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

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.
MG #12: DRUM CORPSE (Speculative Mystery)
Theresa Duck
Mentored by:
Sabrina Kleckner
Book Title:
Drum Corpse
2018 Entries
Speculative Mystery
Word Count:


Lady Octavia’s is not your average music school. At this academy, students are expected to master dangerous weapon-instrument hybrids, and Pitch’s mother, the late Sonata Remington, was the best drum major the school has ever known.

Twelve-year-old Pitch dreams of following in her mother’s footsteps. But when a competition for first chair threatens her place at the academy, Pitch must unravel the mysteries of her mother’s past to master the secrets hidden within her piccolo. The more Pitch investigates, the more she realizes that sinister forces haunt Lady Octavia’s halls, and Sonata might not have been a hero after all.

THE IRON TRIAL and THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL—with a marching band twist



Standing at the edge of the platform, Pitch’s dad handed her the new piccolo. The instrument gleamed in its golden case—silver keys against a night-black body, the word BETA scrawled across the sliding joint in big block letters. It was unreal. Pitch had never seen an instrument this fancy. She glanced from the piccolo to her father.

“For me?” she asked with a point to her chest.

He grinned and nodded.

Pitch bit her fist and took a step away. How did her dad get his hands on a Beta instrument? They were pricey and hard to come by in their tiny farming town. The nearest music shop was over an hour away, and her dad was pretty useless without an interpreter. It had to be a fake.

Pitch glanced back at the sparkling instrument. It sure didn’t look fake.

She took the piccolo and slid it carefully into the pocket of her hoodie. “Where did you even get the money for this?” she signed.

His hands moved stiffly and Pitch felt a lump form in her throat. “It was your mother’s.”

17 responses to “MG #12: DRUM CORPSE (Speculative Mystery)”

  1. Clelia Gore says:

    This sounds AWESOME!!! I’d love, love to read more! Can you send me a Word document version of the full manuscript at clelia@martinlit.com. Please put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Well done!

  2. I definitely got the SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL vibe from your pitch!

    I would love to read more! Please send the query and full manuscript as word doc attachments to hilaryquery@ktliterary.com with PitchWars in the subject field.

  3. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Theresa,

    This sounds great, I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com and put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line?


  4. Marlo Berliner says:

    The premise is intriguing and I like the voice so far. I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  5. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Hi Theresa,

    I’m curious, and I’d love to read some more. Please see my bio at JDLit.com, and if you’d like, please send your query + synopsis + first 50 pages pasted into the body of an email to: colleen@adventurewrite.com with the subject, #PitchWars – DRUM CORPSE.

    If more than one agent from JDLA requests your manuscript, please feel free to submit to the best fit.

    Thank you and looking forward to reading!
    Colleen Oefelein

  6. Quressa Robinson says:

    Hi Theresa,

    I know I’ve seen this before, but I’d absolutely love to take a look at the full MS again. I still absolutely love the premise and am eager to see the results of all your hard work. Please query me at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PitchWars2019) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!


  7. Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read the first 50 pages. Please send them attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  8. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thank you!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

  9. Danielle Burby says:

    So fun! I’d definitely like to take a look at this one. Please follow this link for submission instructions: http://queryme.online/1352/PitchWars2019

  10. Christa Heschke says:

    As a former marching band kid (clarinet) and overall band geek with a love for all things dark and creepy this is TOTALLY up my alley! Please send the query, synopsis and full manuscript to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh and Otis

  11. Jana Hanson says:

    I would love to read the first five chapters of this manuscript. Please e-mail me at jhanson (at) metamorphosisliteraryagency (dot) com.

    Thank you, and best of luck in Pitch Wars!

    Jana Hanson

  12. Jennifer Mattson says:

    Hi, Theresa! I’d be happy to receive the first 10 pp of DRUM CORPSE—please send to me at jmatt@andreabrownlit.com, cut and pasted into the body of the email. It would be helpful if you’d mention Pitch Wars 2019 Requested Material in the subject line. Thanks!

  13. Shannon Hassan says:

    I’m intrigued and would love to read more! Please send a query + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks, Shannon

  14. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hello! I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript of DRUM CORPSE. Please send it along as a word document to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience.

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Inc.

  15. Nicole Payne says:

    I need more! Please send the query, synopsis and first three chapters to nicole@goldenwheatliterary.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

  16. Eddie Schneider says:

    This isn’t for me, but the title pun is amazing. 😀

  17. Josh Getzler says:

    I love this idea–it reminds me more than a little of my book A Problematic Paradox (or a couple of others I repped). Please send me your pitch and the first 50 or so (wherever it breaks best) pages of the manuscript. I’m at jgetzler@hsgagency.com. Thanks! This seems right up my alley. Josh