PW #320: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy: THE DEVOURING GRAY

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Amanda Foody
Mentee Name: Christine Herman
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000


In exchange for unnatural powers, the founding families of Four Paths, NY trapped a monster within a haunting dimension called the Gray.

New girl Violet Saunders accidentally releases it.

She must team up with disgraced golden boy Justin Hawthorne to unravel horrifying family secrets–before the Gray devours them all.



After the body was found, Justin Hawthorne and his sister May knelt in their backyard and prepared to read the future.

One-by-one, May dealt the Deck of Omens face-down on the grass between them. The all-seeing eyes on the backs of the cards stared emptily at the canopy of leaves above. Justin’s skin prickled as he studied their irises–white like the eyes of the dead man.

He hadn’t seen the body, but what remained of corpses spat out by the Gray always looked the same. Eyes bleached the color of curdled milk. The ribcage inverted, bones slicing through colorless, bloated skin like antlers rising from the body’s back.

“I don’t have to ask the cards.” May’s voice didn’t lend itself well to gentleness, but she was trying. She knew what it had cost Justin to ask for this reading.

Because it should’ve been him commanding the Deck of Omens. Him wielding his family’s abilities to protect their town.

But he was powerless. A rotten branch on a healthy tree.

For the first time since Justin failed his ritual, the Gray had lured a man into its world, where the Beast hungrily awaited its prey.

Justin wouldn’t sit idly by as others died. Powers or not, he was still a Hawthorne. He would find a way to keep Four Paths safe.

His fate lay in the cards.

Either he’d succeed, or he’d have to accept that he didn’t belong in his family–or this town.

Author: Nikki Roberti

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  1. Wow, I love this premise *and* the voice is great. You also have two of my favorite comps! 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’d love to read more. Please send first 50 pages in word format (and query) to slieberman(at)janklow(dot)com and reference Pitch Wars in the subject line.

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  3. I’d love to read more! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to Include Pitch Wars in the subject of your email and paste your query in the body.

    Looking forward to reading! Thanks.

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  4. I’m interested in seeing more of this! Please send the query + the first 50 pages (as a word document) to rachel(at)lperkinsagency(dot)com with Pitch Wars: TITLE in the subject line. Thanks!

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  5. I would love to see more of this! Please send a query (in the body of the email) plus the first 50 pages as a Word doc attachment to, and make sure to put “Pitch Wars Request” and the title in the subject line.

    Looking forward to reading!

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  6. I’d love to keep reading! 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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