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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 #24: SCARLET RISING (Paranormal Thriller)
Melissa McKinnon
Mentored by:
Michaela Greer
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Paranormal Thriller
Word Count:


Four centuries after the town of Salem, Massachusetts, assumed they had laid their sins to rest, one family moves into the home of legendary author Nathaniel Hawthorne, reigniting a bloody feud between the area’s most sadistic ghost and one of the souls he condemned. Together, four teens must battle an unseen force to shine a light on history’s biggest literary cover-up, provided they can live long enough.



Henrietta wanted to be mad.

She deserved as much.

A month into her senior year and she was busy unpacking the boxes scattered haphazardly around her room. To the untrained eye, it was chaos, but for Henrietta, the chaos calmed her constantly racing mind. Not this time, granted, but usually. No, right now she was shifting between unpacking and scoffing every time she turned and looked out her bedroom window.

Sure, the parts of town she could see were quaint. Picturesque even. It was Salem. But she couldn’t shake the feeling someone was looking over her shoulder. It reminded her of how she felt reading that one Stephen King novel, right before she found out a cannibalistic clown was roaming the sewers. Quaint, but something was wrong.

A knock on the front door made her jump, and she rolled her eyes before trying to slow her racing heart.

Jesus. Calm the hell down.

Then her mom screamed her name up the stairs and she had to start all over.

“This place is a million years old, mother,” she hissed. “I can literally hear everything.”

“That’s wonderful, darling,” her mom replied in a fake cheery tone. “But we have company.”


“I’m, uh, a little busy.”

She swallowed hard as she waited. Meeting people wasn’t what she had in mind today, and her anxiety wasn’t going to let her come out of it unscathed.

6 responses to “PW2019 YA #24: SCARLET RISING (Paranormal Thriller)”

  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 am all about spooky stories, and I saw on your Twitter that it includes neurodiverse characters, and I am ND myself. I am thrilled to request a partial of your first three chapters 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. Marlo Berliner says:

    Salem? Ghosts? Hawthorne? 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!

  3. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I love what I’ve read so far and would love to see more! Please send the full manuscript and query to me at jess@browerliterary.com with PITCH WARS + title in the subject line.

    Thanks and I can’t wait to read!


    Jess Dallow, Brower Literary and Management

  4. Ginger Clark says:

    I would love to take a look at this. Can you email me the first fifty pages as either a PDF or DOCX or RTF? Put the words “Pitchwars 2020 request” in your subject line. Thank you so much!

  5. Christa Heschke says:

    I’d love to see this! 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

  6. I love teens uncovering coverups! Cool concept! 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.