Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Mentee Name: M.K. England
Category: YA
Genre: Space Opera
Word Count: 80,000


Seventeen-year-old Nax Khan, Academy washout and wrongly-accused outlaw, must band together with his fellow failures to steal a ship, evade space murderers, clear their names, and save the galaxy that rejected them all. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY meets FIREFLY with a diverse teen cast.


Name: Nax Khan.

Status: FAILURE.

I’ve been at the Academy for exactly twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours and I’ve already washed out.


I shove my wadded up, still-clean boxers into my travel bag, right next to my brand new Academy t-shirt that I just bought yesterday. May as well burn it now. Maybe I’ll light it on fire and hoist it up the flagpole at Command once I’m back on Earth soil.

A snort echoes faintly through the barracks from a few beds away. Then, a murmuring voice: “… shouldn’t have bothered unpacking. Everyone knew he was gonna fail out from the second he got here. You should have seen Dr. Herrera’s face when he walked up to the front! I thought Khan was gonna…”

My flight papers crumple in my fist and I breathe in, slow and deep, barely resisting the urge to chuck one of my boots at the asshole. He waltzed into the exam room today with a dickish smile and cheesy handshake, like a damn politician or something. And the examiners ate it up. If that’s what they’re looking for in future colonists, then it’s no wonder they decided to pass on the cow-town fail boat. Me.

I dump the pile of travel-sized toiletries on top of my clothes, not particularly caring if they leak all over everything, then tug at the zipper. Of course it resists me, because nothing would make this day better than to miss the shuttle back to Earth because I’m too incompetent to even zip my bag.


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

Share This Post On


  1. You had me at Guardians of the Galaxy meets Firefly. I’d love to check this out! Please send the first 100 pages as an attached doc to Please put in the subject line Pitch Wars Request. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
  2. This sounds fantastic! Please send the full ms as an attachment to query(at) and include “Pitch Wars Request for Jackie” in the subject line. Thank you!

    Post a Reply
  3. I’d like to see more! Please send a query + the full MS to leon@lperkinsagency (with Pitch Wars in the subject line), along with a one-sentence description of your book.

    Post a Reply
  4. Hi MK,

    I’d love to read the full–send it on over to, as an attached .doc. Please paste the pitch you’ve used here into the first page of the doc, so that I know which project it is.

    Mandy Hubbard
    Emerald City Literary Agency
    (Formerly D4EO Literary)

    Post a Reply
  5. Hi, M.K.- I’d love to read further! Please email the full to as a Word doc, and be sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

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

    Post a Reply
  6. I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages attached as a word document to:



    Rena Rossner

    Post a Reply
  7. I’d love to take a look! Please send the full manuscript, a query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

    Post a Reply
  8. I love this and definitely want to see more. How can I resist a mashup of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and FIREFLY!? 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 – SPACE ACADEMY REJECTS” as the subject. I can’t wait to take a look!

    Post a Reply


  1. #PitchWars Wrap-Up & Celebration | MK England | YA author and librarian - […] read books, played video games, and wrote fanfic to recover. Somewhere in here I submitted my 50-word pitch and…
  2. Pitch Wars Agent Round - Brenda Drake | Brenda Drake - […] PW #202: YA Science Fiction: SPACE ACADEMY REJECTS […]
  3. Pitch Wars is Coming! | MK England | YA author and librarian - […] agents!) check out all the samples and request more pages from those that interest them. Here’s my Agent Showcase…

Leave a Reply to Melissa Nasson Cancel reply