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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.
YA #40: BLACK THREAD FABLE (Fantasy, Jewish #ownvoices)
Ava Reid
Mentored by:
Isabel Ibanez Davis
Book Title:
Black Thread Fable
2018 Entries
Fantasy, Jewish #ownvoices
Word Count:


In a savage world inspired by medieval Hungary, seventeen-year-old Évike can’t heal a snakebite or forge a sewing needle. The only girl in her pagan village without magic, she is considered worthless, and sent as a sacrifice to the cruel king. But a twist of fate forces her to ally with her enemy, a soldier from the king’s holy order, to protect her people from a cleric who wants to purge the kingdom of magic.



The trees have to be tied down by sunset. When the Woodsmen come, they always try to run.

The girls who are skilled forgers fashion iron stakes to drive through the roots of the trees, anchoring them in place. With no gift for forging between the two of us, Boróka and I haul a great length of rope, snaring any trees we pass in clumsy loops and awkward knots. When we finish, it looks like the spiderweb of some giant creature, something the woods might cough up. The thought doesn’t even make me shiver. Nothing that might break through the tree line could be worse than the Woodsmen.

“Who do you think it will be?” Boróka asks. The light of the setting sun filters through the patchy cathedral of tree cover and dapples her face. Tears are pearled in the corners of her eyes.

“Virág,” I say. “With any luck.”

Boróka’s mouth twists.

“Though I suspect halfway through their journey the Woodsmen will tire of her babbling about weather omens and dump her in the Black Lake.”

“You don’t mean that.”

Of course I don’t. I wouldn’t wish the Woodsmen on anybody, no matter how much they lashed me, or how many times I scraped their cold gulyás out of yesterday’s pots. But I’d rather pretend to loathe Virág than worry I might lose her.

28 responses to “YA #40: BLACK THREAD FABLE (Fantasy, Jewish #ownvoices)”

  1. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I really enjoyed this and I’d love to see more. Please send your query in the body of an email, plus your full manuscript and a synopsis (attached). I look forward to reading!

    Lauren Spieller
    TriadaUS Literary Agency

  2. Sarah Landis says:

    Hi! I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please send to slandis@sll.com. Thanks!

  3. Laura Crockett says:

    I’d love to read more! Please send the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com, subject line containing “Pitch Wars.” Looking forward! –Laura, TriadaUS

  4. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway says:

    I’d love to see more! Please send the full ms and a synopsis to crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT come.

  5. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there!

    I’d love to take a look at this full manuscript. Can you please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Thanks! I can’t wait to read!


    Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  6. Sarah Gerton says:

    Hi Ava,

    I hope this finds you well! I’m an associate agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd.–it’s great to e-meet you.

    I was very intrigued by this excerpt of BLACK THREAD FABLE and would love to read more. If you’re interested in submitting to me, would you please send the full manuscript as a word doc to sg@cbltd.com with “PitchWars” in the subject line?

    Thank you, and good luck in the showcase!

    All best,

    Sarah Gerton

  7. Danielle Burby says:

    You have me hooked! And I love your concept. Please send me the manuscript! Submit through this link: http://queryme.online/1352/PitchWars2019

  8. Elizabeth Bewley says:

    Hi Ava,
    I’d be happy to read more! Can you please email me the first 50 pages to ebewley@sll.com?
    Elizabeth Bewley
    Sterling Lord Lit

  9. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Dear Ava,

    I’m excited about this — it could be the ‘fantasy with mass appeal’ I’ve been seeking! Please see my bio at JDLit.com, and if you’d like, please send your query + synopsis pasted into the body of an email with your full attached to: colleen@adventurewrite.com with the subject, #PitchWars – BLACK THREAD FABLE.

    If more than one agent from JDLA requests your manuscript, please feel free to submit to the best fit.

    Thank you and looking forward to reading!
    Colleen Oefelein

  10. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Ava,

    This sounds AWESOME! I love it already. If you wouldn’t mind uploading the full manuscript to QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2019, I’d love to read it.

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  11. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Hi Ava!

    I really love what you have here. Will you please send me the full manuscript as a word doc attachment to channigan@hsgagency.com ?

    I can’t wait to keep reading.

    Best wishes,

  12. Quressa Robinson says:

    Hi Ava,

    I love the fairytale quality of this. Please query me the full MS at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PitchWars2019) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!


  13. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Ava,

    I’d love to see this! Can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  14. Jessica Errera says:

    Hello Ava! I would love to see the full manuscript/synopsis of BLACK THREAD FABLE. If you could email them to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com as attachment/Word doc and please mention PitchWars in the subject. Excited to dive in further!

  15. 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

  16. Jenny Bent says:

    I would love to see this. Can you please send the full ms to me at info@thebentagency.com. Please put the query in the body of your email and #pitchwars in the subject line. Thanks!

  17. Patricia Nelson says:

    Hi Ava,

    I would love to read more of this! Could you please send your query, along with the full manuscript as a Word doc attachment, to patricia@marsallyonliteraryagency.com? Please make the subject line “PitchWars YA Request: Black Thread Fable.”

    Thanks so much!

  18. Heather Cashman says:

    This sounds so good. I’m hooked!
    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

  19. Taylor Martindale Kean says:

    Dear Ava,
    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars! I loved this pitch for BLACK THREAD FABLE, and definitely want to keep reading. Can you send me the full manuscript as a Word doc to fullcirclelit@gmail.com? In the subject line, please include: Attn: Taylor Martindale Kean – Pitch Wars, BLACK THREAD FABLE. Can’t wait to see more of your work!
    All best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary

  20. Karly Caserza says:

    Please query me at http://queryme.online/Karly and include “Pitchwars19” before your title. I’ll immediately request a full. Excited to read your work.

  21. Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Hi! Very intrigued by your pitch and would love to read more. Could you send the the full manuscript to aimee@browerliteray.com in Word format, along with “PITCH WARS Request” in the subject heading? Thank you!

  22. Kerstin Wolf says:

    You had me at the very first sentence of the excerpt! Oh! It’s beautiful! “The trees have to be tied down by sunset” is such a simple sentence, but it completely stunned me! I would love if you could send me the full manuscript at QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars.

  23. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Ava,

    I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com.

    My best,

  24. Kari Sutherland says:

    This is super intriguing and I want to read more! Can you please send me the first 50 pages as an attachment and include “Requested PitchWars” in the subject line? Thank you! Kari – kari@bradfordlit.com

  25. Melissa Nasson says:

    This sounds amazing! Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thank you!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

  26. Annie Hwang says:

    Please send query letter in the body of the email and attach the first fifty pages and a brief 1-2 page synopsis as word docs with the subject line: Pitch Wars: [Title]. You may send to me at: annie@foliolit.com. Thanks so much, I look forward to seeing more!

  27. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Ava,

    I can’t stop thinking about the image of tying down the trees in this open, and I’m really intrigued by the historical setting. Please send your query letter and the full manuscript as a Word doc to dca@doncongdon.com with PITCH WARS REQUEST in the subject line. Thanks and look forward to reading more!

    Katie Grimm

  28. Steven Salpeter says:

    Hello, Ava,

    I’d be delighted to read your full manuscript.

    Would you please submit it here? http://www.literaryagents.io/query-steven-salpeter-submission-guidelines-topstyle/

    All my best,

    Steven Salpeter | Associate Agent | Curtis Brown, Ltd.