Entry Nickname: RV Arya
Title: The Raven Queen’s Revenge
Word count: 40K
Genre: MG Fantasy
After her dad moves out—for good this time—eleven-year-old Sylvie’s mom takes a job as a Louisiana state park campground supervisor, moving Sylvie and her pesky sister into a stinky RV. Ticked off and lonely, Sylvie wants to be back home with her own bed, her own stuff, and her dad.
One day Sylvie and her sister follow a fox into the woods, where they meet Lowell, a local kid whose dad is a park ranger. Lowell insists he can help Sylvie and her sister find the fox he scared off, but he loses the trail and leads them into an alternate world—Wiledyn. Frustrated with herself for following an annoying boy she hardly knows, Sylvie smashes a strategically-placed old, blue bottle against a tree, freeing hundreds of ravens . . . and their queen.
Raven Queen Keres—furious after spending the last seventeen years imprisoned, which gave her plenty of time to plot her revenge—seals all the exits from Wiledyn, confining her enemies while also trapping Sylvie, her sister, and Lowell in the crossfire of a power battle. Now Sylvie must protect her sister as they hunt down the Raven Queen, force her to unseal the exits, and—if Sylvie has anything to say about it—make her pay for the destruction she’s caused. With the help of a talking fox, a pair of cheery goblins, and a childlike druid, Sylvie and her companions struggle to return to the one place Sylvie wanted more than anything to escape: her home.
First 250 words:
Sylvie patted more dirt, wet her fingers in the plastic bowl, and sculpted the muddy mound in front of her. She looked back and forth between her mud creation and the folding, laminated field guide.
She squished and smoothed, then reexamined. Just over two inches. Tapered ends. She’d even added a few wild blackberry seeds.
Ha, nailed it! Best fox scat replica yet.
After snapping a close-up with her iPod, Sylvie stepped back for a group shot. Louisiana black bear, nutria, eastern cottontail, Virginia opossum, white-tailed deer, Northern raccoon, and now red fox. This had to make her some sort of campground expert on the subject.
She packed the replicas in their plastic shoe box, except the fox one. It had to bake in the sun a few hours before she could move it. Her dad would want to see her collection, but it wasn’t like he was going to drive four hours for it. Your father’s very busy, Sylvie. She’d been considering some sort of museum set-up and charging admission. She was sure a few weekenders would swing by, if only to check out the weird girl and her sun-baked mud poop museum. She didn’t care. Not if she could get a dollar out of each of them.
A flash of red near the trees caught her eye, but when she turned . . . nothing. No movement, no fox, nothing. Wishful thinking, she figured.