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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
MG #15: BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS (Historical Fantasy)
Mindy Nicole Thompson
Mentored by:
Gabrielle Byrne and Julia Nobel
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Historical Fantasy
Word Count:


Never use the magic for your own gain. That’s the most important rule in enchanted bookshops like the one where Poppy and her family live. But Rhyme and Reason has a mind of its own, and when Poppy’s brother triggers the shop’s dark magic, it becomes first unpredictable, and then dangerous. Now, Poppy must restore the balance before time runs out, and the shop destroys everyone she loves.



The bookshop is feeling blue today. I sense it the moment my brother James and I arrive home from school. The lights are low, the ever-shifting wallpaper a cheerless dark gray, and the shop has chosen to showcase somber books––Wuthering Heights, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Bridge to Terabithia. The gloom sinks into my bones. Rhyme and Reason is depressed.

“Papa?” I call. He should be at the front counter, but he isn’t.

“We’re home!” James shouts.

The soft sound of customers chatting trickles toward us through the fiction section, but Papa’s booming voice, often too loud for our small, cramped space is absent. I press my palm to the wall and the floral paper shifts to a deep navy beneath my touch. “What has gotten you into such a mood, hmm?” The lights flicker in dramatic response. “There, there, everything is going to be all right.”

Words appear on the chalkboard behind the register. In that moment, when everything seemed dire, she was glad to have the comfort of a friend. It made the world less bleak. Some of my concern melts, and I give the wall a gentle pat.

“What’s that quote from, Poppy?” James asks.

“I’m not sure.” But I have a hunch about the problem. There’s only one thing that can put the shop in such a state. A rude customer.

33 responses to “MG #15: BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS (Historical Fantasy)”

  1. Clelia Gore says:

    Hi there! This is irresistible!. I’d love to read more. Can you send me a Word document version of the full manuscript at clelia@martinlit.com. Please put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Well done!

  2. Patricia Nelson says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I would love to read more of this! Could you please send your query, along with the full manuscript as a Word doc attachment, to patricia@marsallyonliteraryagency.com? Please make the subject line “PitchWars MG Request: Bookshop of Dust and Dreams.”

    Thanks so much!

  3. This sounds so enchanting and is just what I’ve been looking for. I would love to read more! Please send the query and full manuscript as word doc attachments to hilaryquery@ktliterary.com with PitchWars in the subject field.

  4. Sarah Landis says:

    Hi! Please send the full manuscript to slandis@sll.com. Can’t wait to read more!

  5. Suzie Townsend says:

    Oh my gosh, I want to visit this bookstore! Please send the query and full manuscript to me at suzie (at) newleafliterary (dot) com.

  6. Karyn Fischer says:

    Hi Mindy Nicole,

    As a former bookseller, I was immediately captivated by this premise and the excerpt. What fun! I would really love to read more. If you’re interested, would you mind sending me the first 25 pages? You can query me at http://www.QueryMe.online/1325/PitchWars. To find out more about me, feel free to visit http://www.bookstopliterary.com/info.html.

    Thanks and I hope to hear from you!

    Karyn Fischer
    BookStop Literary Agency

  7. Jim McCarthy says:

    I would love to have a look at this. You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. A Word attachment is preferable if possible.

    Happy Pitch Wars!

  8. Elana Roth Parker says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more! Please email me at eparker [at] ldlainc [dot] com:

    * Subject line: PitchWars Submission: YOUR BOOK TITLE
    * Your query letter in the body of the email
    * The full manuscript attached as a Word document

    Elana Roth Parker
    Laura Dail Literary Agency

  9. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway says:

    I’d really like to see more! Please send the full ms and a synopsis to crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT com!

  10. Jessica Errera says:

    Hello Mindy–I would be pleased to read the full manuscript of BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS, I love books about books! If you’d like to send it as an attachment/Word doc, along with your query letter (if you have one) to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com I would be delighted to dive in! And please mention PitchWars in your subject line.

  11. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Dear Mindy,

    I was so taken with your excerpt and would love to read more. Could you send the entire manuscript as a Word doc attachment to channigan@hsgagency.com? Please write “Pitch Wars Requested Ms” as the subject.

    Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading it. And good luck today!

    Best wishes,
    Carrie Hannigan

  12. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi! I’d love to take a look. Please email the ms. as a double-spaced .doc to medwards@stonesong.com. Thanks!

  13. Natascha Morris says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I absolutely need to read this. Like, yesterday. If you wouldn’t mind sending me the full, please upload it to QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2019. I can’t wait to read more!

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  14. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Mindy,

    This sounds great, and I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com and put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line?


  15. Carrie Pestritto says:

    This sounds right up my alley and I’d love to see the first 100 pages of this!

    Would you please send me an email with your query in the body and the partial as a Word doc attachment? You can reach me at cpestritto(at)ldlainc(dot)com. Subject should be PITCHWARS REQUEST – BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS.

    Thanks so much and can’t wait to read!!

  16. Quressa Robinson says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I love dark magic and magical places–an enchanted bookshop is right up my alley. I’d love to see the full MS. Please query me at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PitchWars2019) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!


  17. Amber Caraveo says:

    This is such a great concept! I love that the shop has moods! I’d love to see the full manuscript and a one-page synopsis, if you’re happy to share them with me. Please see our full submission guidelines at http://www.skylark-literary.com and send to ‘Amber’. Thank you.

  18. Marlo Berliner says:

    You had me at ‘enchanted bookshop’ and then it only got better from there! I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  19. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I think I’m in love. I’d love to see the full! Please see my bio at JDLit.com, and if you’d like, please send your query + synopsis pasted into the body of an email with your full attached to: colleen@adventurewrite.com with the subject, #PitchWars – BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS.

    If more than one agent from JDLA requests your manuscript, please feel free to submit to the best fit.

    Thank you and looking forward to reading!
    Colleen Oefelein

  20. Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read this full manuscript. Please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  21. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Mindy,

    I love the idea of a sentient bookstore, and Poppy’s voice in the open is wonderful. Please send your query letter and the full manuscript as a Word doc to dca@doncongdon.com with PITCH WARS REQUEST in the subject line. Thanks and look forward to reading more!

    Katie Grimm

  22. Danielle Burby says:

    I love this idea and am interested in reading more! Please follow this link for submission guidelines: http://queryme.online/1352/PitchWars2019

  23. Natalie Lakosil says:

    I would absolutely love to read this! Please send the full to me at natalie@bradfordlit.com. Looking forward to it!

  24. Christa Heschke says:

    I absolutely love the premise and writing! Please send the query, synopsis and full manuscript to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh and Otis

  25. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great – I would love an opportunity to consider! Can you please send the query letter (in the body of an email) and manuscript (attached as a Word doc) to queries@parkfine.com with “Pitch Wars submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject? Thank you!

    – Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  26. Shannon Hassan says:

    I’m intrigued and would love to keep reading right now! Please send a query + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks, Shannon

  27. Laura Bradford says:

    You completely sold me with the writing sample. Your sentient bookshop is completely charming! Not really getting a sense of the historical elements yet but I’d really like to see how this one develops. Please email me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait to read more!

  28. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hello! I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript of BOOKSHOP OF DUST AND DREAMS! Please send it along as a word document to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience.

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Inc.

  29. Kerstin Wolf says:

    Nothing beats a magical bookstore! I love that the bookstore is a living creature with personality and changing moods. I love it! I’d be thrilled if you could send me the full manuscript to QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars.

  30. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com.

    My best,

  31. Adria Goetz says:

    I love when a setting comes to life. 🙂 I’d love to read more! Can you send the first chapter to me at adria@martinlit.com?

  32. Larissa Helena says:

    Dear Mindy, your pitch sounds wonderful. I would love to see the full!
    Larissa Helena

  33. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Mindy, What book lover can resist a magic bookshop? Please send the full manuscript with complete synopsis and author bio (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. Looking forward to reading!