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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
Adult #11: THE COMPANY DAUGHTERS (Historical Fiction)
Samantha Rajaram
Mentored by:
Carrie Callaghan
Book Title:
2018 Adult Entries
Historical fiction
Word Count:


Amsterdam, 1616. Jana Beil, newly escaped from a brothel and long-accustomed to hardship, is desperate for safety. When she finds servant work for the Reynst family, she risks becoming comfortable—even allowing herself to fall in love with her employer’s daughter. But a shipwreck robs the family of everything, and Jana must decide just how far to pursue her clandestine love. Perhaps even across the world.



Three knocks on the door. I use the knuckle of my forefinger, quiet but distinct.




Theirs is the same dark green door of the other houses in the Herengracht. Black shutters on the windows and small, red bricks. Unlike the others, cheerful blue crocuses line the doorstoep. The blooms slant toward the sun, opening like little mouths to the light, reminding me of my sister Hlaska when she was hungry for havermout and milk in the morning.

When I see such flowers in our gray city, I think their planting is generous. Color to break up all this dimmed sky. The petunias in boxes at windowsills, hyacinths and hydrangeas in pots outside doors. Little gifts. To beggars and fishmongers and soldiers and sailors trudging the streets, surviving.

To girls like me, seeking escape.

My stomach makes its hunger noises, and I hope the growling stops before I speak to the owner of this house. I’ve not eaten in two days. No sourgrass here in Amsterdam and I’m too ashamed to beg from the merchants, afraid of what they may ask for in return, afraid of being sent to the Spinhuis for begging.

My neck is still bruised near my nape. Blue thumbprints on my hips. I feel scraped out from my hunger, and my bones pull like dull blades against my skin.

Unhurried steps approach the door.

10 responses to “Adult #11: THE COMPANY DAUGHTERS (Historical Fiction)”

  1. I would like to receive a Word document of the first three chapters, a synopsis, and an author bio (including all social media links) as an attachment to an email: rosenberglitsubmit@icloud.com

  2. Carrie Pestritto says:

    I have been quietly dying for a Dutch historical fiction project for years, so I was SO EXCITED to see your entry here. I would love to read the full!

    Would you please send me an email with your query in the body and the partial as a Word doc attachment? You can reach me at cpestritto(at)ldlainc(dot)com. Subject should be PITCHWARS REQUEST – THE COMPANY DAUGHTERS.

    Thanks so much and can’t wait to read!!

  3. Amanda Jain says:

    What a great opening! I’d love to read more of this. Please email your full manuscript as a Word doc to ajain@bookendsliterary.com with PitchWars in the subject line. I look forward to reading!!

  4. Ginger Clark says:

    Hi, I would love to see this. Please send the full manuscript as an attachment (a PDF, RTF, or Word Document is fine) to my email address which is gc@cbltd.com . Please include “Pitchwars 2019 Request” in the subject line. Thank you very much.

  5. Melissa Danaczko says:

    Hi Samantha, I would love the opportunity to read more. Can you please email me (mdquery@skagency.com) the query letter and manuscript? Thanks!

  6. Shannon Hassan says:

    This sounds terrific! And lovely to see that Carrie is your mentor. Please send a query letter + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks, Shannon

  7. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Samantha!

    I love this premise, and your opening voice has such potential! I’d love to see your first 50 pages of this manuscript. If you’d like to send, please paste your query and attach your synopsis and 50 pages to an e-mail to Kelly@corvisieroagency.com. Make sure to include Pitch Wars in the e-mail title, and I look forward to reading more!

    Wishing you the best of luck,

    Kelly Peterson

  8. Laura Crockett says:

    I’m intrigued! Could you send me the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com, subject line containing “Pitch Wars,” please? Looking forward to it! –Laura, TriadaUS

  9. Laura Bradford says:

    This one sounds so intriguing! I love historical fiction and I’ve not read a ton set in the 1600s so I am really compelled here. Please email me the first 100 pages + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait to read more!

  10. Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Hi! Very intrigued by your pitch and would love to read more. Could you send the the full manuscript to aimee@browerliteray.com in Word format, along with “PITCH WARS Request” in the subject heading? Thank you!