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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.
PW2019 YA #36: LISTEN TO THE BONES (#OwnVoices Algerian Epic Fantasy)
Hanna Bechiche
Mentored by:
Ayana Gray
Book Title:
2019 Entries
#OwnVoices Algerian Epic Fantasy
Word Count:



A rivaling ex-princess and a royal bastard must hide opposing agendas to save their kingdoms from a centuries-old monster—if the secret it guards doesn’t destroy them first.



It’s easy to know when hidden eyes are spying on you.

Their ghostly gazes itch against my desert skin like spiders on my chin; from the dais, I feel a swarm of them skittering up my body.

Clap. I order myself to give the spies what they want. Laugh. I do.

“Glory to Sadrazam Al-Haddad!” the Cavalry shouts as it parades past each of the Six Tribes. Their chants echo through the winding, sand-swept streets of Zamaan, my home; amidst the tantrum of drums, ouds, and thundering hooves, the pleas of the ignored protesters die. Instead of acknowledging them, I dig my nails deeper into the wooden armrests of my high chair, and focus on the Empire’s fiftieth Parade of Triumph. 

“Long Live Banu Haddad, the children of steel!” The crowd roars its approval, gathering like livestock around the Cavalry. To drown out their chants, I whisper my own Tribe’s name, again and again. 

“Banu Daws.” My lips barely move. “Banu Daws.”

“Banu Haddad!” The Cavaliers howl, twirling their spears.

Clap. I tap fingers against palm. Smile. I summon a grin to my tight, lined lips. For you, little spiders, look at me. Look at my docility.

18 responses to “PW2019 YA #36: LISTEN TO THE BONES (#OwnVoices Algerian Epic Fantasy)”

  1. Hannah VanVels says:

    This sounds great, and I’d love to take a look at a partial. Please upload the first 50 pages to: QueryMe.online/MarisaCorvisiero/PitchWars


  2. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Hanna,

    I would absolutely love to read this – will you send me your query and first 20 pages to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience, and mention Pitch Wars in the subject? There’s no timeline on my end, just whenever you feel ready!

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency

  3. Beth Phelan says:


    please send the full manuscript (word doc) to querybeth@galltzacker.com with your query letter in the body of the email and “pitch wars” in the subject line. looking forward to reading!

    <3 beth

  4. Marlo Berliner says:

    Love the premise! I’d love to read more! Please send the full with Pitchwars YA in the subject line to marlo.jdlit@gmail.com. Looking forward to reading!

  5. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Hanna,

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

    Thank you!

    My best,

  6. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Would love to read more – please send your full manuscript to staitz@wmeagency.com in PDF format. Thanks! – Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  7. Samantha Wekstein says:

    I’d love to see your first fifty pages! If interested, please send them as an attachment to Samantha@thompsonliterary.com with your query in the body and #pitchwars in the subject. Thank you!

  8. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Hanna,

    I would love to see this! Can you send your query and first fifty pages to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  9. Laura Crockett says:

    This sounds great! Please send an email with subject line containing “Pitch Wars,” your official query in the body of the email, and the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com. Looking forward!
    -Laura Crockett, TriadaUS

  10. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi Hanna!

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

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner

  11. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Hanna,
    I hope this finds you well! I loved reading your pitch and sample, as well as your Pitch Wars blog post. I would love the opportunity to read LISTEN TO THE BONES! If you’re interested in sharing, please do send the full manuscript to me at amorrison@writershouse.com.
    I hope to hear from you!
    My very best,

  12. Zabé Ellor says:

    What great voice and tension you’ve created here! I’d love to see more. Please send the query and synopsis (in the body of an email), and full manuscript (as an attachment) to zrellor . books @ gmail . com. I’m looking forward to diving in!

  13. Laurel Symonds says:

    Hi! I’d love to see this. Please send a query and 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  14. Christa Heschke says:

    Definitely intrigued! Please send the full manuscript and query to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” and the title in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!
    –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  15. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to keep reading. Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thank you!

    -Melissa Nasson, Rubin Pfeffer Content

  16. Heather Cashman says:

    Hi, Hanna. I love the lyrical quality of this first page. If you think we’d be a good fit, please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/HeatherCashman with Pitch Wars in the referral line, and I’ll respond soon with a full request so you can upload the file. Thanks!

  17. Kerstin Wolf says:

    Yes! “For you, little spiders, look at me. Look at my docility.” Yes! I have chills! I so want to read this manuscript! I would love if I could see the full manuscript. If you think we might be a good match, please submit your full manuscript using this link: QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars

  18. Diana Fox says:

    I’d really like to read more! Please email me the full manuscript at diana at foxliterary dot com. (Including “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line is also helpful but not required.)