call quirky.’
‘And home,’ said Amelia. She loved the old house, quirks and all, because at last, after years of moving from one place to another, she and Mum finally had a place of their own.
‘Home is being with the people we love.’ Zara twisted the beads on one of her bracelets as she sat down. ‘You should have gone with your mum.’
Amelia stared at her plate, a lump rising in her throat. ‘No I shouldn’t. I’d ruin everything.’
Zara squeezed Amelia’s hand. ‘I wish you’d tell me what happened. I’m a good listener, and everyone makes mistakes. It’s learning from them that counts.’
The front doorbell clanged. ‘Mum’s home.’ Amelia jumped up, relieved to have an excuse to avoid answering. She darted from the kitchen, snatching a sausage to eat on the way and climbed the worn stone steps up to the dark panelled hallway. The cobwebbed grandfather clock tick tocked steadily, out of time with Amelia’s fluttering heart.
A figure stood silhouetted against the front door’s yellow and blue stained glass. Amelia wrenched back the bolt and flung the door open. Her smile froze. A tall man loomed out of the shadows, his sharp features dimly lit by the murky yellow street lights. Amelia’s eyes widened. Uncle Brassbeak. Mum warned her to avoid him but would never tell her why, only that they’d fallen out. Up until now that hadn’t been a problem.