Mentee NameTitle of ManuscriptMentor NameAge CategoryGenre(s)Total word count (approx.)
Heather FishwickMirrored SnowMarisa NoelleYAFantasy, Fairytale Retelling72000

MIRRORED SNOW is a YA gender-reversed retelling of Snow White, told from the perspective of a girl trapped in the queen’s magic mirror. It is complete at 72,000 words.

Unseen by all, Mirror has spent her entire life spying for Queen Maia from inside palace mirrors, her reports condemning courtiers and servants to the queen’s cruelty. She dreams of living beyond the confines of her mirror, and having friends who know she exists – rather than the one-way conversations she is used to carrying out with castle staff. But if she defies the queen, the castle workers she watches and loves will be killed. Mirror already lives with the guilt of one death, and refuses to be responsible for another. 

When Prince Snowdon arrives – and is the first person other than the queen who can see her – Mirror dares to consider an alternative future. With Snowdon on the throne, her friends will be safe and Mirror can look for a solution to the curse that traps her, without putting anyone at risk.

However, the queen is intent on killing Snowdon, and helping the prince will put her friends, and her own existence, in greater danger. But spending time with Snowdon is everything Mirror hoped having a real friend would be, and she soon realises she cares about him too much to let her fears stand in the way of saving him.

If Mirror is going to defeat the queen and protect her friends, she will have to see herself as more than an empty reflection first.

Mirrored Snow will appeal to fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, Kalynn Bayron’s Cinderella is Dead, and A Throne of Swans by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr. It was longlisted for the Write Mentor Children’s Novel Award 2020.

I live in Northamptonshire and am currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults through Manchester Metropolitan University. I am also a member of the Wattpad Stars program. I review a wide range of children’s literature on my blog – http://heatherfjames.blogspot.com – and @makexbelieve on Twitter.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,
Heather Fishwick

MIRRORED SNOW

“Yes, yes, you are still the fairest in the land.” I sighed. I had been answering this question for as long as I could remember, and the answer never changed.

The queen was using my mirror to paint her lips a deep, gory red. Knowing her, it was probably made from the blood of her enemies. Pale powder from the crushed bones of those she had killed. Maybe her fake nails weren’t actually fake… 

But even without stolen body parts, the queen was breathtaking. I couldn’t lie in response to her question, but I would never need to. Which was for the best – the backlash to a different answer would shake the palace to its foundations.

“Although if you ask me, ‘fairest’ isn’t the right term. It evokes a sense of… justice. Not a word I’d associate with you.” I flicked an imaginary speck of mirror-world dust from my plain black dress to avoid looking up. There wasn’t really any dust where I was trapped. There wasn’t anything – except me and a small box of white space surrounded by an opulent gold frame. “Fair as in beautiful, I’ll give you; fair as in, well, a decent human being… Not so much.”

Beyond her, the royal suite was a flawless sea of palest grey with striking gold and crimson accents. A world I had never stepped into, although it was the last room in the palace I wanted to enter.

The queen tutted but didn’t reply, her focus on the edges of her lips, not me. Never me. Even though, unlike my friends in the kitchen, she could actually see me.

I hugged my arms around my stomach, trying to sooth the aching emptiness that filled me whenever I was with the queen.

Stop it, I chided myself. It was for the best that my pretend friends couldn’t see me. 
If they could, they would hate me. 

It was my fault danger surrounded them like a constant knife to the throat. My affection put them at risk. I wouldn’t – couldn’t – forget the last person to suffer the repercussions of the queen’s disappointment in me. Lyona’s devastation when the boy she loved vanished without a trace. My chest tightened, as though all the air had been sucked from my lungs. Black spots threatened at the edges of my vision. I closed my eyes and counted to ten, pushing the panic down.

I needed to think of something safe. Something positive. Something like the event which had been fuelling kitchen gossip for weeks. Prince Snowdon would be arriving later that morning: the boy whose eighteenth birthday would mark the end of the queen’s reign in Rosenberg. 

The queen put down her lip stain and picked up a pot of dark, glittering powder. She was taking longer to dress than usual. She was nervous.