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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 #37: SUBURBAN ANIMALS (Suspense – Queer #OwnVoices)
Ashton Noone
Mentored by:
P. J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Suspense (Queer #OwnVoices)
Word Count:


Sharp Objects meets The Secret History. Ava Montgomery is on the run, from her ex and a dark past eager to pull her back. But when her troubled teen becomes obsessed with an infamous murder in a forest that "eats children," Ava must confront her own role in the forest's violent history before her daughter becomes its next prey.



Prologue: Sacrifices

The dead boy lay in the glade for three days. Glazed eyes open wide, face tilted skyward. Adam Albright was a senior at Wildwood High School, ready to graduate with the rest of us that spring. His parents buried him in the suit he was to wear, class ring glittering gold on his finger.

We all knew he was there, long before they carried his body out of the forest. Limbs cold and rigid, a hole in his chest open to expose the flesh and bone below. Dried blood streaked his skin mud-red and white flowers circled his brow, as proud as a crown. For three days, we had ventured into the forest to visit his body and leave offerings like small apologies.

We wore black to his funeral mass, gathering close like shadows in the church pews. Before they interred his body, we tossed flowers across the lid of his casket like some kind of bright shroud.

We never said anything.


Part One: Visitations

Chapter One

Wildwood Forest still cuts through the suburb over a decade later—trees growing too close together in the steep ravine, casting shadows so deep and so dark that I shiver and roll up my window. Nothing has changed.

“What’s wrong?” Marjorie asks. I pick at a half-healed scab on my wrist, teasing its raw edges. I can hear the whispers already as the wound re-opens.

37 responses to “PW2019 Adult #37: SUBURBAN ANIMALS (Suspense – Queer #OwnVoices)”

  1. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Ashton,
    I would very much like to read SUBURBAN ANIMALS. Could you send the full manuscript along to amorrison@writershouse.com if you’re interested in sharing?
    I hope this finds you well, and I hope to hear from you!
    Very best,

  2. Marlo Berliner says:

    I’m intrigued! Please send the full with Pitchwars Adult in the subject line to marlo.jdlit@gmail.com. Looking forward to reading!

  3. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear Ashton, I would love to see the full and query letter. lgalvin@aevitascreative.com with PITCHWARS in the subject line. Thanks very much.

  4. Amanda Jain says:

    This is such a gripping opening, and really leaves the reader wanting more. I can’t wait to see the rest! Please send your query letter, synopsis, and full manuscript as a .doc attachment to ajain@bookendsliterary.com. I look forward to reading!

  5. 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: SUBURBAN ANIMALS”

  6. Erin Clyburn says:

    I’m so intrigued by your pitch and excerpt, and I’d love to see your full manuscript! If you’d like to submit to me, you can do so through this link: QueryMe.online/ErinClyburn/PitchWars.

  7. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Ashton,

    I love this excerpt and would love to see more! Please send the full manuscript and query letter to me at jess@browerliterary.com with PITCH WARS + title in the subject line. Can’t wait to take a look!


  8. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Ashton! What fantastic comps — this sounds right up my alley! I’d love to take a look. Please do send through your query letter + first 50 pages to claire@inkwellmanagement.com — CF

  9. Hannah Fergesen says:

    Even if I had never seen this awesome first page, you had me at Sharp Objects meets The Secret History! I would love to see the manuscript + a full synopsis in Word format, sent to hannah@ktliterary.com with Pitch Wars Request + title in your subject line.

    Thank you so much! Excited to read.


  10. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen says:

    Hi Ashton,

    Am loving what I’ve read so far! Please submit the first 50 pages to arsubmissions@foundrymedia.com, cc’ing in flmasst@foundrymedia.com, with the subject line “Pitch Wars: SUBURBAN ANIMALS.” Thanks so much, and looking forward to diving in more!


  11. Sami Isman says:

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

  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. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Ashton,

    I would love to read more! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com

    Thank you!

    My best,

  14. Kiana Nguyen says:

    Hi Ashton, I’d love to see a full of SUBURBAN ANIMALS! 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. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Ashton,

    This sounds great, and I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the first 100pgs to ebauman@aevitascreative.com, with “PitchWars” in the subject line?

    Looking forward to seeing more!

    All best,

  16. Jill Marsal says:

    I would be happy to read your manuscript. Please email it to jill@marsallyonliteraryagency.com.

  17. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Ashton,

    This is a great pitch! I’d love to take a look at the first 100 pages! Would you kindly send that 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!



  18. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! 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

  19. 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

  20. Hi Ashton. I love how dark this is. I’m always drawn to characters who have to confront their pasts head on. There seem to be some great Lori Rader Day vibes here. I’d love to read the full manuscript. Could you email it to me at QueryMe.online/1353/PW20192020

  21. Dorian Maffei says:

    I love how creepy this is! Definitely up my alley. I’d be thrilled to read more. 🙂 You may submit via my online submission form:


  22. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Ashton,

    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,

  23. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon says:

    Hello! My name is Emmy Nordstrom-Higdon, and I am an agent in training with The Rights Factory! I just started building my list, and I’m so lucky to have Sam Hiyate as my mentor. If we end up working together, you’ll get the best of both worlds – the wisdom of an agent with 16 years in the biz, and my enthusiasm and attention as a new agent with just a handful of select clients so far. Part of why your manuscript caught my eye is because I am queer, and I LOVE spooky, twisty stories. I am thrilled to request a full manuscript from you, which you can send to assistant@therightsfactory.com. Please include a query letter and write PITCH WARS in the subject line. In the meantime, you can check out my bio and what I’m most interested in at https://www.therightsfactory.com/about-us, and my blog at http://www.booksbeyondbinaries.blog, if you want to know a little more about me. Really hoping to hear from you soon, and congratulations on participating in Pitch Wars!!

  24. Hi Ashton,
    Intriguing! I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please send the manuscript to QueryMe.online/Stacey_PITCHWARS/PitchWars2020. Please add #Pitchwars when copying your pitch into the form.

    Looking forward to reading SUBURBAN ANIMALS!

    All the best,
    Stacey Donaghy

  25. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there!

    I would love to read this full manuscript. Please send it attached as a word document.

    Thank you!

    – Rena Rossner

  26. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Ashton,
    I’m so intrigued by the forest that “eats children,” and the sample here is fantastic. I’d love to see the full manuscript. If you think we’d be a good fit, please send your query letter and manuscript (as a Word doc) to dca@doncongdon.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line. Looking forward to reading more!
    Katie Grimm (Don Congdon Associates)

  27. Hi, Ashton,

    A forest that “eats children”? I need to know what’s really happening in that forest!!! Can you send me the full and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Paste your pitch in the body of the email and attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Sent to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.

    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime
    Looking forward to reading more.



  28. Melissa Danaczko says:

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

  29. Carlisle Webber says:

    I’d like to see this! Please send a query letter and 10 pages to carlisle @ fuseliterary .com with the subject PitchWars: TITLE. Thanks!

  30. 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)”.

  31. Emmanuelle Morgen says:

    Dear Ashton,

    I like this opening! May I request the manuscript as a Word document sent to submissions@stonesong.com with the terms “query” and “Pitch Wars” somewhere in the subject line?

    Emmanuelle Morgen

  32. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Ashton,

    I can’t resist anything with The Secret History as a comp. title. Please send the full manuscript with your bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. I look forward to read more.

    Sandy Lu
    L. Perkins Agency

  33. Laura Bradford says:

    Ooohh, so creepy! I’d really love to see where you take the story next! Please email me the full ms + synopsis and make a note in the subject line that this is a Pitch Wars entry. laura at bradfordlit dot com.

    Laura Bradford
    Bradford Literary Agency

  34. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Ashton,

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

    Please submit the first 50 pages of SUBURBAN ANIMALS, 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

  35. 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!

  36. Jessica Craig says:

    I’d like to read more. Please send a partial of 50 pages as a Word or PDF attachment and with PitchWars + title + your name in subject heading to submissions@craigliterary.com

  37. Amelia Appel says:

    Hi Ashton,

    I love the premise here – I’m a big fan of THE SECRET HISTORY! This is a fantastic opening; I’d love to see more. Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc. attachment to amelia@triadaus.com, with your pitch, full synopsis, and author bio in the email as well. Also, please put “PITCH WARS REQUEST – SUBURBAN ANIMALS” as the subject line so I can keep an eye out!

    Thanks so much and I look forward to reading!

    All best,