PW #125: MG Supernatural Thriller: THE UNFORTUNATE ONES

Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Stacey Graham
Mentee Name: Phil Hickes
Category: MG
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Word Count: 38,000


Archie Miles thought battling his allergies was bad. But when he disturbs the restless Victorian spirits at his uncle’s church, he’s threatened by something far worse. Now he must fight to protect his uncle – and his only chance of help is six feet under.


Saint John The Baptist church can be found a few miles outside the old mill town of Scardale. It’s an odd location for a church, perched on top of a pudding-shaped hill that’s buffeted by the freezing bands of rain that sweep across northern England. Why it was built in such a bleak place is a question that has yet to be answered. Nobody had cars back in 1736 when the first stones were laid, and only the rich could afford horses. Had the town enjoyed a warm climate, its location would make perfect sense. Parishioners could then stroll to church in the morning sun, enjoying the birdsong and hum of the bees.

But this was Scardale.

Cruel, cold Scardale, a place of black houses, black skies and black souls. Some say the church was deliberately placed on top of an ancient ring of stones, where once, thousands of years ago, strange chants echoed in the night and throats were slit underneath the cold stars.

Others claim the Devil himself came to Scardale one All Hallows Eve and promised the architect a lifetime of riches in return for building the church where nobody wanted to go.

Rumours and stories.

Yet it’s true that few people come walking here after sundown. Not unless they want to go about their business unseen. Even in the daytime, it’s impossible to go for a ramble over the fields without glancing back over your shoulder every few minutes, the sense of being observed becoming too powerful to ignore.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. I’d like to see more of this. Please send the manuscript and a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject line PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of Work

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  2. This reminds me of the MG horror I used to DEVOUR. And I’m such a sucker for cursed churches. I’d love to see the full ms, with PitchWars in the subject line, at Can’t wait to read on!

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  3. I love this and definitely want to see more. Please send the query + synopsis + First 50 pages (I know the question always asked — you can go to the end of a chapter, but no more than 60 pages!) in one word doc to MFsubmissions[at] with “PitchWars Request – THE UNFORTUNATE ONES” as the subject. I can’t wait to take a look!

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