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PW #224: YA Fantasy: ASKARI

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

 Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Names: Renée Ahdieh & Traci Chee
Mentee Name: Kristen Ciccarelli
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 96,000


Asha must hunt a deadly dragon and bring her father its head, or be forced into a political marriage. In the vein of GRACELING and THE WINNER’S CURSE.


Asha lured the dragon with a story.

It was an ancient story, older than the mountains at her back. Asha had to dredge it up from where it lay deep and dormant inside her.

She hated to do it. Telling such stories was forbidden, not to mention deadly. But after stalking this dragon through the rocky lowlands for ten days now, her hunting slaves were out of food. She had a choice: return to the medina dragon-less, or break her father’s ban on the old stories.

Asha never returned to the medina without a kill and she wasn’t about to now. She was the Askari, after all, and there were quotas to fill.

So she told the story.

In secret.

While her hunters thought she was sharpening her axe.

The dragon came, slithering out of the sand like the treacherous thing it was. Red-gold particles cascaded down its body, shimmering like water and revealing dull scales the color of mountain rock.

At three times the size of a horse, it loomed over Asha, thrashing a forked tail while its slitted gaze fixed on the girl who summoned it. The girl who’d tricked it here with a story.

Asha whistled for her pale-skinned hunting slaves as her left hand tightened on an oblong shield. With her right, she reached for the throwing axe at her hip.

The rough esparto grass rattled around her knees as the dragon circled, waiting for her to let down her guard.

That was its first mistake. Asha never let down her guard.

Its second was to blast her with flame.


Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Ooh, I’m intrigued!


    Please send the full as an attached word document, with the pitch you used here pasted into the first page. Send it to QueryMandy@EmeraldCityLiterary.com


    Mandy Hubbard
    Emerald City Literary Agency
    (Formerly D4EO Literary)

  • Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages attached as a word document to:



    Rena Rossner

  • Laura Biagi says:

    I’m super intrigued by this dragon-hunting girl and these forbidden stories. I’d love to see more. Please send the query and full ms as a .doc or .docx file to LBiagi at jvnla dot com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I look forward to reading!

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I’d like to read more! Please send the first 50 pages in Word format and a query letter to submissions@janklow.com, and include “Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line of the email. Thanks!

  • Melissa Nasson says:

    Hi, Kristen- I’d like to read more! Please send the first 50 pages to melissa@rpcontent.com as a Word doc, and be sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

  • Jackie says:

    This sounds fantastic! Please send the full ms as an attachment to query(at)newleafliterary.com and include “Pitch Wars Request for Jackie” in the subject line. Thank you!

  • Hi Kristen,
    Your concept and excerpt sound intriguing. Could you please send the full manuscript to emorgen@stonesong.com?

  • Christa Heschke says:

    There’s just something about dragons that always intrigues me! Please send the first 25 pages, query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com and put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.

    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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