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Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

 Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Mentee Name: M.K. England
Category: YA
Genre: Space Opera
Word Count: 80,000


Seventeen-year-old Nax Khan, Academy washout and wrongly-accused outlaw, must band together with his fellow failures to steal a ship, evade space murderers, clear their names, and save the galaxy that rejected them all. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY meets FIREFLY with a diverse teen cast.


Name: Nax Khan.

Status: FAILURE.

I’ve been at the Academy for exactly twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours and I’ve already washed out.


I shove my wadded up, still-clean boxers into my travel bag, right next to my brand new Academy t-shirt that I just bought yesterday. May as well burn it now. Maybe I’ll light it on fire and hoist it up the flagpole at Command once I’m back on Earth soil.

A snort echoes faintly through the barracks from a few beds away. Then, a murmuring voice: “… shouldn’t have bothered unpacking. Everyone knew he was gonna fail out from the second he got here. You should have seen Dr. Herrera’s face when he walked up to the front! I thought Khan was gonna…”

My flight papers crumple in my fist and I breathe in, slow and deep, barely resisting the urge to chuck one of my boots at the asshole. He waltzed into the exam room today with a dickish smile and cheesy handshake, like a damn politician or something. And the examiners ate it up. If that’s what they’re looking for in future colonists, then it’s no wonder they decided to pass on the cow-town fail boat. Me.

I dump the pile of travel-sized toiletries on top of my clothes, not particularly caring if they leak all over everything, then tug at the zipper. Of course it resists me, because nothing would make this day better than to miss the shuttle back to Earth because I’m too incompetent to even zip my bag.


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