Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

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 #13: WHAT DEATH CAN TOUCH (Contemporary with Speculative Elements)
Anna Read
Mentored by:
Cole Nagamatsu
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Contemporary with speculative elements
Word Count:


Sixteen-year-old Dulcie foresees death at first touch. After glimpsing her classmate Anselm's drowning, she reluctantly befriends him, as he’s the one person who doesn’t think she’s “cursed.” Dulcie then discovers Anselm’s also the only one whose fate she sees repeatedly. Together, they test whether they can change her visions. If not, Dulcie will have to tell Anselm the truth she’s been hiding: he dies much sooner than he thinks.



When I peel off my leather gloves, my creased ivory skin catches the sun for the first time in twenty-four hours. Nerves hum in my now exposed fingertips. The last of the steam from my chicken tenders evaporates as the hundred other students on the concrete terrace huddle away from me in cliques.

Raised voices at the next table stiffen my spine. It’s those environmentalist kids; maybe someone littered.

One of them stands: tall, skinny, jean jacket. He glances at his friends, uncertain, then over to me.

My gaze drops to my food, my appetite gone.

The table shudders when he sits, fidgeting. “Dulcie? I’m Anselm. Remember me from English last year?”

I stand, snatch up my things. When I swing one leg over the bench, the tray slips.

Anselm grabs my hand, steadying my lunch.

Everything fades to a swishing, muddy blue.

He floats, unconscious, in murky water, blond hair rippling over his head. His faded jean jacket drifts open as he dies.

When he’s alive again, he’s still holding my hand.

The tray crashes onto the table as I recoil.

He chatters away with the same face that I just watched die: no wrinkles, no grey hair, same jacket. Young. His eyes widen, bright green. “… if you did see it? It’s not bad or anything, right?”

Drip, drip, drip. The last of my Coke splashes on the concrete.

6 responses to “PW2019 YA #13: WHAT DEATH CAN TOUCH (Contemporary with Speculative Elements)”

  1. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Anna,

    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

  2. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Anna,

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

    Mollie Glick

  3. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Anna,

    I adore your premise and your first pages and would love to see more!!

    Please submit the first 50 pages of WHAT DEATH CAN TOUCH, along with your query and synopsis, here:


    Please also make sure to put “Pitch Wars” in the referral line or mention that I requested here in your query.

    I look forward to reading! 😊

    Warm Regards,

    Cortney Radocaj
    Associate Agent
    Belcastro Agency

  4. Andrea Morrison says:

    WHAT DEATH CAN TOUCH sounds very intriguing, and I really enjoyed your sample page, as well as your Pitch Wars blog post! I’d love to read the full MS, sent to amorrison@writershouse.com, if you’re interesting in sharing!
    All best,

  5. Christa Heschke says:

    What an intriguing opening! 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. Amber Caraveo says:

    Dear Anna,
    I love the concept behind this story and 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 are looking 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 and mentioning that I requested this through Pitch Wars.
    Thank you and best wishes,
    Amber Caraveo