PW #311: Young Adult Historical Fantasy: THE BRIGHTEST SHADE OF FLAME

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Heather Cashman
Mentee: Andrea Kjaer
Category/Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 90,000


When a Norseman possessed by a treasure-hungry djinni steals Anje’s mythical hammer, she chases him into the treacherous world of seafaring raiders. Attraction sparks when the two must ally against the brutal Viking conqueror who would enslave them and claim the hammer’s power for himself.



Papa told me and my brother a riddle. Standing in the center of the great hall, he threw his arms out wide. “Everything on these walls is true, but one of these walls lies.”

The smoke-blackened tapestries, engraved runes, and chiseled pictures covering the spruce boards of our longhouse beckoned me to untangle the half-told tales of our ancestors and gods. Their stories were so intertwined it seemed that if one of the walls lied, our whole lives might be undone.

Tyrson and I ventured a few smart guesses about the lie. When we ran out of walls, Mama laughed, flinging aside the tapestry next to her bedchamber. She slipped her finger underneath a discolored wood knot and answered the riddle with a sly smile. “Everything on these walls is true, but one of these walls is false.”


How little I’d known of life’s undoing then.

In the dimness of the late afternoon, I stood where Mama had that day. I read the words carved into our longhouse’s history not long after.

In the year the strangers came, young Tyrson felled two raiders, saving his mother and sister. His blood still stains this hearth, may the stones ever honor his memory.

It wasn’t wrong to borrow his hammer now, but the embroidered wolf on the tapestry seemed to disagree. He scowled within his woad-threaded seascape, as if warning me to leave his curtain and the hidden compartment behind it alone. I swept aside his blue-beaded glare and opened the secret cupboard.


Author: Heather Cashman

With a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, the lab reports always lacked the fantastical element Heather's imagination demands. Hypotheses turned into taglines and novels, so she's going back to college for a Creative Writing degree. Her novels range from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Speculative Fiction, she dabbles in picture books, and is currently seeking representation. ~Member SCBWI

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  1. I’d love to take a look! Can you send the first 50 pages (attached as a .doc), paste your query letter into the body of the email, and include PITCH WARS + title in the subject line to querylisa [at] awfulagent [dot] com? Thanks!

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  2. I’ve been looking for something like this! Could you send me the official query in the body of an email, the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc, and “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com? Thanks!

    –Laura Crockett, TriadaUS Literary Agency

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  3. I’d love to read more. Could you send the complete manuscript as a Word attachment to submissions at stonesong dot com?
    Many thanks,
    Emmanuelle Morgen

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  4. 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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  5. This sounds really cool! 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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