Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


PW #226: YA Vietnamese-Inspired Fantasy: DIAMOND QUEEN

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Brianna Shrum
Mentee Name: Michelle Tran
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Vietnamese-Inspired Fantasy
Word Count: 75,000


Avere is blessed with the ability to turn rocks into diamonds, and cursed with a royal title that got her mother murdered. Before the emperor’s assassins kill her, she must flee, but finds herself drawn to stay—both by her mischievous hired escort and her desperate desire to assassinate the emperor.


It was the last day of pretending. Or so I thought.

I sat under my makeshift tent at the open village market. With steady hands I concentrated on my work, stringing the bright stones onto a thin silver wire. The amethyst glittered under the calm morning, sending flecks across my other pieces.

There was no need to make anything today. By nightfall my mother and I would be gone. Better to sell everything at half price and lessen our load than to increase our inventory, but I needed to keep my hands busy. Already they were beginning to ache from my nerves.

We were finally going to seek out my sisters. My four younger sisters, who didn’t even know who we were.

I let out an anxious breath and polished the bracelet, then grabbed another handful of stones to ease my mind. There was no point in worrying. I had waited for this day for nearly a decade.

Surely that was enough time for everyone to forget about my mother.

As the morning went on, between the fish seller’s booth and the herbalist’s stand, the salty sea smell mixed with the stinging, dank, herbs made me want to vomit. It took breathing through my mouth and the thought of reuniting with my sisters to keep my breakfast down.

The smell was certainly one thing I wouldn’t miss.

“A flower for your thoughts?”

But his voice was one thing I would.


Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Rachel Marks says:

    This sounds amazing! Please send over the first 100 pages as an attached word doc to rachel@rfliterary.com. Put in your subject line Pitch Wars request. I can’t wait to read it!

  • What a wonderful voice. Looking forward to reading more; this is intriguing. Please send your official query (subject line containing “Pitch Wars”) and first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura (@) triadaus (dot) com. Thanks!

  • Danielle Barthel says:

    Sounds fascinating! Please send the full manuscript to query@newleafliterary.com, with Pitch Wars – Danielle in the subject line. Thanks!

  • Alexandra Machinist says:

    I’d love to see more of this! Please send 100 pages via Word attachment to amachinist@icmpartners.com.

  • Lana Popovic says:

    You had me at “Vietnamese-inspired fantasy,” and then just utterly sealed the deal with “A flower for your thoughts?” I can’t wait to read this! Could I see the full ms, please, as a PDF, send to lana@chalbergsussman.com, with Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line? I’d love to see the query as well, in the body of the email.

  • Peter Knapp says:

    Intriguing, I want to keep reading! I will pull from the copy you have already sent to Danielle, but excited to look at this as well!

  • Taylor Haggerty says:

    This sounds wonderful! Please send the query and full manuscript to taylorsubmit@waxmanleavell.com, and I’ll look forward to reading!

  • Bridget Smith says:

    I’d love to take a look! Please send the first 50 pages and a one-page synopsis as an attachment to query@dunhamlit.com with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line and the query in the body.

  • Laura Biagi says:

    Your premise and writing are fantastic! I would love to see more. Please send the query and full ms to LBiagi at jvnla dot com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I look forward to reading!

  • Leon Husock says:

    I’d like to see more! Please send a query + the full MS to leon@lperkinsagency (with Pitch Wars in the subject line), along with a one-sentence description of your book.

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I’d love to read more! Please send the first 100 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, Michelle- I would love to see more of this! Please send the first 100 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

  • Louise Fury says:

    I’d love to read more. Please send me the query and full manuscript in a word document with the pitch on page 1. Include #pitchwars in the subject heading. furyqueries(at)thebentagency(dot)com
    Looking forward to reading this!

  • Kathleen ortiz says:

    Nice! Will grab the MS from Danielle as well!

  • Christa Heschke says:

    I love that this is Vietnamese inspired fantasy. So cool! 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

  • Claire Anderson-Wheeler says:

    Hi Michelle

    I’m keen to read this – could you send me the full MS as a Word doc and if possible, an expanded synopsis (ideally 500-700 words)? claire at rhaliterary dot com.

    Looking forward to reading more!

  • Kitty Walker says:

    I’m so keen to see this! This is such an original concept. Please with cherries on top send the full manuscript to kitty@evewhite.co.uk

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.