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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 #31: THE DEATH CARRIER (Fantasy)
Melissa Chai
Mentored by:
Judy I. Lin
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Word Count:


In a world where magic and religion battle for dominance, 16-year-old Anora spent years avoiding both. But when demonic creatures kill her surrogate sister, Anora must overcome her aversion to magic and embrace the forbidden power of necromancy to protect her homeland.



Three nights after we’d performed the burial rites and laid Annavel Farmingdale’s body to rest, I was in the graveyard with Marus, digging it back up.

“What is so urgent that we need to be disturbing the dead in the dark of night?” I muttered. It was a question I’d been contemplating since Marus had summoned me.

They’d found Annavel’s body on the river bank, just below the bridge. If it hadn’t been for a fallen tree jutting into the stream, the body might have floated further south, away from Bankshead, and eventually been swept out to sea. But the tree had fallen, the body had been pushed onto the bank by the current, and a search party had found her the morning after she’d gone missing. We’d buried her later that day.

As I dug, the distinct odor of the dank earth penetrated my nostrils, the smell of a spice loaf gone to mold. You could cover my eyes and take me all over the Western Territories, but I would still be able to tell you when we’d arrived at the burial ground after a single breath.

After an hour I’d barely made a dent in the grave. The rain wasn’t helping things. Every thrust of the shovel added layers to the mud that had caked my body from the walk over from the convent. Sure, the villagers drew comfort from the fact that the dead were neatly packed under five feet of earth, but it made it that much harder to get to the bodies.

10 responses to “PW2019 YA #31: THE DEATH CARRIER (Fantasy)”

  1. Peter Knapp says:

    Hi Melissa,

    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 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

  2. Natascha Morris says:

    I’m intrigued. I’d love to see more, Melissa. Please upload to feel free to query me to at QueryMe.online/natascha/PitchWars. Can’t wait to see the pages!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  3. Beth Phelan says:


    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

  4. Marlo Berliner says:

    Intriguing! 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. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Melissa,

    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,

  6. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Melissa,

    This sounds interesting! Could you send the full manuscript to mollie.glickasst@caa.com?

    Mollie Glick

  7. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I’d love to read this full manuscript! Please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’m a sucker for necromancy! 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