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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 #16: THE BOOK OF JINN (Contemporary Fantasy: #OwnVoices)
S.Z. Muttalib
Mentored by:
Margie Fuston
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary Fantasy: #OwnVoices
Word Count:


CEMETERY BOYS meets CITY OF BRASS. After a botched incantation allows her to see jinn, Zarina's life consists of banishing them back to the jinn world before they can wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans—all while dodging disapproving stares from aunties at her Los Angeles mosque. But when more jinn start appearing, Zarina realizes something wants to tear down the veil that separates their world from hers. To protect everyone she loves, she must team up with her estranged childhood sweetheart who blames her for his sister’s death.



When we were kids, the jinn were just the stuff of Naani’s stories. Stories she told in the dark. In them, the jinn sounded simultaneously cool and scary as hell, like a Bollywood crossover between ghosts and the walking dead. They took the form of women in white saris that hypnotized a great uncle, of a twisted giant that met our grandfather on a desolate road, and of a wraith in a tree that descended upon a great aunt during her midnight stroll.

Then we lived through our so-called accident. The night a single incantation extinguished a million possible futures.

The night Hafsa died.

After that, the jinn weren’t just in the stories.

They were everywhere.

One’s here now, drenched in fog and draped in ivory chiffon, spinning as if in a trance under a row of browning palm trees. Eyes the color of a dying sunset loll eerily in its head. The first time I saw a jinn, fear nearly dug my heart out of my chest. Since then, I’ve seen hundreds, but my stomach still folds in on itself as I take in this jinn’s inverted feet and twisted arms.

27 responses to “PW2021 YA #16: THE BOOK OF JINN (Contemporary Fantasy: #OwnVoices)”

  1. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi S.Z.,

    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. Jennifer March Soloway says:

    Dear Sana,
    As you know, I wasn’t planning to do this round of Pitch Wars, but I was very excited about your project and wanted to be able to request it right away, so here I am. I love, love, love this pitch. Better yet, Zarina’s voice immediately pulled me into the story. The story is lingering with me. I am with Zarina, standing in the fog, wondering about the jinn (as well as why her childhood sweetheart blames her for his sister’s death), and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

    f you think I could be a good fit for you, please query me and submit the full manuscript: QueryManager.com/JenniferMarchSoloway/PitchWars2022

    I love a good story and look forward to reading yours!

  3. Amanda Rutter says:

    I would love you to submit your Pitch Wars entry to me, using my Query Manager form: QueryManager.com/Amanda_Rutter/PitchWars Please send through the query letter and the full manuscript. If more than one Azantian agent requests materials, please pick the one you feel would fit you best.

  4. Ismita Hussain says:

    Hi S.Z, Oh my goodness, your excerpt is so gripping! I also grew up with my mother and my Nani telling me about jinn and you’ve hit it right on the mark–they always sounded cool but scary at the same time. I’m usually not looking for fantasy but when I read the premise of your story, I couldn’t not request it! If you think we would be a good fit for each other (you can learn more about me and Great Dog Literary at https://greatdogliterary.com/about) I’d love to get a query from you with the full manuscript, synopsis, and a bio. The query link is QueryManager.com/IsmitaHussain/PitchWars

  5. Beth Phelan says:

    Oh wow, creepy cliffhanger! 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.

  6. Alex Rice says:

    Would love to see this manuscript in my inbox! Please send over the full manuscript and a synopsis to me at alex.rice@caa.com, using the subject line of “Pitch Wars Query // TITLE.” If another agent at CAA also requests, please include their name in the query as well. Looking forward to reading! All my best, Alex Rice

  7. Hannah Andrade says:

    I absolutely LOVE the sound of this! Can you please send the first 100 pages of this to me on my QueryManager (https://QueryManager.com/hannahandrade)? And don’t forget to put PitchWars in the subject line along with your project. I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi S.Z.,
    This sounds great! I’d love to take a look. Please upload your materials to booksubmissions.caa.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.
    Best wishes,

  9. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Hi S.Z.,

    This is such a great pitch and first glimpse! Could you please send your query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you!


  10. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear S.Z.,

    I’d love to keep reading THE BOOK OF JINN! If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com and make sure to include “PW2021” in your subject line?

    Thank you!


  11. 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

  12. Marcy Posner says:

    Hi S.Z.— Such a chilling final paragraph. I’m mesmerized by the way you meld exposition and scene. Please send your full manuscript as an attachment with your query letter in the email body to marcy@foliolit.com. Make sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line so I can find it easily! If you happen to receive requests from my other colleagues, please select the agent you are most interested in working with and send materials only to them.

  13. Michaela Whatnall says:

    I’m so pulled in by the world of this story, and by the powers that Zarina is grappling with! 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!

  14. Laurel Symonds says:

    Hello! I’d like to see more of this! If you’re interested, please send me your query + first 25 pages with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com. (If more than one agent from The Bent Agency requests materials, feel free to send to all of us–just let us know. Thank you!) Looking forward to reading more!

  15. Sarah N. Fisk says:

    This sounds so good! Please submit the query, synopsis and first three chapters here: https://querymanager.com/query/sarahnfisk/PitchWars

    If multiple agents at Tobias request your materials, please submit to the one you think would be the best fit.

  16. D. Ann Williams says:

    Hi S.Z.,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! Your excerpt is intriguing, and I would love to read more. Please feel free to send me your query, full manuscript, and synopsis (if you have one) to QueryManager.com/DAnnWilliams/PitchWars2022

    Please let us know if you get multiple requests from ECLA agents, and we will coordinate internally if one (or more!) of us falls in love with your manuscript.

    Have a great showcase!
    D. Ann Williams (she/they), Associate Agent, Emerald City Literary Agency

  17. Becca Langton says:

    Hello! I thought this was a really arresting opening and I’d love to read more. Please do query me through my email, becca@darleyanderson.com and include #Pitch Wars in the subject line. Darley Anderson is a well established global agency and I am so pleased to be building a US focussed list in a team that includes a Film and TV agent and a well experienced international rights team.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  18. 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!

  19. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi S.Z.,

    I’m intrigued! Please send the full manuscript, preceded by your bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document), to https://querymanager.com/SandyLu/Requested_Materials

    I look forward to reading more!

    Sandy Lu
    Book Wyrm Literary Agency

  20. Laura Bradford says:

    This sounds so creepy and amazing! I’d love to see more! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    Thank you!
    Laura Bradford

    ***If you receive a request from more than one agent at Bradford Literary Agency, you are welcome to send to all agents who made the request, but just let us know when you send the material***

  21. Karly Dizon says:

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

  22. Lee OBrien says:

    Hi S.Z.,

    I’d love to read this! Could you send the query and full MS to lee.queries@irenegoodman.com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line?

    If more than one IGLA agent requests your work, please only send to one of us at a time—if they pass, you’re welcome to reach out to another!


  23. Roseanne Wells says:

    YES! This is great, S.Z. And the premise sounds awesome! 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!

  24. Chelsea Hensley says:

    Hi! This sounds great, I’d love to read more! 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

  25. Penelope Burns says:

    I’d like to see more of this! If you’d like, can you send the first 50 pages and your query to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  26. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi S.Z.!

    What an incredible premise! My assistant and I are 100% hooked and would love to read on. Please send us your query, synopsis, and full manuscript via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/christa_heschke/PitchWars2122

    Thank you!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  27. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi S.Z.! I’d love to take a look at the first five 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]