Maddox Academy (Historical Fiction)

Genre: Historical Fiction
Intended Audience: YA
Length: 60-70K


Felicity (Flick) Grieves is sent to Maddox Academy for Girls after passing the prestigious entrance exams to gain her place. Not being from a family of wealth, Flick struggles to fit in with those around her and sees her place in the school as temporary.

On her first day at Maddox, Flick meets the girls she will be spending the next few weeks with, but her lack of wealth creates a divide between her and the others. She meets Katie Wilson, a year older than Flick and the head girl at Maddox, who becomes one of the few people Flick can trust.

The pair begin a strong friendship and is Flick glad to have friends at a school where she still feels like an outsider. Katie’s willingness to defend Flick against the other girls in her year group stirs up some strange feelings for Flick who struggles to come to terms with feelings that are viewed as wrong by society.

With her mind spinning out of control, Flick pushes the feelings down and turns her attention to her independent study project, a project that will determine if Flick can return for another year. Her feelings for Katie continue to grow even if she doesn’t think about her. As time passes, Flick continues to struggle with her feelings and where she truly belongs at Maddox.

After returning from a run, Flick enters her dorm to discover her independent study project had been stolen, only to later find it floating in the school swimming pool. Worried for her friend, Katie offers some help to Flick who refuses to accept it, deciding instead to stay up into the night to recover her lost work. She throws herself into re-doing the project as the deadline for the presentation grows closer.

One night, Flick retreats to the common room to work on her project only to be met by Katie who knew she hadn’t been sleeping. Concerned, Katie tries to convince Flick to talk to her and tell the truth but in a rash action, Flick kisses Katie and runs from the room. Stunned and confused, Katie goes to find her, spotting her in an empty classroom and deciding the two of them needed to talk about what had just happened.

Flick confesses everything and admits that she’s not sure where she stands with Katie as she knows that those around her would shun her for her actions. Katie admits that she had had similar feelings but had also struggled to grapple with them. The two of them decide to see what happens between them over the last few weeks of term.

The day of the project presentation arrives and despite losing all her work, Flick comes out on top and can return for the next year. Her and Katie decide that their feelings for each other are more important than how others see them and vow to continue their newfound relationship in secret next term.


On its core premise and structure, I think this works as a story. My major question becomes what is its edge? What will make it stand out from any other, similar story (of which there are many)?

Maybe it lies within the characters and their dynamics, the tone or power of the writing, but I’m not seeing it within the summary plot currently. That’s fine if it’s in something like tone, it’s just a concern I would place on it.