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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.
PW2021 YA #26: OF MYTH AND VENOM (#OwnVoices Epic Fantasy)
Akila Rayapuraju
Mentored by:
Meg Long and Rochelle Hassan
Book Title:
Young Adult
#OwnVoices Epic Fantasy
Word Count:



The only home Bhanu has ever known is a secluded hut deep in the wilderness. But when her grandmother’s death brings danger to their doorstep, Bhanu and her mother flee into a ravaged, post-apocalyptic world overrun by monstrous beasts and a power-hungry cult.

To survive, Bhanu joins up with a girl hunting for her father and a boy searching for a lost god. Their only hope lies in a map to a mythical paradise left behind by Bhanu’s grandmother. But as the map dredges up secrets better left buried, Bhanu must decide if the answers at the end of the road are worth the deadly journey.



There had always been the question of after. 

Ammamma must have the answer now, Bhanu thought, watching the smoke from the funeral pyre mingle with the sky.

Bhanu and her mother burned Ammamma’s body on top of a rocky ledge that overlooked the jungle. They had been lucky. Though it was the wet season, a blue sky watched over the world that morning. Everything was still damp from the previous night’s rain, but they had plenty of dry wood stored for the pyre—Ammamma had made sure of it. She had been preparing for her death for a very long time.

They’d hated when Ammamma talked about her death. Which was often.

Her grandmother would always shake her head, tongue clicking, bones clacking. “I am not bringing upon myself anything that isn’t already coming.” 

She was right, of course. But Bhanu could not imagine a life without Ammamma. At least Priya had a life before all this, even if it was in a world falling apart. All Bhanu had ever known were these woods, this gudise, her mother, and Ammamma. Now, Ammamma was gone. It was Bhanu’s first death.

18 responses to “PW2021 YA #26: OF MYTH AND VENOM (#OwnVoices Epic Fantasy)”

  1. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi Akila,

    This sounds great! If you’d like to query me at QueryManager.com/ErnieChiara and include your first 20 pages with Pitch Wars in the referral box, I would love to check it out!

    Thanks so much, and best of luck!

    Ernie Chiara,
    Fuse Literary

  2. Masha Gunic says:

    I would love to see this! Please send me your query and full manuscript to masha@azantianlitagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If any other agents from ALA request this as well, please send to one of us at a time at your choice.

  3. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look! You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If more than one DGB agent requests, please feel free to choose whoever feels like the best fit! Just let us know who else requested, and we’ll work it out in house!

  4. Hi, Akila. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! Can you send me the full and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Paste your pitch in the body of the email and attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Send to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.
    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime
    Looking forward to reading more.

  5. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I’ve been looking forward to this one, and I’d love to read more. Please send your query + full manuscript + synopsis to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren Spieller

  6. Samantha Wekstein says:

    Hi Akila,

    This sounds great! I adore The 100 and love your setup here. I’d like to read more. If interested, can you please send your query and first 50 pages to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWekstein/PitchWars? Thank you!

    All the best,

    Samantha Wekstein

  7. Beth Phelan says:

    This is compelling! Would love to read more.

    Please submit your query letter and the full manuscript at this link: QueryManager.com/querybeth/PitchWars. I’d appreciate it if you pasted your query letter as the first page of your manuscript (like a sort of cover sheet), so when I send it to my kindle, I’ll have both!

    If another agent at GZLA requests your work as well, feel free to submit to both of us, but let us know that the other has it too.

  8. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Akila!

    I love a good dystopian fantasy, and your voice is beautiful! I’d love to read your full manuscript, if you wouldn’t mind sending it to me. This link will lead you to my Query Manager, where you can upload your query, synopsis, and full manuscript: QueryManager.com/KellyPeterson/PitchWars

    Wishing you the best of luck, and hoping to see your manuscript! =)

    Warm Regards,
    Kelly Peterson
    Rees Literary Agency

  9. Michaela Whatnall says:

    Anything that comps to The 100 immediately grabs my attention, and I love the sense of atmosphere and high stakes I get from your pitch! I would love the opportunity to consider this project. Please send a query and the first 50 pages as a Word document to me via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/michaelawhatnall/PitchWars2021 If you have any trouble using the link, you’re welcome to email me instead at mwhatnall@dystel.com.

    If you’ve received a request from more than one Dystel, Goderich & Bourret agent, please only submit to the agent here that you feel would be the best fit, and let that agent know about any other requests you received from our agency. Thank you!

  10. Alec Shane says:

    This sounds fantastic – full MS please, to ashane@writershouse.com

  11. Chelsea Hensley says:

    Hey Akila! I’d love to read more of this! If you’re interested, you can send the full manuscript, your query, and a complete synopsis to my Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/Chelseahensley/PitchWars2021

  12. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Akila,
    Your prose is lovely and OF MYTH AND VENOM sounds beautiful – I’d love the chance to take a look at the full manuscript if you’re open to sharing it with me. I’m at andreasubmissions (at) writershouse.com. (We just ask that creators only submit to one Writers House agent at one time.) I hope to see your novel. Congrats on being at this point in your process!
    All best,
    Andrea Morrison

  13. Kaitlyn Sanchez says:

    I’d be delighted to consider this. Please see submission guidelines here: https://www.contextlit.com/submissions under Kaitlyn Sanchez, and please put PITCH WARS REQUEST and your genre and title in the subject line of the email. Thanks for sharing your work!

  14. Kari Sutherland says:

    Ooh! Your voice in this sample is so engaging and I’d love to read more about Bhanu and her world! If you think we’d be a good match, please send the full to me using the submission form: QueryManager.com/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form/PitchWars.

    Warm wishes,

  15. Karly Dizon says:

    Hi! I absolutely love the concept behind your work. Can you please send me your first 10 pages here:

  16. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great! I would love to read more. Can you please send the full manuscript attached as a Word document to queries@parkfine.com with “Pete Knapp – Pitch Wars – YA” in the subject of your email? Please include the query letter at the start of your Word document, and if available please also send a short synopsis (but no worries if not readily available). Thanks! I look forward to reading.

    Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  17. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi Akila! I’d love to take a look at the first 5 chapters of your book. Please send them as an attached word document file along with your full synopsis to: jessica@jenniferlyonsliteraryagency.com, and please include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line so I can make sure and read quickly. Thanks! – Jessica Felleman [she/her]

  18. Roseanne Wells says:

    Hi Akila,

    I love this opening, and I’m so intrigued by the premise (plus I love Hindu mythology). I’d love to take a look. Please submit the full manuscript and a synopsis to querymanager.com/roseannewells/pitchrequest, and I’m excited to keep reading!