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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.
PW2020 Adult #37: BERSERKER QUEEN (#OwnVoices Historical)
Taher Safavi and Aida Victoria Moussavi
Mentored by:
Matthew Quinn Martin
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
#ownvoices Historical
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Kidnapping, Child Marriage, Grisly Murders, Warfare/Combat, Human Sacrifice, Pillaging of English Towns, Rape, Incest, Immolation, Violence-induced Miscarriages, Medieval Christianity, Heads on Pikes, Selective Female Infanticide, Hate!Sex, Adultery, Unrequited Love, Family betrayals, Rending Grief, Mental Illness, Self-Harm, Domestic Violence, Fratricide, Race/Religion Based Massacres.


Normandie, 929 AD: Sigrid the Haughty threw her first suitor out a window, burned number two alive, and slit number three's throat. William, a Persian bastard, just seized the Norse throne for attempt four. Long live the King.

BERSERKER QUEEN is the true story of a Frankish princess who killed Viking kings. HBO-style costume drama, 'Vikings' meets 'Ertuğrul'. International setting, interracial cast. Iranian #ownvoices. R rated trauma, sex, and violence.  Manuscript requested at the New York Pitch Conference by Amanda Ng of Penguin and Lyssa Keusch of William Morrow/Avon.



Sigrid turned the gilt-handled scissors in the darkness, watching the firelight glint off the blades. Imprisoned between two crosses, the symbol of that ever-encroaching pestilence of a religion, bands of contrasting steel spelt the craftsman’s name: ULFBERHT.

The expensive gifts flooding in since her fourteenth birthday had begun to blend together. Fine metalwork and rare gems did not tell which man would bring the best alliance. If anything, this most recent present only proved her suitor’s hubris. Ulfberht swords were the most famously expensive weapons in the world. Crucible steel, carried in from Persia and forged in jealous secrecy somewhere along the northern wilds by the sea, was said to never lose its edge. It could bend without breaking, twice the strength of ordinary steel, yet seemingly half the weight.

Her foster-sister Odetta admired them over her shoulder. “They’re magnificent.”

“They’re useless.” Sigrid ran her finger along one razor edge. They were too large to hang from her waist on a chatelaine, but Prince Otto had the outsize present made in whatever dimension necessary to fit the famous blacksmith’s name. “A lady’s scissors don’t need to pierce armour.”

13 responses to “PW2020 Adult #37: BERSERKER QUEEN (#OwnVoices Historical)”

  1. Devon Halliday says:

    I like Sigrid already! I’d love to read this. You can send the query and full manuscript to querydevon@transatlanticagency.com and include PitchWars in the subject line. If you receive multiple requests from Transatlantic agents, please submit to one of us at a time.

  2. Megan Barnard says:

    This sounds amazing! Please send me your query and full manuscript in an attached word doc using this link: https://querymanager.com/query/Mbarnard/PitchWars. Can’t wait to read!

  3. Chelsey Emmelhainz says:

    Hi Taher and Aida,

    I would love to read the first 50 pages of BERSERKER QUEEN To submit to me through Copps Literary Services, please use Query Manager and note “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line: QueryManager.com/ChelseyEmmelhainz/PitchWars
    If you receive multiple requests from the agency, please refer to our Teams page to choose which agent feels like the best fit for you and your work: https://www.coppsliterary.com/our-team.

    All best,

  4. Aida Lilly says:

    Hi there!
    I’d love to see more. If you’d like to submit to me:
    Please send over your first 100 pages and a complete synopsis (with spoilers) to aida@ktliterary.com and include Pitch Wars in the subject line.
    If you receive a request from multiple agents at KT Literary, please only submit to one of us at a time.

  5. Julie Gwinn says:

    This sounds amazing. I would love to see query and first 3 chapters to Julie.gwinn@yahoo.com. I am VP at the Seymour Agency.

  6. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Taher and Aida, I would love to see more material about this project! If you would like to submit to me, please use the following link to send me your query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters/50 pages (whatever is longer): QueryManager.com/emlysaght/Pitchwars2020

  7. Gina Damasco says:


    I enjoyed your sample and pitch, and I’d like to read more. Please send your query, synopsis, and the first 100 pages (Attention Gina Damasco) through our portal: https://www.serendipitylit.com/component/rsform/form/11-submission-fiction. Thanks!

  8. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Dying for more amazing historical, and this woman sounds badass. If you find us a fit, please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  9. Renae Moore says:

    Please send your query, synopsis, and first two chapters of your book using the following link: QueryManager.com/renae/PitchWars

  10. Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs says:

    Hello! I’d love to see this. Please submit your query, synopsis if you have one, and the first 50 pages to jessica@dhliterary.com and include “Pitchwars” in the subject line. Looking forward to reading!

  11. Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Hi there! I’d LOVE to read this one. Could you send the full manuscript in Word format to aimee@browerliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject heading? Thank you!

    Note: if you notice that another agent from my agency (Brower Literary & Management) has also requested your manuscript, could you please let us know so we’re on the same page?

  12. Kristin Nelson says:

    Won’t lie. GOT style, I’m intrigued by R-rated trauma, sex, and violence. Here is my Pitch wars link in QM if you want to send along. Kristin
    . https://querymanager.com/query/1350/PW2021

  13. Elle Thompson says:

    Hi! I’d be very interested in reading this in full. If you could please submit your work to elle@triadaus.com with the email header “PITCH WARS: [Title]”, the query pitch, and the full MS attached in .doc format, I’d be very appreciative. If another agent from TriadaUS has requested your manuscript, please submit to each of us–we will sort it out on our end. Thank you so much!