PW #308: Young Adult Magical Realism: CHIMERICAL

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: McKelle George
Mentee Name: Cole Bucciaglia Nagamatsu
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 87,000


No one ever leaves Corinna’s ghost-haunted town—until her neighbor Aidan disappears. But when a traveling carnival arrives, Corinna sees a way out to a vast and dangerous world where Aidan may be hiding. BONE GAP meets THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.


Five months after Aidan vanished, Corinna returned to Moon Crossing with his brother Aly. He stood on top of the bridge while she went under and overturned rocks, pretending to be hopeful that she’d find clues. She whisper-screamed into the creek. There was no answer but the soft sound of water laughing over stones.

She climbed back up. Aly’s breath was loud but cracked, an animal’s huffing. “What was it like to kiss? Could I try?” Aly asked. Corinna placed her hand in his hair and pressed her mouth to his. She didn’t tell him: It was more than that.

Moon Crossing was an old wooden bridge. Never had Corinna seen a car pass over it. It marked the edge of things. The apple orchards in the west and the river in the east were the town’s borders. Beyond were just hills. Corinna had never left—just knew from her parents who’d been taught by their parents that it took “time” to get elsewhere, like “time” was a ship they could step inside.

The timber underfoot shook.

The perennial fog beyond the bridge parted, revealing the front of a purple truck as dark as a starling’s throat. It turned just before the bridge and settled along the grassy ledge over the water. A caravan of candy-colored vehicles followed and tucked themselves around their leader. Rust, rough and textured like barnacles, ate away at their edges. It made Corinna’s teeth hurt.

Author: Nikki Roberti

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  1. This is gripping! Please send the full manuscript (as well as a synopsis if you have one) to with “Pitch Wars: [YOUR TITLE]” as the subject line. Please also include your query in the body of the email. I look forward to reading!

    -Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS

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  2. I love this. Excited to read more. Please send the full manuscript to Suzie at newleafliterary dot com with the query pasted into the first page and REQUESTED PITCH WARS in the subject line. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Cole, this is fantastic and I’d love to see more. When you have a moment, please do send the full manuscript as a word doc attachment with the query in the body of the email and subject line: PitchWars Query: CHIMERICAL to Very much looking forward to digging in.



    Annie Hwang
    Folio Literary Management

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  4. I’m curious to read more. Could you send the complete manuscript as a Word attachment to me at submissions at stonesong dot com?
    Many thanks,
    Emmanuelle Morgen

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  5. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript! Please send your query pasted in the email and the full manuscript attached in a word document to: rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

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  6. Intriguing! I’d love to keep reading. Please send the full manuscript attached as a Word document to with “Pitch Wars – Pete Knapp” in the subject. Looking forward to reading! – Pete Knapp

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  7. Hi Cole,

    I’m Intrigued! Can you please send the complete manuscript – as either a Word Doc or PDF – to victoria.queries@irenegoodman,com with “pitchwars” somewhere in the subject line!

    Thank you so much!


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  8. Great opening. I’d love to read more. Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF with your query in the body of the email to, and be sure to put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.


    Melissa Nasson
    Rubin Pfeffer Content

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