Pitch Wars - The New Team Briggs!

Today is the Pitch Wars agent round, and I'm so proud of how hard my team has worked, and so happy I got to mentor such amazing authors! I'm super excited to post my three picks' pitches and first pages below for you to check out. If you're an agent or editor and want to see more, let me know, or click on their title and leave a comment in the official Pitch Wars entry. Go Team Briggs!

NAME: Audrey Coulthurst
GENRE: YA Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 90,000

When Princess Denna falls in love with the defiant, horse-training sister of the prince she’s supposed to marry, she’ll have to sacrifice her crown and use her forbidden magical gift if she wants to stop a war and save the girl she loves.


My life since the age of six had been a rehearsal for this moment.

The door of my carriage clicked open, and a gust of hot summer air beckoned me to meet my future husband. I took as deep a breath as the bodice of my dress would allow and stepped down onto pale flagstones leading up to the gatehouse of a castle. My maid and entourage had split off back at the first entrance to unload my things, and now I faced my future alone. My heart beat in nervous double time against my ribs. The alliance between my kingdom and Mynaria rested on my ability to prove myself the perfect consort, and our two kingdoms needed one another for resources and protection. But close to my heart I held another hope beyond the alliance—I secretly wished to fall in love.

Colorful banners hung from the battlements, alternating the plum of my homeland with the deep blue of Mynaria. The castle loomed behind the gatehouse, a massive structure crowned with square towers that jutted up into the sky. It looked naked without the twisting spires that had crowned the castle where I grew up.

A line of horses in full barding awaited me at the entryway, their polished armor glinting in the afternoon sun. Embroidered silk fluttered from their reins. One horse tossed its head and swung its hindquarters over, sending a ripple of pinned ears and fidgeting hooves through the line.

“Quit,” someone muttered.

NAME: Heather Kaczynski
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
WORD COUNT: 89,000

PITCH: Seventeen-year-old NASA intern Cassie Dhatri dreams of space, but in order to win a spot on a top-secret experimental mission, she'll have to outsmart a battery of psychological tests... and sixty-three cutthroat teen geniuses.


A moderately intelligent robot could do my job. Obviously, letting a sixteen-year-old intern anywhere near actual rockets would be irresponsible, but still – NASA was vastly underutilizing my skills.

Not that I was complaining. Because, come on – NASA. I'd mop the floors as long as they let me stay. I mean, this was where they built the rockets that took men to the moon. Not that you could tell by looking, not anymore, but maybe one day there'd be funding and real history being made again.

I'd worked hard to get here. But "here" ended up being a cubicle in the legal department of Marshall Space Flight Center, doing mindless data entry for zero dollars an hour. Sure, I'd made it inside the building, but it was boring. And I hated being bored. I could have been doing so much more.

To keep my brain from melting, I listened to Beethoven in one ear, memorizing his piano sonatas so I'd be prepared to kick ass at youth orchestra auditions come fall.

"Hey, kid!" My coworker Andre's voice snapped me out of my music-trance, and I looked up to see him marching towards me. His features were all contorted, like he smelled something rotten. Andre didn't exactly like me, not since that little incident where I'd corrected his math in front of the whole department.

He jabbed his thumb vaguely over his shoulder. "Big boss wants to see you. And you'd better take that thing out of your ear."

Hesitant, I slipped out of my chair, suspicious that maybe this was Andre's idea of a prank.

NAME: Erin Funk
CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Science Fiction
WORD COUNT: 100,000

PITCH: When eighteen-year-old Naia's father is murdered, she must uncover if his death was revenge for inventing implants that turn human brains into computers, or part of a larger plot to infiltrate billions of minds.


The best occasions in my life always turn out to be the worst letdowns. I was stupid to expect anything different today.

I barely have time to slip into line before we start filing, one by one, into the auditorium. Beneath her perfect updo, the girl in front of me gives me the once-over and wrinkles her nose. I don’t need a reminder of my freak status. I’m well aware that my purple hair and glittered face don’t match our formal grad gowns. She turns away, and I’m left staring at the Port on her neck, a cruel reminder of why I’m alone today. Why I’m alone almost every day.

Our class is large, but it isn’t long until they call my name.

Ushered in by polite applause, I step through the curtains and onto the stage. Metallic blue and silver birds decorate the auditorium’s ceiling, and a holographic banner shimmers in the air. It reads, “Soaring into the Future: Class of 2043.” Below it, a transparent screen lights up with an image of me and a caption that states I’ve won the photography award.

The principal shakes my hand, and a representative from the company Dad works for says into the microphone, “On behalf of EnvisiTech, I’d like to present Naia Imrie, daughter of our very own Dr. Hadrian Imrie, with the photography award and this gift card for any store that sells EnvisiTech products. Excellent work, Naia.”

The audience claps again, louder this time now that they realize my dad is that Imrie, the world famous neurotechnologist who invented the implants studding their necks.

Good luck Team Briggs!