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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 #46: DOWNFALL (Sci-Fi #OwnVoices)
Abby Jackson
Mentored by:
N.E. Davenport
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
Sci-Fi #OwnVoices
Word Count:


Branded a traitor-to-be, Black weapon engineer Azeya works tirelessly to prove she’s a model airship citizen after her terrorist mother’s execution. But when Azeya and her friends are accused of murder by military mech, Azeya must work with a suspected terrorist to clear their names, or risk sharing her mother’s fate.



Four head officials line Waker’s Brass & Bolts in grave gray uniforms, intimidating badges, esteemed ribbons, and decades of service stripes. Their golden Captain’s Seal pins send my nails into my arm.

One jabs his thumb at the projector switch, showering engineers’ workstations in a piss-yellow light. I bite the inside of my cheek as the security video plays.

A brooding Enforcer mech fumes black from its brass metal joints, one arm a double-barreled cannon, the other an automatic assault rifle. This is where I’d marvel at the walking tank, a thrilling creature of metal muscle. But onscreen, everything’s gone to rusted shit. Its cockpit hisses open and the uniformed pilot, a third of its size, bolts out. He flees for cover as the unmanned Enforcer jerks its arms. Bursts of gunfire explode at the pilot’s back. A heavy ball of lead churns my stomach as the cannon fires its only round and blows the pilot’s legs into blood ribbons and sharded bone.

The video cuts.

My heartbeat hammers. I clutch my oil-stained tee where it rests over my collarbone, where the brand scar hides. Skies, don’t let it be Enforcer 35. Anyone else but not my mech. They’d drag me in front of the rogue Enforcer next.

The official gets a cigarette flaring red between his teeth, eyeing my boss, Waker. “According to your records, you…unwisely hired a second-gen. Who?”

Chairs ruffle and scrape, heads turning, until every pair of engineers’ eyes fasten over me.

4 responses to “PW2020 Adult #46: DOWNFALL (Sci-Fi #OwnVoices)”

  1. Kurestin Armada says:

    Hi Abby,

    Congratulations on successfully completing PitchWars!

    I always love a giant mech, especially with some gritty engineers to go with it. I’m dying to continue reading! If you’d like to share it, please send the query in the body of an email, with the full manuscript and synopsis attached as a Word doc. The subject of the email should be “Pitch Wars Request: YOUR TITLE for Root Literary” sent to submissions@rootliterary.com.

    Although not all of Root Literary is participating in Pitch Wars, please feel free to query whoever feels like the best fit! We’re happy to coordinate internally.

    All the best,

  2. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Abby, 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

  3. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Abby,

    I’d really love to read DOWNFALL! If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com and make sure to include “PW2020” in your subject line?

    Thank you!


  4. Matt Belford says:

    Hi Abby,

    I’d love to take a look at more of this! I’ve really enjoyed what you’ve created so far and would love to look at the first 50 pages. I’ve set up a special link for the Showcase, so I can stay on top of these: QueryManager.com/MWBelford/PitchWarsShowcase. Please fill out the form and upload your first 50 pages as an attachment so I can take a look.

    If you receive requests from two or more agents at the Tobias Agency, please send your materials to all requestors. We will coordinate internally and discuss the projects that we’re interested in!


    Matt Belford