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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 #32: OF JADE AND DRAGONS (Silkpunk Fantasy)
Amber Chen
Mentored by:
Kat Dunn and Daphne Lao Tonge
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Silkpunk Fantasy
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Parental death



When her father is murdered, Ying’s quest for justice drives her to uncover his past within the prestigious Engineers Guild. She enters the guild’s apprenticeship trial in disguise, with the help of an ambitious prince. But the secrets they hide can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and revenge could mean going against everything her father stood for.

Inspired by Harjol, the ordinary girl who became one of the most extraordinary concubines of the Qing dynasty.



Perched at the edge of a cliff, a tiny figure watched as a dark cloud floated towards her, accompanied by the thunderous whirr of rotating engine blades. 

The High Commander’s airships were far noisier than they should be. A low-level problem that could easily be fixed with mufflers fashioned out of bison leather. Her father hypothesised that the guild masters had let this flaw slip through on purpose, because noise was apparently an effective show of intimidation. 

A furrow appeared on Aihui Ying’s smooth forehead.

“Why stop there? Might as well make lightning bolts shoot out of the keel,” she muttered. 

The airships passed overhead. Two smaller ones in front and two behind, guarding the behemoth in between. Each of them was a black monstrosity emblazoned with the silver emblem of the cobra, bamboo-battened sails extending from both sides of the hull and flapping majestically against the cold winds. 

In her childhood, Ying had once disturbed a sleeping lizard lounging on its rock to find out if it was dead. It awoke in a fury, brightly coloured frills flaring from its neck in a spectacular display. That was where the Engineers Guild must have gotten their inspiration from, she reckoned, when they added those sails to the airships. Again, for aesthetics more than functionality.

8 responses to “PW2020 YA #32: OF JADE AND DRAGONS (Silkpunk Fantasy)”

  1. Karly Caserza says:


    Please send first 20 pages to QueryMe.online/Karly/ and please add “PitchWars” before your title. Thank you for sharing your work.

    If another Fuse agent requests your work, please query us one at a time.

  2. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Amber,

    I’d absolutely love to keep reading OF JADE AND DRAGONS! If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com and make sure to include “PW2020” in your subject line?

    Thank you!


  3. Hannah VanVels says:

    Amber! This concept has me doing some serious heart eyes. Silkpunk? Yes, please!!! This story looks incredible, and I’d love to take a look when you’re ready. If more than one agent from Belcastro Agency likes your pitch, please submit to the one that you feel is the best fit.


    Good luck!
    Hannah VanVels

  4. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Amber!

    This sounds AMAZINGGGGG and I’m so excited to see SILKPUNK!!! Can you please send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript at http://querymanager.com/kellypeterson/pitchwars?

    I’m so excited to read your work!!! 🎉 Good luck with everything!
    – Kelly

  5. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Amber, I would love to see more material for this project! If you would like to submit to me, please send me your query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters/50 pages (whichever is longer) at the following link: QueryManager.com/emlysaght/Pitchwars2020

  6. Penny Moore says:

    Hi Amber,

    I love the sound of this, and it’s exactly the type of YA I’d love to read! When you’re ready, please submit your full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/LiteraryPenny/PitchWars2021. Thanks. Looking forward to reading!

    All the best,
    Penny Moore
    Aevitas Creative Management

  7. Hi Amber,

    I love the premise here, and this opening is so interesting. You’ve got me hooked in a big way on this one! I’d love to see the full manuscript. Could you please send it via QueryManager.com/JenniferWills/PitchWars2020? I’d also love to see your query letter and synopsis if you have one.

    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer Wills
    The Seymour 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!