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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2019 and continuing through 2020
PW2019 YA #19: BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW (Contemporary Fantasy)
Mentee:
Kate Pearsall
Mentored by:
Isabel Ibanez Davis
Book Title:
BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW
Category:
Young Adult
Genre:
Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:
77,000

Pitch:

A dash of magic, a pinch of murder, a splash of moonshine. In a secluded Appalachian town built on buried secrets, the James women have unusual talents. But Linden’s gift is a curse. When sightings of a folktale monster lead to a body, she must find the killer before she’s next. A deliciously dark Southern-fried Practical Magic meets Riverdale.

 

Excerpt:

Here’s what I know for sure: A cast iron skillet must be seasoned with lard, pickling and preserving are best done during a waning moon, honey and vinegar will cure a cough, and secrets buried deep never stay that way.

I plant myself in front of the box fan wedged into the window and lift the hem of my shirt. Gran eyes me from the opposite side of the Harvest Moon’s small kitchen where she’s prepping food for tomorrow night’s festival. She runs the blade of her knife between the ribs of a side of pork she was given for curing the Thompson baby of colic. Breaking through the bone, resolutely dismantling it, her hands never pause, never falter, even with her eyes on me. She tosses strips of meat into a bowl of a spicy marinade, her own secret recipe, and the bones into a roasting pan for broth.

Nothing ever wasted.

My sisters and I grew up in this kitchen with its stainless steel, white walls and faint scent of bleach. And it was here, in between dishing up cornbread and hearty bowls of hoppin’ john, that Mama and Gran taught us the real family calling.

In the evenings we’d write our wishes in white ink on bay leaves, crush them between our fingers and release them to the wind over and over until all the air around us was scented with their bitter green bite.

47 responses to “PW2019 YA #19: BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW (Contemporary Fantasy)”

  1. Karyn Fischer says:

    Hi Kate,

    I would really, really love to see more of this! If you’d like, please send the first 25-30 pages to QueryMe.online/1325/PitchWars. Thanks and I hope to hear from you!

    Karyn Fischer

  2. Quressa Robinson says:

    You had me at cast iron skillet and bay leaves! Please query me at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PW20192020) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!

  3. Kim Lionetti says:

    Hi Kate: This sounds great! I’d love to see the full manuscript and synopsis. Please upload here: QueryMe.online/KimLionetti/PitchWars. Look forward to reading it! – Kim

  4. Marlo Berliner says:

    Appalachian folk magic…yes, please! I’d love to read more! Please send the full with Pitchwars YA in the subject line to marlo.jdlit@gmail.com. Looking forward to reading!

  5. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Kate,
    I’m intrigued. I’d love to take a look! Please send the ms as a doc to medwards at stonesong dot com. Thanks!!

    All best,
    Melissa

  6. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to have a look! Kindly send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. Good luck, and have fun!

    Best,
    Jim

  7. Natascha Morris says:

    HELL YES. This is what I have been needing in my life. Kate, I would love to read the full. If you could please upload to QueryMe.online/natascha/PitchWars, I would greatly love to read this. This is so up my alley.

    Best,
    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  8. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Kate,

    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
    http://emliterary.com/

  9. REBECCA STRAUSS says:

    Oh, I adore this opening! I’d love to read more. Please put ‘Pitch Wars Requested’ in your subject line and send the full manuscript and query letter to me at rebecca@defliterary.com. Ms can be an attachment. Thanks so much!

  10. Elana Roth Parker says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more! Please email me at eparker [at] ldlainc [dot] com:

    * Subject line: PitchWars Submission: YOUR BOOK TITLE
    * Your query letter in the body of the email
    * The full manuscript attached as a Word document

    If more than one LDLA agent requests your book, you are welcome to send to as many or few of us as you like. Just tell us in the query, and we’ll chat amongst ourselves.

    Thanks!
    Elana Roth Parker
    Laura Dail Literary Agency
    http://www.ldlainc.com

  11. Peter Knapp says:

    Hi Kate,

    This sounds so great and right up my alley; 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 as a separate doc 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
    Park & Fine Literary and Media

  12. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Kate,

    This looks great, and I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com, and put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line?

    Looking forward!

    All best,
    Erica

  13. Jennifer Unter says:

    Love this opening and want to read on! Please forward the first 50 pages to jen.nadol(at)theunteragency(dot)com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  14. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Would love to read more – please send the full manuscript in PDF format to staitz@wmeagency.com – thank you! xx Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  15. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Kate,

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

    Thank you!

    My best,
    Hillary

  16. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen says:

    Hi Kate,

    Am loving what I’ve read so far! Please submit the full manuscript and a 1-2 page synopsis to arsubmissions@foundrymedia.com, cc’ing in flmasst@foundrymedia.com, with the subject line “Pitch Wars: BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW.” Thanks so much, and looking forward to diving in further!

    Adriann

  17. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Kate,

    As you know, I love the concept and your evocative writing pulls me in so much–I’d love to see this again. Please send the full to dca@doncongdon.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line. Thanks and looking forward!

    Best,
    Katie Grimm (Don Congdon Associates)

  18. Carrie Pestritto says:

    This pitch is wonderful and ticks a lot of boxes for me, so I’m definitely interested in reading more. I’ve been wanting an updated Practical Magic for awhile, as well as something that I can comp to Netflix’s Sabrina and this sounds like it may be that thing!

    Would you please send me your query in the body of an email, with the first 100 pages attached as a Word doc? The subject of the email should be “BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW” and you can reach me at cpestritto(at)ldlainc(dot)com.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

  19. Jana Hanson says:

    Hi, Kate —

    I would love to read more of BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW. Please send the first 5 chapters to me at your earliest convenience (jhanson@metamorphosisliteraryagency.com).

    Thank you so much, and I wish you the best of luck in Pitch Wars!

    Jana Hanson

  20. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Kate,

    Congratulations on successfully completing Pitch Wars! I hope you’re taking the time you deserve to celebrate.

    My name is Samantha Fabien and I’m an agent at the Laura Dail Literary Agency (LDLA). Sign me up for dark secrets, a family of witches, and this distinctly southern tone. Your excerpt was far too short and made me twice as eager to read more!!

    With that in mind, I’d love to read the full manuscript! Would you please send me your query in the body of an email, with the full manuscript attached as a Word doc? The subject of the email should be “PITCH WARS REQUEST: BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW” and you can reach me at sfabien(at)LDLAinc(dot)com. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

    If more than one LDLA agent requests your book, you are welcome to send to as many or few of us as you like. Just tell us in the query, and we’ll chat amongst ourselves.

  21. Danielle Burby says:

    I love this so much and I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with your revisions! Please send me the full manuscript!!! QueryMe.online/1352/PW20192020

    Danielle Burby

  22. Jessica Errera says:

    Hi Kate, this sounds amazing! Would love to read the full manuscript (and a synopsis, if you have). Please email them to jerrera@janerotrosen.com Excited to dive back in!

  23. Dana Murphy says:

    Southern! Fried! Practical! MAGIC! I’m in love. Please send the first 50pgs and a query letter to submissions@thebookgroup.com, with my name in the subject line and #PitchWars somewhere in the body of the email. Thank you and best of luck!

  24. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Kate,

    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,
    Penelope

  25. Lauren Spieller says:

    Yes please! 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
    lauren@triadaus.com

  26. Sarah Landis says:

    I’d love to read the full! Please email it to slandis@sll.com. Thanks!

  27. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway says:

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

  28. Laura Crockett says:

    This sounds great! Please send an email with subject line containing “Pitch Wars,” your official query in the body of the email, and the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com. Looking forward!
    -Laura Crockett, TriadaUS

  29. Laura Bradford says:

    You had me with this first line! I am totally enamored with this one–send it to meeeee!

    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

  30. Jennifer Mattson says:

    Dear Kate,

    The sensory writing in this opening is compelling! I’d be happy to take a closer look at the full manuscript. If you’d like to share it with me, please email by attachment to jmatt[at]andreabrownlit.com, and include the phrase “Pitch Wars Request” somewhere in the subject line.

    Note, if another colleague of mine from Andrea Brown Literary also requests this manuscript, please choose just one of us, but let us know who the other requester was, with thanks.

    Thanks for your participation and good luck with all!

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer Mattson, Agent
    Andrea Brown Literary Agency

  31. Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read the first 50 pages. Please send them attached as a word document to rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner

  32. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Kate,

    You write like a seasoned pro! 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.

    Best,
    Sandy Lu
    L. Perkins Agency

  33. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Kate,
    BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW sounds very intriguing, and I think your prose is lovely. I’d love to read your full manuscript. If you’re interested in sharing, could you send it to me at amorrison@writershouse.com?
    I hope to hear from you!
    Very best,
    Andrea

  34. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Hi Kate,

    This sounds great! I’d love to read the full! 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
    Colleen Oefelein
    Associate Agent
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
    245 Park Avenue
    39th Floor
    New York NY 10167
    212-372-8989
    colleen@adventurewrite.com
    http://www.jdlit.com
    Facebook: Colleen Oefelein
    Twitter: @eerie_o

    Celebrating 19 years of making dreams come true!

  35. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Kate! I love the pitch and that opening line is so strong. I’d love to take a look at the first 50 pages, which you can send to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

    Thanks so much!
    Alexandra Weiss
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  36. Laurel Symonds says:

    Hi! I’d love to see this. Please send a query and 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  37. Jordy Albert says:

    I would love to take a look! Please send a query along with your full manuscript as a Word attachment and #Pitchwars in the subject line to me at jordy@thebookeralbertagency.com. Thanks!

  38. Christa Heschke says:

    I’m intrigued! 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

  39. Dorian Maffei says:

    There’s so much to love about this! I would love to read the full manuscript. 🙂 You can submit via my online submission form:

    http://QueryMe.Online/dorianmaffei

  40. Bridget Smith says:

    I’d love to take a look! Please send the query and the first twenty pages to querybridget@awfulagent.com. Thanks – can’t wait to read more!

  41. Wendi Gu says:

    Hi Kate,

    What an opener! I love the mood you’ve set here and would love to read the rest. At your convenience, do send your full manuscript in Word Doc to wgu@sjga.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

    All my best,
    Wendi

  42. Whitney Ross says:

    Hi Kate, I’m intrigued! Please do send me the full manuscript and a detailed synopsis. Our submission guidelines can be found here: https://www.irenegoodman.com/submissions

  43. Steven Salpeter says:

    Hello Kate!

    I’d love to read your full manuscript. If you’re interested in submitting to me, please send it via my submission form: https://www.curtisbrown.com/agents/literary-agent-steven-salpeter/

    Thanks,
    Steven Salpeter
    Curtis Brown, Ltd.

  44. Chelsea Eberly says:

    Love the opening here. I’ve been on the hunt for a great Southern voice with a specificity to the setting. I hope you’ll send me the full manuscript with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to: submissions (at) greenhouseliterary (dot) com. Thank you!

  45. Kelly Sonnack says:

    OOH! This sounds so great. I would love to read! Please send the entire to me by email at kelly@andreabrownlit.com and put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.

  46. Kerstin Wolf says:

    I don’t think you can make me crave ribs faster than when I read this excerpt! I can picture that kitchen perfectly and can practically smell that spicy marinade! I would love to see the full manuscript of this. If you think we might be a good match, please submit your full manuscript using this link: QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars

  47. Loving the voice, and Practical Magic as a comp! Here’s what I know for sure: I need 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.