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43. THE READER – Young Adult Fantasy

Monday, 3 November 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Mentor Name: Renée Ahdieh

Mentee Name: Traci Chee


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Word Count: 96,000


When her only remaining relative is kidnapped, Sefia vows to save her. But rescue means learning to read in a world where literacy is forbidden and sacrificing the boy she loves to the secret society that destroyed her family. NEVERENDING STORY meets HIS DARK MATERIALS, with swashbucklers and sharpshooters.


There were redcoats on the road. The gravel path that cut through the jungle was more crowded than usual, and the mounted Royal Navy soldiers rode above the sea of foot traffic like lords in a parade.

Of course, Sefia had never seen a lord or a parade, because Nin went out of her way to avoid them. But she recognized power when she saw it.

Their fine red jackets were unblemished, their black boots polished to a high shine, and their sword hilts and gun grips glinted in the morning light. Any law-abiding citizen would have been happy to see them.

“On the lookout for thieves,” someone said. “With so many folks going in and out of town today, there’s bound to be bandits on the road.”

Sefia grinned.

Nin glared at her.

Around them, the shoppers carried baskets and towed rattling carts with burlap nests for their infants, the parents calling sharply after dirt-smudged children when they wandered too far. In their trail-worn gear, Sefia and Nin blended in well enough, and no one gave them so much as a second glance.

But they were not like the others.

Sefia passed a hand over the hidden pocket of her vest, where she kept the last few rubies from a stolen necklace alongside her lock picks. Though she was only thirteen—and a scrawny thirteen at that—she’d probably committed more crimes than all the others combined, save Nin.

“Must have a new officer in town,” Nin muttered. “Overzealous weasel.”

Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Danielle Barthel says:

    Hi Traci–this sounds great! I’d love to see more. Could you please send your first 100 pages and synopsis to query@newleafliterary.com as an attachment, with the subject line Pitch Wars Request–Danielle? Thanks!

  • Hi Traci, I love this opening! I’d definitely like to keep reading. Please email me your query, first 50 pages, and a synopsis (if available) to brooks(at)thebentagency(dot)com, with the subject line “Pitch Wars Request: THE READER.” If you have any questions, just let me know. Looking forward to reading more! Cheers, Brooks

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    More, please!! Please send the query, synopsis and first ten pages to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com. In the subject line of your email, please type: For Stefanie Lieberman – PITCH WARS REQUEST

  • Amanda Panitch says:

    Hi Traci! This sounds fascinating and I’d love to read more. Please send your first 100 pages to me as a Word document at amanda[at]LMQlit[dot]com.

  • Rachel Brooks says:

    I’d love to read more! Please send the query plus first 50 pages as a word doc attachment to rachel(at)lperkinsagency(dot)com with “Pitch Wars Request: Title” in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Ammi-Joan Paquette says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send query and first 3 chapters my way 🙂

  • Oh, you had me at Neverending Story. Please send first 50 pages, query and synopsis as an attachment to Sarah@CorvisieroAgency.com

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