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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.
PW2019 Adult #27: NIGHTCRAWLING (Contemporary #OwnVoices #POC #LGBTQ)
Leila Mottley
Mentored by:
Samantha Rajaram
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Contemporary (#ownvoices #POC #LGBTQ)
Word Count:


SALVAGE THE BONES meets AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, based on the 2015 Oakland Police Department rape scandal. Seventeen-year-old Kiara's world explodes when her name surfaces in a police officer's suicide note, exposing her as a key witness in a police rape case. Kiara must decide if she is willing to testify in the grand jury case that could leave her family vulnerable to police retaliation and endanger everyone she loves.




Sometimes I fill the bath up until it’s almost overflowing and pour in paint. Red. Purple. Steep myself in color so I can feel what it was like for Mama to lay there in the tub, let the water shrivel her so her hands could forget how they left Soraya soaking in her own sweat.

In the water, it’s like every song Daddy ever played collides into its own symphony, soundtracking the mess we’ve made of this family. I watch the water spilling across the bathroom, seeping under the door so Marcus might care enough to bang on it. Come inside. Be my brother. Ask me why I’m bleeding.  

Not that the red is really there. Maybe it’s just the stain that Mama left when she let her smallest baby die, when she left us here in this apartment, where all we have is color, and I ain’t got eyes big enough to see past the front door, past the way my breasts float in the water before they finally sink under.

25 responses to “PW2019 Adult #27: NIGHTCRAWLING (Contemporary #OwnVoices #POC #LGBTQ)”

  1. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Leila,
    I would love to read NIGHTCRAWLING. If you’re interested in sharing, please do send the full manuscript to me at amorrison@writershouse.com.
    Thanks! I hope to hear from you.
    My best,

  2. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Leila,

    Really intrigued by the depth and timeliness of this concept. I’d love to see the full. Please upload to QueryMe.online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to diving in!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Literary Agent
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  3. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Would love to read more. Please send your query letter + full manuscript in PDF format to staitz@wmeagency.com – thank you! – Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  4. Alec Shane says:

    Would love to read the full. Please send as a Word doc to ashane@writershouse.com with the subject heading “PitchWars Request: NIGHTCRAWLING.”

  5. Kayla Lightner says:

    Hi Leila,

    As soon as I saw SALVAGE THE BONES and AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, I was hooked! Please send the full manuscript to querykayla@lizadawson.com and include PITCHWARS REQUEST in your subject line.


  6. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear Leila, I would like to see the full ms, please. Please send with query letter to lgalvin@aevitascreative.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thank you so much.

  7. Sarah Phair says:

    Dear Leila,

    This sounds interesting, and I’d love to take a look. Could you please send me the first 50 pages as a word document with your query letter as the first page? You can send it to me at sphair@sjga.com, and please include Pitch Wars in your subject line.



    Sarah Phair
    Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.
    55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 206-5611 | http://www.Greenburger.com

  8. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Mottley,

    What an original premise you have, and the excerpt captivated me. Please do send the complete to me at atuttle@dystel.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  9. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen says:

    Hi Leila,

    Am loving what I’ve read so far! Please submit the full manuscript to arsubmissions@foundrymedia.com, cc’ing in flmasst@foundrymedia.com, with the subject line “Pitch Wars: NIGHTCRAWLING.” Thanks so much, and looking forward to diving in more!


  10. John Cusick says:

    Hi Leila, I’m hooked by what I’ve read so far. I’d love to see a query and 50 pages from you. You can reach me at john [@] foliolit.com — I’ll look forward to connecting.

  11. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look! When it’s time, you can send to jmccarthy@dystel.com, and I’ll happily dive in and give a read!


  12. Rosie Jonker says:

    I’m intrigued! Would you send the first three chapters, pasted in the body of an email, to Rosie@Rittlit.com with [QUERY] and [PITCHWARS] in the subject line?

  13. Sami Isman says:

    I’d love to read further! Please send your pitch, a short bio, and the first 50 pages in the body of the email to sisman@sjga.com with the subject line “#PitchWars Submission – NIGHTCRAWLING – Leila Mottley”.

  14. Kiana Nguyen says:

    Hi Leila! I’d love to see a full of NIGHTCRAWLING! Please send the query and an attachment of the full to knguyen@maassagency.com. Include the query in the email and first page of attachment. Please use the subject: PW 2020: TITLE. Thank you!

  15. Jennifer Unter says:

    This is a great opening and riveting pitch – I’d 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!

  16. Jessica Errera says:

    Hello Leila, I would love to see the first 75 pages of NIGHTCRAWLING (as an attachment is great). Please email them, along with a synopsis or query if you have, to jerrera@janerotrosen.com Excited to read more!

  17. Lauren Spieller says:

    This was a really gripping first page. I’d love to keep reading. May I please see the full manuscript + synopsis? It would also be great if you could include ‘Pitch Wars Request’ in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! 

    Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS Literary Agency

  18. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Leila,

    Your prose is so lovely in this sample and I’d love to keep reading. Would you kindly send the first 100 pages and your query along as a Microsoft Word attachment to abishop (at) dystel (dot) com, with #PitchWars in the subject line?

    Thanks so much – can’t wait to read!



  19. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Leila, I’d love to see the first three chapters of this! Query me at ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY in the subject line. Hope to hear from you soon!

  20. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Leila,

    I would love to see this! Can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  21. Suzie Townsend says:

    Wow your writing is so vivid and the voice is amazing. I’d love to see more. Please send me your full manuscript with your query pasted into the first page (a word .doc is best but an .rtf will also work). Send to suzie@newleafliterary.com. You can put PITCH WARS REQUEST in the subject line.

  22. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Leila, WOW! I’d like to read more. Would you please send your query (body of the email) and the full manuscript (Word doc)? spelletier@dystel.com

    Sharon Pelletier
    Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

  23. Melissa Danaczko says:

    Hi Leila,
    I would love the opportunity to read more. Can you please send the full manuscript to mdquery@skagency.com? Thank you.

  24. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Leila,

    I adore your premise and your first pages and would love to see more!!

    Please submit the first 50 pages of NIGHTCRAWLING, along with your query and synopsis, here:


    Please also make sure to put “Pitch Wars” in the referral line or mention that I requested here in your query.

    I look forward to reading! 😊

    Warm Regards,

    Cortney Radocaj
    Associate Agent
    Belcastro Agency

  25. Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I’d love to read more! Please send the pitch and the manuscript to submissions@janklow.com with the following subject line: for Stefanie Lieberman – Pitch Wars 19. Thank you!