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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 #36: THE HANGMEN (Literary Thriller)
Mario Aliberto III
Mentored by:
Damyanti Biswas
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Literary Thriller
Word Count:


On a secluded island ruled by a puritanical cult, where hangings of sinners are concealed as suicides, one cop struggles to free himself and his son from his family’s dark legacy as hangmen.
Only Killers and Thieves x The Gods of Howl Mountain




Sandlow Key, Florida. 1995

In the lee of the bastard oak, the condemned man awaited reckoning. Shirtless and filthy, handcuffs at the wrists, his quivering produced the tinkling of bells. Above him, the oak towered like some black mark upon the world. Solitary and bleak, naked limbs parallel to the horizon, it resembled a necrotic claw intent on dragging the man to some underworld below the sand.

The name bestowed upon the tree by children a century past was its name still.

The Devil’s Hand.

Before the condemned man, Tommy Abraham peered at strips of predawn sky between branches black as coal. He turned up the folds on the collar of his windbreaker against the unrelenting February wind. A chill coursed through his slender ten-year-old body, owed only in part to the cold.

Flocks of seagulls stalked the beach, picking amongst shells for hermit crabs, their tracks erased with each lethargic wave of the Gulf of Mexico. Undecided if the condemned man was on display for him, or if he was on display for the man, Tommy tried to lose himself in the repetition of the tide. He plucked bits of fray from a cord of rope in his hands. The rope stank of rust and left stains on his fingertips.

He barely recognized the man standing beneath the tree. Swollen eyes, his face distorted with grime. Yet, the familiar pattern of dark moles populating the man’s pale torso were confirmation enough.

The youth pastor, Mr. Jack.

8 responses to “PW2019 Adult #36: THE HANGMEN (Literary Thriller)”

  1. 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: THE HANGMEN”

  2. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen says:

    Hi Mario,

    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: THE HANGMEN.” Thanks so much, and looking forward to diving in more!


  3. 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

  4. Hi, Mario,

    You had me at secluded island and cult!!! 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.



  5. 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!

  6. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Mario,

    What an opening! 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

  7. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Mario,

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

    All best,

  8. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Dear Mario,

    I’d love to have a look at this! Please email me directly at colleen@adventurewrite.com. Paste your query and synopsis directly 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!