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


PW #302: Young Adult Contemporary (speculative elements): HOW TO SAVE A LIFE

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: 2 Week Delivery

Mentor: Kit Frick

Mentee: Kay L. McCray


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary (speculative elements)

Word Count: 88,000


Elite snowboarder Ina Nilsen puts her Olympic dreams on the line for a chance to go back and prevent the school shooting that ended her best friend’s life. To succeed she’ll have to learn to forgive and truly care about those who’ve hurt her the most. THE HATE LIST meets BEFORE I FALL.


My best friend won’t look at me.

Her troubled eyes focus on the yellow lines in the road like they’re the only things worth seeing. A crease appears between her eyebrows as the miles tick down towards Westville High.

I did this to her. It started last night during our disaster of a phone call with one bitter remark from me about my mom’s dilemma. Aimee’s been absorbing my mom-and-me-troubles for the last three weeks. Why’d she chose last night to bite back?

I slouch in my seat with a frown of my own. The overbearing woods along the road filter out most of the feeble morning light.

“Why don’t you just say it?” I snap, suddenly hating myself a little more. Snapping is not a normal part of my chats with Aimee.

Her eyes remain on the road, her mouth remains in a tight line, but that crease grows a little deeper. The moment of unrequited conversation stretches to a breaking point, then a heavy sigh slips through her teeth. For the first time this morning, her eyes flash in my direction.

“You already know, Ina,” she says, but with a lot less snapping.

And I do know. I know, okay.

But it’s not her mom wasting away on a deep emotional and moral level in Westville Regional’s drug and alcohol rehab. I slouch even more and begin studying the trees butting up against the road, like they’re suddenly the only things worth seeing.


Filed: PW Entries

  • Amelia Appel says:

    Hi Kay! This sounds really interesting – I’d love to read more! Please send a query letter with a full synopsis and the manuscript attached to amelia@triadaus.com. Thanks so much!

  • Natascha Morris says:

    Hi Kay,

    I’d love to see more! Please query me at QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2017! Thank you!


  • Naomi Davis says:

    Hi! I’m Naomi Davis with Inklings Literary Agency. Can I please see this full manuscript as a Word Doc, with the pitch and any relevant info you would like me to have in the body of the email? Thanks so much!

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.