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PW #341: Young Adult Supernatural Western: THE RECKONING OF TWIGGS TALLOW

Thursday, 2 November 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Cat Scully

Mentee Name: Elizabeth Runnoe


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Supernatural Western

Word Count: 85,000


Twiggs Tallow is an outlaw determined to live an honest life, but when her sweetheart is found hanging from a noose, she vows revenge. After dodging bounty hunters, facing tormented spirits, and surviving the winter, Twiggs thinks she’s seen the worst of the cursed mountain—until she meets the killer. Twiggs must choose to dispense frontier justice with her own hands and lose her chance at ever finding redemption. DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS meets VENGEANCE ROAD.


“Forgive me.”

I swing the ax onto the chopping block, severing the slender neck of the chicken. The head lops off clean and flies someplace I can’t see. Don’t matter. I grab hold of the curled, scaly feet and upend the body. She hangs limply in the air, her wings twitching as the last of her blood spatters the dirt, adding fresh stains to those already there. I watch as regret sticks in my throat like a bone too thick to swallow.

“Twiggs—” A voice calls from the kitchen window. It’s open a crack, hoping for a breeze. “Stop dillydallying with them birds. You better get scalding and plucking if we ever want supper on the table. I said I need three.”

I toss the headless chicken into a basket where one already lies. She lands in a heap of ruffled feathers, still twitching. They do that sometimes even without a head. The bodies refuse to believe they’re dead.

“You hear me, Twiggs?”

“Yes, Mrs. Belk,” I holler.

Molly Belk, the proprietor of Mealing’s Boardinghouse and Saloon, didn’t have to take me in last winter when she caught me stealing her chickens. But she did. Truth is, her kindness has altered the path I was on. At least for a while.

No amount of good can ever scrub the blood from these hands.


Filed: PW Entries

  • Hi Elizabeth!

    I LOVE THIS! I’ve been looking for a good western/historical! Can you please send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript? If you go to http://queryme.online/kellypeterson/pitchwars it should take you to a form you can fill out and paste in your information, and the bottom should allow you to attach your full.

    I can’t wait to read it =)

    Warm Regards,

    Kelly Peterson
    Jr. Literary Agent
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  • I love westerns and this voice is killer! Please send your query in the body of an email, along with the full manuscript and a synopsis (both attached). Please also include a link to this entry. You can send your materials to lauren@triadaus.com. I look forward to reading!


  • I love this opening, and I’d love to read more! Please kindly send the full manuscript to hilary@ktliterary.com with “PitchWars” in the subject so I may continue reading!!


  • Heather Flaherty says:

    Elizabeth! Yes. Want. LOVE ME A WESTERN!

    Please send:
    – Query + 10 pages pasted in the body of the email
    – Attach FULL ms as well!
    – with subject line: PW YA + Title

    to:  flahertyqueries@thebentagency.com

    Thank you so much!

    Heather Flaherty (The Bent Agency)

  • I would love to read more! Please send your query, 1-2 page synopsis, and first 100 pages (in an attached word doc.) to queries at azantianlitagency dot com with “PitchWars: TITLE by Name” in the subject line. Thanks!

    I look forward to reading on!

    Jennifer Azantian
    Azantian Literary Agency

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I would love to read more!

    Please send your query, 1-2 page synopsis, and first 100 pages (in an attached word doc.) to queries at azantianlitagency dot com with “PitchWars: TITLE by Name” in the subject line. Thanks!

    I look forward to reading on!

    Jennifer Azantian
    Azantian Literary Agency

  • Rena Rossner says:

    I would absolutely love to read this! Please send the full manuscript attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    – Rena

  • Sarah Landis says:

    I would love to read this one! Please send the full ms as a word doc to slandis@sll.com

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I would love to see more! Please send your query to channigan@hsgagency.com and attach the first 100 pages as a word document. Also please include “Pitch Wars YA” in your subject line.


  • Amelia Appel says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I lovelovelove your voice, and the premise sounds so fun – I must have this! Please email a query letter, full synopsis, and attached full manuscript to amelia@triadaus.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks so much – I can’t wait to read!!

  • Natascha Morris says:

    I am dying for a great historical and yours has the perfect voice. I’d love to see the full. Please send me the full manuscript at QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2017!

    Thank you!
    Natascha Morris

  • Roseanne Wells says:

    I’ve been waiting for this!!! Please send the manuscript and synopsis as Word doc or docx attachments to the email you have (or queryroseanne@gmail.com, I’ll see it there too), and include #Pitchwars in the subject line. I can’t wait to dive in!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  • Hi Elizabeth,
    You’ve captured the right vibe for western historical in your character Twiggs. I would love to read more about her journey. Please send three chapters as an attachment to ellamarie@belcastroagency.com. Include the synopsis in the body of the email and add Pitch Wars to the subject line. Thanks.
    Ella Marie Shupe
    Belcastro Agency

  • Elizabeth, this sounds great! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com. Please also include your query letter in the body of the email, and Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    I look forward to reading!


    Melissa Nasson
    Rubin Pfeffer Content

  • Christa Heschke says:

    What a great opening and Tiwggs sounds like an engaging MC! I’d be interested to see more! Please send a query, first 50 pages and synopsis to chquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Look forward to reading!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

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