PW #227: Middle Grade Fantasy: A WOLF FOR A SPELL

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: K.C. Held

Mentee Name: Karah Sutton


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 46,000


Zima knows the only thing more dangerous than a human, is a witch. But when her brother is shot by a hunter, she risks a deal with Baba Yaga for the spell to save him—but the shifty witch has a mission of her own, and she needs a wolf to complete it.


Zima smelled magic. She pressed her nose to the ground and sniffed again. There was no mistaking it—among the smells of moss and fallen leaves was the putrid stink of decay that marked a witch’s realm.

She seized Leto’s tail between her teeth and dragged him back, away from the sinister smell.

“Ow! Stop it!” Leto protested, snapping at her.

“Hush! Keep still.” A shiver rippled through Zima’s gray and white fur. She had to get them home, now. She needed Grom, their older brother and the leader of the pack. He would know what to do about a witch.

She avoided Leto’s gaze in case he could detect the fear in her eyes. He knew the threat as well as she did—witches weren’t just disgusting and devious, they were dangerous. Everyone in the pack had heard Grom’s stories of witches who captured wolves to fuel their magic.

But Leto was overconfident and reckless. To him, a witch was little more than a pretend villain to run from when they played chasing games. Zima couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t attack a witch if he saw one.

“We’ll have to go around,” she said, fighting to keep her voice calm. Her legs trembled as they crept away from the stench, retracing their steps through a grove of spiky evergreens.

Her breathing had returned to a more relaxed pace when a rustle ahead made her ears prick. A figure was just visible, lurking between the trees.


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