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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 YA #39: BONETHINNER (Gothic Suspense)
Anne Applegate
Mentored by:
Liz Lawson and Jeff Bishop
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Gothic suspense
Word Count:


Scarlett’s family has one rule: never speak of Nicodemus Stoker, billionaire owner of the palatial estate they manage, or the murders he allegedly committed before vanishing decades ago.

But when an earthquake reveals a long-dead body on the grounds, Scarlett questions her parents' involvement in the murders.

No one here, living or dead, is who they seem. Scarlett must uncover the truth about the property's dark past and find the killer before they find her.



The earthquake hit during Trigonometry.

Even before, I’d been nursing a vague sense of panic. The past two weeks, trig had become this greased pig. No matter how I tried to grab hold, it managed to squirm from my comprehension. When we filed into the room that morning, Mr. Hendricks sang out, “Pop quiz!”

Scowling, I took a copy and got to work failing. That’s when the ground started shaking.

Hello, I’m a Californian. I know what an earthquake is. Most of them around here are a magnitude 3.5 or below, which means they play out like this: Your stomach goes whhheeeeee! You think: what? Then you think: earthquake! And then: what should I do? But by the time you think that last part, it’s over.

Not this one. Windows rattled mad applause. Chairs danced, possessed, and so did all the kids in them. That checklist I mentioned? I got all the way to the last question. By then the shaking should have stopped. Instead, it got worse.

Right about when the earth seemed ready to open up and swallow us, everything went still. No birds outside, not even the hum of electricity from the overhead lights. I held tight to the one good thing I could think of. At least I was missing the trig quiz.

19 responses to “PW2019 YA #39: BONETHINNER (Gothic Suspense)”

  1. 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 love character-driven, twisty stories. I like that even your excerpt is very voicey. 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!!

  2. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Anne,

    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,


    What a wonderful voice! (Oh, trig…) 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Jennifer Unter says:

    I’m intrigued & would love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages to jen.nadol(at)theunteragency(dot)com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  6. Marlo Berliner says:

    Secrets? Murders? I’m in! 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!

  7. Carrie Pestritto says:

    This made me think of a darker version of THE WESTING GAME (one of my faves), so I’m definitely interested in reading more!

    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 “PITCH WARS REQUEST: BONETHINNER” and you can reach me at cpestritto(at)ldlainc(dot)com.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

  8. Karyn Fischer says:

    Hi Anne,

    I LOVE gothic suspense and long-buried family secrets! So I’d really like 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

  9. Ellen Goff says:

    Dear Anne,

    My name’s Ellen and I’m an agent over at HG Literary. This sounds so up my alley! I love anything gothic.

    Will you please send me the full manuscript (to ellen@hgliterary.com) with your query/pitch? 

    Can’t wait to read! 

    Thank you! 

  10. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Anne,

    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,

  11. Caitlen Rubino-Bradway says:

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

  12. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Love the voice here. Please send the full manuscript in PDF format to staitz@wmeagency.com. Thank you! — Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  13. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Anne, I’ve love to see more of this! If you’d like, send the full manuscript to ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY PITCH WARS in the subject line. Hope to hear from you soon.

  14. Kari Sutherland says:

    I’m intrigued! Please query me with “Pitch Wars” in the title at: https://querymanager.com/query/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form

  15. Christa Heschke says:

    The writing here is SO good! 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

  16. Allison Remcheck says:

    Dear Anne,

    I would love to have a look at BONETHINNER. Please feel free to be in touch with me–with a synopsis and your first three chapters–via my box at this link:


    It would be great if you could write REQUESTED MATERIAL at the top of your e-mail.

    Thank you so much; I’m looking forward to it!

    Best wishes,

    Allison Remcheck

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. What an opening! I NEED to see more of this! 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.