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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 #28: THE PLACE WHERE CLOUDS GATHER (Contemporary Fantasy – Southern African #OwnVoices)
Ridley Adams
Mentored by:
Sarah Nicolas and Leigh Mar
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Contemporary Fantasy (Southern African #OwnVoices)
Word Count:


Raised within the Cape Town office of a secretive international organization dedicated to concealing the existence of mythological creatures, Agent-in-training Finn is eager to ace her high-profile assignment. After discovering the case involves the rare Lightning Bird—whose uncharacteristic killing spree threatens to expose all cryptids—Finn’s investigation forces her to choose between the family she loves and the cryptids she swore to protect. 

Men in Black meets Wakanda



The grey clouds stretched across the sky like a dirty ribbon. Finn watched raindrops gather on the minibus window as bone-rattling kwaito music played.


Finn scrambled to pick up her phone, ringtone blaring.


“Almost here?”

Finn frowned. “I am, but why meet at a restaurant, not the crime scene?”

“Best Chinese food in Sea Point. See you there.”

She spotted Anza as she stepped off the bus, looking as he always did, like a perfume advert or a black James Bond. He was slender, appearing to be in his mid-twenties, with skin a deep, rich brown a few shades darker than her own and short dreadlocks. He was every inch the HELSING Agent in a black Carducci suit. Finn, on the other hand, was happy to be an Agent trainee if it meant she got to wear jeans and a T-shirt.

He hailed her with a cigarette in hand, his round John Lennon sunglasses slipping down his nose, revealing inhuman eyes that flashed silver like a mirror catching sunlight. Backlit by red and yellow light streaming from the Chinese restaurant, looking both effortlessly cool and slightly outrageous, Anza pushed his sunglasses into place.

“I’m on the Muzenda case, but no one’s told me much. What’s going on, Anz?”

“The mayor of Cape Town’s been murdered.” Exhaling a plume of smoke, he grinned at her. “You ready?”

7 responses to “PW2019 YA #28: THE PLACE WHERE CLOUDS GATHER (Contemporary Fantasy – Southern African #OwnVoices)”

  1. Marlo Berliner says:

    Loving this so far! 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!

  2. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Ridley,

    This sounds fantastic, 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?

    Looking forward!

    All best,

  3. Jennifer Unter says:

    This sounds really unique – I’d love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages to jen.nadol(at)theunteragency(dot)com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  4. Ginger Clark says:

    I would love to take a look at this. Can you email me the first fifty pages as either a PDF or DOCX or RTF? Put the words “Pitchwars 2020 request” in your subject line. Thank you so much!

  5. Alexandra Weiss says:

    This sounds fascinating and I’d love to take a closer look! Please send the first 50 pages to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

    Thanks so much!
    Alexandra Weiss
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  6. Kari Sutherland says:

    I love mythological creatures! Please query me with “Pitch Wars” in the title at: https://querymanager.com/query/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form Looking forward to reading more!

  7. Heather Cashman says:

    HI, Ridley. I love this premise! 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!