Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

Young Adult

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2020 and continuing through 2021. The Showcase site will undergo scheduled maintenance on February 11 and February 12 from 3 – 4 a.m. ET. Please do not make any requests at that time.

PW2020 YA #19: ART OF DEATH (#OwnVoices Chinese Fantasy)

As a priestess who reanimates corpses to shepherd them home, Daiyu is accustomed to death. But when death comes for her ailing father, she refuses to let go. Unable to afford treatment, Daiyu accepts a risky job guiding a prince's corpse back from a battlefield—only the prince awakens more alive than dead.

To re-anchor his soul in his body, they must capture energy from malicious ghosts while uncovering the mystery of his untimely death—a truth that threatens not only Daiyu’s father but the fate of the entire kingdom.

PW2020 YA #20: ERNEST BYRD: TYPICAL BOY (Contemporary Rom-Com – Trans #OwnVoices)

Ernest will do anything to prove his true gender to his classmates, and his plan is simple: join his new school’s illustrious Borrow a Boyfriend club, where members rent themselves out to their classmates for dates. After all, the club has “boy” right there in the title. But in order to become a member, Ernest has to show off his boyfriend skills and romance the club’s prickish president. Not a problem. It’s not like they’re going to fall in love or anything.

PW2020 YA #21: SOMEBODY’S HERO (Speculative – Superheroes #OwnVoices Aro/Ace)

After defusing a hostage situation, 18-year-old Burger Bell cashier Phoebe is offered a chance to join a superhero support team, the Sidekicks. Childhood dream fulfillment, plus health insurance to cover her little sister’s life-threatening surgery? Hell yeah. Her trial mission is gathering intel on Shadow, the city’s most notorious supervillain. But instead of an evil mastermind, Phoebe finds a dorky highschool dropout who invites her on a heist that could save her sister’s life.

This is Phoebe’s chance to be a hero—if she doesn’t become the villain first.

YA THE BOYS x WE COULD BE HEROES

PW2020 YA #22: A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS (#OwnVoices Alt. Historical Fantasy/Sapphic Romance)

In 1800s China under foreign occupation, 17-year-old Athena has a set script: survive finishing school, marry well. But when visions of future deaths entangle her in a dangerous conspiracy, she must forsake the life she’s known to save her family and her people.

DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE + Jane Austen

PW2020 YA #23: BOUND BY BLOOD (Gothic Fantasy)

UPROOTED x YA REBECCA

With her family and homeland suffering from a destructive curse, eighteen-year-old Eleanor agrees to marry the fabled Autumn Lord in exchange for a cure. But when he doesn’t keep his end of the bargain, a bloodthirsty creature emerges from the plague. Battling a growing attraction to her mysterious husband, Eleanor must stop the monster before it destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.

PW2020 YA #24: WE RISE LIKE EMPERORS (Fantasy – Chinese #OwnVoices)

THE UNTAMED meets THE CRUEL PRINCE—

Lanyu is the charming, shameless, brothel-hopping son of a powerful family in Tianhua. When the Emperor orders Lanyu’s little sister to become his concubine, Lanyu is terrified she’ll lose her life to treacherous palace politics. Desperate, he arms himself with rouges, dresses as a woman, and takes her place to sabotage the union.

But Lanyu miscalculates and, in disguise, is forced to marry the uptight Third Prince instead, sweeping him into a vicious struggle for the throne wherein his morally righteous spouse is the worst contender. If Lanyu’s to survive, he must outwit the court’s sharpest players and lift his husband onto the throne—without getting caught in his deception.

PW2020 YA #25: PALE NIGHT DARK CITY (Fantasy)

TRUE GRIT x WHERE DREAMS DESCEND 

When Ma takes her own life, she amplifies Cassidy’s rot—the lethal power to decay anything, dead or alive, with her touch. Now Cassidy’s strong enough to kill the two immortal witches who have imprisoned half the Great Plains in eternal day and half in eternal night. Cassidy vows to save her sisters from a life of poverty under the Sun Witch’s reign. But before she can use her power, she must seduce the Moon Witch’s prince into revealing his worst secret—or face her own.

PW2020 YA #26: WE SHALL BE MONSTERS (Fantasy – Fat-positive, Autism Rep #OwnVoices)

STRANGE THE DREAMER meets GIRL, SERPENT, THORN

After centuries trapped as a statue, plus-size Gia wants revenge.

But if she's going to kill the immortal man who doomed her and usurped her sister, she needs to get her hands—and likely her blade—on the handsome autistic boy whose prayers woke her.

PW2020 YA #27: ADRIAN KELLER’S GUIDE TO CRUSHES, CORPSES, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE (Contemporary Fantasy)

Adrian’s plans for his Easter holiday didn’t include community service and they definitely didn’t include a group of old-aged necromancers reanimating bodies. But when a corpse goes missing, he’s the one that has to track it down—before anyone notices the dead man walking.

PW2020 YA #28: CALL HIM BY NAME (Contemporary, Novel-in-Verse #OwnVoices)

THE POET X  x  BLOOD WATER PAINT

Amina’s father believes silence is safety, but she is her mother’s daughter. Her voice is her weapon, words her shield—and they carried Amina’s mother until her death in Sierra Leone. Amina knows the power of speaking. But when she is sexually assaulted by her pastor, a popular community figure, she finally understands her father’s silence. Amina has to find her voice again, confronting her abuser in the courtroom and her heart—and call him by name.

Told through non-linear free-verse and mixed-media with tonal similarities to HBO’s I MAY DESTROY YOU.

PW2020 YA #29: BEGUILED AND BEWITCHED (Fantasy)

CHARLIE’S ANGELS meets BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

When seventeen-year-old Gabrielle Beaumont’s father is mysteriously abducted, she coerces a handsome courtier into posing as her betrothed and gains entrance to Le Grand Palais, where she discovers her father is the Queen’s spymaster. Becoming a lady-in-waiting—a spy for the Queen—offers her a chance to find her father. But when her betrothed becomes her mark, she must discern enemies from allies—or risk her father’s life.

PW2020 YA #30: GANG (#OwnVoices Thriller)

A powerful story about American exceptionalism and the lengths one will go to fit in, perfect for fans of They Wish They Were US:

When Nigerian-American Anne is tapped to join the most popular group at her ‘whiter than white’ private school, she’s skeptical. She’s known them since they were kids and they’ve never offered friendship before. Now they want something in return: the group leader wants Anne to help kill his ex-girlfriend, who also happens to be Anne’s former best friend. And Anne doesn’t hate the idea… or the boy behind it.

PW2020 YA #32: OF JADE AND DRAGONS (Silkpunk Fantasy)

SPIN THE DAWN x DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE

When her father is murdered, Ying’s quest for justice drives her to uncover his past within the prestigious Engineers Guild. She enters the guild’s apprenticeship trial in disguise, with the help of an ambitious prince. But the secrets they hide can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and revenge could mean going against everything her father stood for.

Inspired by Harjol, the ordinary girl who became one of the most extraordinary concubines of the Qing dynasty.

PW2020 YA #33: UPSWELL (Contemporary Drama)

During a petty argument over a stolen wave, 17-year-old Jaydon impulsively throws a sucker punch, killing another surfer. He is sentenced to a youth rehabilitation program working with wild horses deep in the Australian bush, where he is forced to confront how his life has gone so wildly off-track. But as Jaydon lets go of his anger, his victim’s mother embraces hers and comes after Jaydon, jeopardizing his tenuous hopes for redemption. JASPER JONES x BOY SWALLOWS UNIVERSE.

PW2020 YA #34: FEATHER & CROWN (Fantasy Retelling)

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES x F/F SWAN LAKE

Friede of Trennen must choose a husband from three princes--one loveless marriage will make her a queen. But when an enchanting swan-princess leads Friede to a lake of cursed girls hidden deep in Trennen’s wood, freeing them will test Friede’s resolve and her loyalty to her own kingdom.

PW2020 YA #35: BECOMING CINDERELLA (Contemporary Rom-Com)

Kasie West meets Notting Hill. Small-town teen Carter has one goal in life—and it’s not to eventually take over her mom’s dance studio. She wants her friend Jared to fall romantic-movie-level in love with her. After saving teen movie star Liam, in town filming a new version of Cinderella, from a mob of fans, she thinks she’s found her solution. If Liam will use his rom-com knowledge to set up scenarios for Jared to fall for her, she’ll teach him to dance like the pro he bluffed he was. Between clandestine dance rehearsals and flirting lessons, Carter starts feeling like a real-life Cinderella. Until she wonders if the happily ever after she’s working for is the one she truly wants.

PW2020 YA #36: LIES WE SING TO THE SEA (Fantasy – Sapphic #OwnVoices)

On the cursed island of Ithaca, each summer brings the hanging of twelve maidens—offerings to the vengeful sea god. When Leto is sacrificed, she awakens on the shore of a long-forgotten island, prison to the tragic and immortal Melantho. Together, they must break the curse and unravel its terrible history—before the sea reclaims them both.

In the vein of CIRCE, a sapphic reimagining of THE ODYSSEY that explores the fate of Penelope’s hanged maids, featuring murderous monster girls and a grieving prince destined to die.

PW2020 YA #37: BURY THE STARS (Fantasy – #OwnVoices LGBTQ+)

After seventeen years trapped in Alastair O’Leary’s occult shop, Abbott discovers he was raised for slaughter. O’Leary plans to resurrect Abbott’s mother by sacrificing Abbott. To make matters worse, he’s—apparently—Abbott’s father.

Abbott flees, aided by his newsboy crush Finnian. In search of a spell to save Abbott and his mother, the boys track down unconventional gods, from venomous gnomes to body-stealing demons. But as O’Leary closes in, Abbott must decide: turn himself in and grant his mother another chance, or give her up for his newfound life—and love. Queer PERCY JACKSON meets FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST.