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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 MG #01: THE SPIRIT OF THE SEA MYSTIC (Contemporary Fantasy)
Maria Linn
Mentored by:
Rajani LaRocca and Remy Lai
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:


Ren thinks her grandmother’s old seaside motel in Myrtle Beach has character. Still, it’s a shock when that character speaks to her through a crack in the wall. Ren’s counting on this summer to pull her family back together, but if she can’t heal the wounded spirit, the rundown motor lodge will be destroyed...along with her parents’ marriage. FRONT DESK meets RULES FOR GHOSTING.



The sky goes murky, and sheets of rain pelt the minivan. It’s so dim, I have to stop crocheting. 

Mom puts the wipers in turbo mode and squints into the gloom.

“We should pull over, Carson. Let the storm pass,” Dad says in his soothing, yoga-instructor voice.

But Mom’s not soothed. “It’s fine.” She wipes the inside of the windshield with her palm. 

The summer storm stops as abruptly as it started, and traffic speeds up. Steam rises from the wet road like an army of freshly awakened ghosts.

I pick up my crochet hook and get back to work. But my stitches pull tighter and tighter, as if the strained feeling inside the minivan is soaking into my project. I undo the last row and start over. If I don’t, the whole thing will end up wonky. Consistent tension is the key to crochet. Nana taught me that.

My older sister Sofia lays down her book. The dust jacket says Harry Potter, but it’s hiding a Stephen King horror novel underneath. “My phone says it takes five and a half hours to drive from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach, but it feels like forEVER!” 

Hoping to lighten the mood, I say, “Tell us your favorite thing about growing up in Nana’s motel, Mom.”

“Ummm.” She pauses, like a kid who got called on in class but doesn’t have an answer. “Honestly, the motel creeps me out.”

21 responses to “PW2019 MG #01: THE SPIRIT OF THE SEA MYSTIC (Contemporary Fantasy)”

  1. Patricia Nelson says:

    Hi Maria,

    I would love to take a look at this! Could you please send me your query + the full manuscript as a Word doc attachment to patricia@marsallyonliteraryagency.com? Please make sure to put “PitchWars Request” in the subject line.

    I’m looking forward to reading!

    All best,

  2. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there! I’d love to take a look at the first 50 pages. Please send them attached as a word document to rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com


    – Rena Rossner

  3. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I really like the voice here, and would 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

  4. Beth Phelan says:

    hi 🙂

    please send the first 50 pages (word doc) to querybeth@galltzacker.com with your query letter in the body of the email and “pitch wars” in the subject line. looking forward to reading!

    <3 beth

  5. Brent Taylor says:

    I’d love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to brent(at)triadaus(dot)com.

  6. Peter Knapp says:

    Hi Maria,

    This sounds wonderful – I’d love to keep reading! Can you please send the full manuscript to queries@parkfine.com attached as a Word document, along with a 1-3 (or so) page synopsis if available (in the same document as the MS or attached separately is fine)? Please include a query letter in the body of the email and put “PitchWars Submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject of the email. Thanks so much for the opportunity, and I look forward to reading!

    With warm regards,

    Pete Knapp

  7. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to have a look. Kindly send the manuscript along to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. A Word attachment is most preferable if possible.


  8. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen says:

    Hi Maria,

    Am loving what I’ve read so far! Please submit the first 50 pages and a 1-2 page synopsis to arsubmissions@foundrymedia.com, cc’ing in flmasst@foundrymedia.com, with the subject line “Pitch Wars: The Spirit of the Sea Mystic.” Thanks so much, and looking forward to diving in further!


  9. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway says:

    I’d love to see more of this! Please send the full ms and a synopsis to crubinobradway AT lkgagency DOT com.

  10. Alexander Slater says:

    Hi Maria,
    I’d love to read THE SPIRIT OF THE SEA MYSTIC. I’m at ASlater@tridentmediagroup.com.

  11. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Maria,

    I would love to see this! Can you send the query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with #PitchWars in the subject? Thank you!

    All best,

  12. Adria Goetz says:

    Ooh, I’m intrigued! I’d love to read more. Will you send me the first chapter? adria@martinlit.com

  13. Christa Heschke says:

    I’d love to see this. It sounds wonderful and right up my alley! Please send the full manuscript and query to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” and the title in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!
    –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  14. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Maria,

    This sounds interesting! Please send the full manuscript to mollie.glickasst@caa.com.

    Best wishes,
    Mollie Glick

  15. Amber Caraveo says:

    Dear Maria,
    I love the sound of this story – and little details in your writing too, like the steam rising from the road ‘like an army of freshly awakened ghosts’! I would love to read the full manuscript. Would you be willing to share it with me? I am a founder and director of the Skylark Literary Agency – http://www.skylark-literary.com – a boutique agency specializing in Children’s and YA fiction. We are based in the UK but sell direct in both the UK and the US, and we have a mix of UK and US authors on our books (including Alyssa Hollingsworth – The Eleventh Trade – and Arianne Costner – My Life as a Potato). I am a former publisher and editor, now agent, so I have a very good idea of exactly what editors look for! Please check out our website if you’d like to know more about me and Skylark. If you would be happy for me to consider representation, then please send the full manuscript and a synopsis to me at amber@skylark-literary.com together with a covering email telling me a little about yourself.
    Thank you and best wishes,
    Amber Caraveo

  16. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Maria,

    I would absolutely love to read this – will you send me your query and first 20 pages to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience, and mention Pitch Wars in the subject? There’s no timeline on my end, just whenever you feel ready!

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency

  17. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to see more of this! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thank you!

    -Melissa Nasson, Rubin Pfeffer Content

  18. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Love this pitch. You had me at old seaside motel – please send the full manuscript in PDF format to staitz@wmeagency.com. Thank you! — Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  19. Zabé Ellor says:

    I love the voice and the heart you’ve worked into this excerpt. Can’t wait to see more!

    Please send the query and synopsis (in the body of an email), and full manuscript (as an attachment) to zrellor . books @ gmail . com. I’m looking forward to diving in!

  20. Chelsea Eberly says:

    Beautiful imagery here. I’ve been looking for a spooky MG with a strong sense of place and a heartfelt message at the core. I hope that you will send me your full ms with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to: submissions (at) greenhouseliterary (dot) com. Thank you!

  21. Great voice! Would like to see more! Please send this pitch in the body of an email, synopsis and first fifty pages attached as a Word doc, with YA PITCHWARS and your title in the subject, to Jennifer@theseymouragency.com.