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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.
PW2019 Adult #12: HOW TO BURY THE LIVING (Literary LGBTQ #OwnVoices)
Hugh Blackthorne
Mentored by:
Gwynne Jackson
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Literary LGBTQ (#ownvoices)
Word Count:


Memories of his dead family haunt grieving archaeology student Jasper, whose only solace lies in unearthing the burials and artefacts of prehistoric Britain. When a charming yet emotionally unpredictable Irishman tries seducing him back to the present, it will take all of Jasper's heart to finally bury his dead and start curating a new, chosen family.



Does your life matter if no one’s around to witness it? Imagine if everyone forgets you’ve ever existed, and all that’s left of you are a few inconsequential clues.

Let’s say I died right now.

Imagine this is Pompeii instead of the Haddon Library and Vesuvius erupts, killing me instantly. Nothing’s left of me but negative space entombed in ash, and a paltry handful of the shit I lug about in my rucksack that by some miracle wasn’t incinerated in the chaos.

What can you find out about me based on what’s left? Aside from my wallet—spoiler alert: Cambridge uni ID for one Jasper Michael Thomas and three quid—you’ll find a battered smartphone with cutting-edge technology…from 2013. A relict laptop. Hobnobs for daily emergencies. A notebook. Pens. Inhaler. His Dark Materials trilogy, for when required readings are too dull.

No exotic artefacts or ancient secrets found here. Really, those are rather shambolic grave goods. Poor sap, future archaeologists will say.

Chairs scrape the wooden floor. Thin light falls from tall windows.

Glancing up from my laptop, I dare look across the room. It’s pointless, but I can’t help it.  It’s been a year since I first saw Jack McEwan.

Chestnut hair, pale skin, freckles. A grin that ruins me…and everyone else who crosses his path.

Mercifully, Jack’s oblivious as ever.

I’m so outside his orbit that I’m in the next galaxy.

Jack would have some class grave goods, no doubt.

9 responses to “PW2019 Adult #12: HOW TO BURY THE LIVING (Literary LGBTQ #OwnVoices)”

  1. Jordy Albert says:

    I would love to take a look! Please send a query along with your full manuscript as a Word attachment and #Pitchwars in the subject line to me at jordy@thebookeralbertagency.com. Thanks!

  2. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Hugh,

    This sounds great! Please send the full manuscript my way at mollie.glickasst@caa.com.

    Mollie Glick

  3. Jennifer Unter says:

    Great writing and interesting pitch – would love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to jen.nadol (at) theunteragency (dot) com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  4. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Would love to read more. Please send the full manuscript to staitz@wmeagency.com – thank you! Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  5. Tamara Kawar says:

    Hi Hugh,

    I’d really love to read HOW TO BURY THE LIVING. Could you please send the full manuscript as a Word doc to tkawar[at]icmpartners[dot]com? Please make sure to include “PW2019” in your subject line.

    Thank you!


  6. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Hugh, I’d like to read more. Would you please send your query (body of the email) and the first 50 pages (Word doc)? spelletier@dystel.com


  7. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi, Hugh, I’d love to take a look at this! If you’d like, send the full manuscript to ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY PITCH WARS in the subject line. Hope to hear from you soon!

  8. Emmanuelle Morgen says:

    Dear Hugh,

    May I request the manuscript as a Word document sent to submissions@stonesong.com with “Pitch Wars” as part of the subject line?

    Many thanks,
    Emmanuelle Morgen

  9. I’d love to see more. Please email the full manuscript with the query letter, proposal/synopsis, and an author bio to EWRquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Please attach all materials as Word documents, and include in your subject line: “PITCH WARS REQUEST – (Title of Project)”.