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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 #04: THE BUTCHER (Speculative Fiction)
Laura Young
Mentored by:
Carolyne Topdjian
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Speculative Fiction
Word Count:


TRUE GRIT x BLACK MIRROR x THE REVENANT: When Deputies murder her mother for refusing to harm a convicted child, Lady Mae inherits her role as Settlement Five’s Butcher—a court-appointed torturer of criminals. As her inner rage grows, she endures scorn from all but her childhood love, the bastard of the meanest man in town. But when Deputies arrest her love next, Lady Mae must choose: does she escape the settlement for redemption, or seek vengeance—even if it kills her.



When Lady Mae went into the kitchen to scrub the floor, she found her mother had left her pack on the worn table. Though she’d been taught from as far back as she could remember that they were her mother’s tools and not toys, lately, when Lady Mae found herself in the presence of the pack, there was a knocking at her breast and a speeding in her heart. The pack was small and ordinary, no bigger than her mother’s cookbook; alone on the table, the tools inside remained harmless. But in her mother’s hands—and soon her own—they commanded respect. Absolution, a kind of credence that her mother had taught Lady Mae. In the seventeen years she’d been alive, she’d never disobeyed her mother purposefully, but that morning as the wind blew up against the window, she walked over to the wooden table, pulled out a rickety chair, and sat. She dragged the pack towards her, the leather cracked and shredded by the clasp. Her mother would need it, and Lady Mae resolved that she’d walk it to the depot herself. But first, she wanted to see what was inside.

5 responses to “PW2019 Adult #04: THE BUTCHER (Speculative Fiction)”

  1. 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

  2. Dorian Maffei says:

    I love how dark this is! I’d be thrilled to read more! 🙂 You can submit via my online submission form:


  3. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Hi Laura!
    I wasn’t going to dive into PW until tomorrow, but I saw a tweet I couldn’t ignore, and I’d love to see the full!

    You may email me directly: colleen@adventurewrite.com

    Please use PITCHWARS – TITLE in the subject, paste your query and synopsis into the body, and attach your full. Thanks and looking forward to reading!

    Colleen Oefelein
    Associate Agent
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
    245 Park Avenue
    39th Floor
    New York NY 10167
    Facebook: Colleen Oefelein
    Twitter: @eerie_o

    Celebrating 19 years of making dreams come true!

  4. Diana Fox says:

    I’d like to read more! Please email me the full manuscript at diana at foxliterary dot com.

  5. Laura Bradford says:

    Oooh! So juicy! I’d love to see where you take this story!

    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