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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.
YA #20: STAR SHADOW (Space Opera)
Lyssa Mia Smith
Mentored by:
Hoda Agharazi
Book Title:
Star Shadow
2018 Entries
Space Opera
Word Count:


Cinder meets Orphan Black. Tessara is the princess’s devoted body double—until she slips and reveals her real name to an enemy hacker. To avoid execution for treason, she must convince him she’s the true princess. As her lies unravel and her traitorous feelings for him deepen, Tessara grapples with a brutal possibility: the greatest danger to her planet may be the princess she’s sworn to protect.



The stars are taunting me again.

They lure my attention from the closed door, reminding me of the distant worlds hidden in the vast night sky. I don’t dare imagine what it’d be like to visit them one day. No, my dreams are much smaller: the Azivan sun on my skin. Fresh air. Second helpings of dessert. Cautious aspirations, but as far from my grasp as these damn stars.

My hands curl into fists, nails piercing the delicate skin of my palms. When you’re the princess’s body double, dreams are treacherous things.

The door scrapes open. I jump to my feet, finally leaving—

“It’s only me.” Princess Stella flashes me a sympathetic smile before she pulls the heavy door closed. Thanks to my cosmetic surgeries, we are identical. Yet her limbs manage to look longer. More graceful.

A knot forms in my throat. I hope no one notices that tonight.

She lifts a perfectly arched brow. “You’ve been pacing the whole time, haven’t you?”

I fill my lungs with the stale room air I’ve breathed for months, then let it out slowly. “He’s late.”

“He’s on his way.”


She nods, her eyes alight.

My heart clamors against my rib cage as I gape at the door behind her. Once it opens, my longest assignment to date will begin. I’ll have days—maybe even weeks—outside my room.

And I’m ready.

7 responses to “YA #20: STAR SHADOW (Space Opera)”

  1. Zabé Ellor says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to see more! Please send the query, synopsis, and first 30 pages to me via QueryManager (http://queryme.online/ZabeEllor)

    If more than one JDLA agent requests your project, please submit to the one you feel will be the best fit!

  2. Elana Roth Parker says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more! Please email me at eparker [at] ldlainc [dot] com:

    * Subject line: PitchWars Submission: YOUR BOOK TITLE
    * Your query letter in the body of the email
    * The full manuscript attached as a Word document

    Elana Roth Parker
    Laura Dail Literary Agency

  3. Jessica Errera says:

    Hello Lyssa! I would really like to see the first three chapters of STAR SHADOW and a synopsis if you have one. If you could email them to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com–pasted into the body is fine and please mention PitchWars in the subject–that would be great!

  4. Heather Cashman says:

    This sounds so intriguing!
    If you think we’d be a good fit, please send the full to heather.stormliteraryagency@gmail.com with Pitch Wars Query, your name, and the title in the subject line.
    Thank you and good luck!
    Heather Cashman
    Storm Literary Agency

  5. Marlo Berliner says:

    I like the premise, so I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  6. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hello! I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript of STAR SHADOW. Please send it along as a word document to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience.

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Inc.

  7. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Lyssa,

    Your pitch has caught the eye of my brilliant colleague Tamara Kawar. She would love to read. Please do send the full manuscript as a word document to tkawar@icmpartners.com.

    My best,