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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.
PW2020 YA #07: JEWEL OF THE CEDAR (#OwnVoices Historical Fantasy)
Heba Helmy
Mentored by:
Amanda Panitch
Book Title:
2020 Entries
#OwnVoices Historical Fantasy
Word Count:


Sumeyya cannot mourn her recently martyred father. Not only did he surrender the magic jewel keeping their homeland veiled, but he also arranged her marriage to a Viking King.

To protect her people, she agrees to the far-away union and to traveling there under the protection of the king’s adopted son. Through the forest of wolves, the veldt of spies, and the Mediterranean’s shores, love blossoms between them.

But hate’s roots are spreading and if Sumeyya heeds her heart, then she must also learn to channel the jewel’s magic—before crusaders find those she’s meant to keep hidden.




Wadieh means Clarity, named so for the fog enclosing my homeland. Unlike the substance of dreams or the weather phenomenon, ours is a gleaming mist that murmurs softly. It helps us to know lies from truths, myth from reality.

I used to think if I could get through it, go deep enough, it’d settle, and that there, at its end, would be a world other than here. But no matter how far I delved, how daring or brave the thoughts I spurred myself on with, I was deceived. The fog has always been a trickster. He laughed at me, or the ghosts of my ancestors did, for when the cloudiness thinned and the voices dimmed, I ended up right back where I started.

No, there is only one way out of Wadieh and the fog isn’t it.

Still, it cloaks me now. When Abu finishes with the Blacksmith, I will make my plea. My father will say the dangers are unfathomable, that I wasn’t witness to the horrors the Vikings visited on the shores of Al-Andalus. But I will insist.

Convince him to take me when he goes.

10 responses to “PW2020 YA #07: JEWEL OF THE CEDAR (#OwnVoices Historical Fantasy)”

  1. I love the sense of atmosphere here and the cultural elements, and I’d love to read more. Please kindly send the full manuscript and a synopsis as word doc attachments to hilaryquery at ktliterary.com with ‘Pitchwars Requested Material’ in the subject field. I can’t wait to dive in!
    Hilary Harwell, Literary Agent
    KT Literary LLC

  2. Laura Crockett says:

    Hello Heba! Coming back like I promised to request the full of your manuscript. Could you send it to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com in an attached Word doc and “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? Thanks! -Laura Crockett, TriadaUS Literary Agency

  3. Suzie Townsend says:

    H! I’d love to see this! What a great last line. Please send the manuscript with the query pasted into the first page to Suzie(at)newleafliterary(dot)com. Put REQUESTED-PITCH WARS in the subject line.

  4. Dorian Maffei says:

    This completely pulled me in! I am thrilled to request the first 50 pages. 🙂 You can send the query and manuscript through my online submission form: QueryManager.com/dorianmaffei/Request.

    If more than one agent from KC&A has requested the manuscript, please mention this in your submission. Thank you!

  5. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Love me some Historical Fantasy! I’d be thrilled to read this full. If you find us a fit, please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  6. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds incredible and the opening is great! I’d love to read more. Please send a query in the body of the email to queries@parkfine.com with “Pete Knapp – Pitch Wars: JEWEL OF THE CEDAR (YA)” in the subject line. Please attach the manuscript as a Word document, and include a short synopsis (either in the beginning of the same document as the manuscript or as a separate attachment). Thank you, and I’m looking forward to considering.

    Pete Knapp // Park & Fine Literary and Media

  7. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there! I’d love to take a closer look at the first 50 pages! Please send them attached as a word document to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  8. Amanda Rutter says:

    I really enjoyed your pitch and extract. Can you send the full through to Amanda Rutter from Azantian Literary Agency? Please also include the query, but no synopsis. The email should have Pitch Wars and the novel title in the subject line. The email address to use is amanda@azantianlitagency.com. If two agents from Azantian have requested, then please pick your preferred – we will share amongst ourselves if we think another agent would be a better fit. Thank you, and I look forward to reading!

  9. Zabé Ellor says:

    I love this book idea and voice, and I’ve been searching for a story set in Al-Andalus for some time! I would love to see more!

    Please could you send the query and first fifty pages to me, as an attachment, at zrellor.books@gmail.com? Please paste your query on the first page of your attached sample pages, and also in the body of the email, and include PITCH WARS in the subject line. If more than one JDLA agent requests, feel free to first submit to the one you think is the best fit.

  10. Rebecca Eskildsen says:

    Hi! I would love to see this story in my inbox. If you would like to submit your manuscript to me, please send a query letter and the first 50 pages to reskildsen@writershouse.com. Please include “Pitch Wars” and your title in the subject line, and please only submit to one agent at Writers House at a time. Thank you!