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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 #22: JACKAL (Upmarket Thriller – #OwnVoices)
E.E. Adams
Mentored by:
Sonia Hartl and Annette Christie
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
Upmarket Thriller - #OwnVoices
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
child death, off-page rape, assault, violence, body horror, and racism


Liz, a jaded Black millennial, reluctantly returns to the Rust Belt for a friend’s wedding. When a twelve-year-old disappears, Liz is the only one who sees a pattern. They’re all Black girls. But as she gets closer to uncovering the truth, she risks being devoured by the beast lurking in her town’s dark past. LOVECRAFT COUNTRY meets THE LOVELY BONES.



If Liz knew her role in this, she would never let me narrate. She wouldn’t trust me to get it right. But she couldn’t see herself the way I could. I knew what lived beneath her stern expression. I saw the frailty in her steady spine. I smelled what she protected within her well-spaced ribs.

Liz had the perfect heart.

Its tempo was flawless. The muscle was taut. And its capacity rivaled the cosmos. Still, even with this marvel in her chest, she wasn’t ready to use it. From the beginning, it was clear.

Liz was lost.

She knew what city she was in, New York. She knew what train she was on, the Uptown A. She knew what time it was, mid-April around 11:15 pm. Her belief in her phone conveyed these facts to her. Remove the device and you’d reveal the girl.

Yet, on that train, she was more at home than the young woman sitting across from her. Judging by the way the woman studied the subway map, she was adrift in its web of lines and color. Fortunately, a man arrived to help. He wasn’t helpful because he was a man, he was helpful because of the confidence he possessed in being one. Something drew Liz’s eyes to the young woman’s. Once there, she saw the whole picture. Though the woman smiled and nodded, subtle shifts in her posture betrayed her. She was trying to escape.

48 responses to “PW2020 Adult #22: JACKAL (Upmarket Thriller – #OwnVoices)”

  1. Larissa Melo Pienkowski says:

    I would love to take a look at this! Please feel free to send me this query and the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to larissa@jillgrinbergliterary.com, with your name, title, genre, and “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. (Also, if you have requests from two or more of us at JGLM, please do pick and send to only one of us.)

  2. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi E.E!

    This sounds incredible! I’d love for you to send your query letter and synopsis in the body of the email with the full manuscript attached in a word doc to jess@browerliterary.com, Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    If someone else from Brower requests this, just email us both and we’ll decide in house who will read and let you know.

    Looking forward to reading!


  3. Renae Moore says:

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

  4. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear E.E. Adams, Wow, the premise of this story and your words are so haunting and I am certain I won’t stop thinking about either. I would absolutely love to read more! Could you please send through the first 50 pages of your MS for our consideration? My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com. Really can’t wait, and I hope you are doing as well as possible at this uncertain time! All best, Anya; Peony Literary Agency

  5. Mary C. Moore says:

    Would love to read more! Please use this link to send: QueryManager.com/Mary_C_Moore_KCA/PitchWars

  6. Shannon Snow says:

    Dear EE,

    Your entry definitely caught my eye. I would love for you to send me the complete manuscript, synopsis and a short bio in Word format to shannon@cmalit.com.

    Please put “PitchWars-Title” in the subject line so it will be certain to stand out in my inbox.

    If more than one agent requests materials from you from our agency (Creative Media Agency, Inc. or CMA), please feel free to pick one only, and if it’s not right for that agent, they will share it with the others.

    Thank you and good luck! Wishing you success!!


  7. Jessica Alvarez says:

    OMG. This sounds fantastic! I’d love to give it a read. Please upload your manuscript, synopsis, and query at this link: http://www.QueryManager.com/JessicaAlvarez/PitchWars. Thank you!
    Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds Literary

  8. Jessica Faust says:

    This sounds incredible. I would love to take a look at the full manuscript. You can send through my Pitch Wars form on Query Manager.


    Thank you so much for giving me the chance to consider your work.

    –Jessica Faust, President
    BookEnds Literary Agency

  9. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear EE Adams,
    Congratulations on being selected for the Showcase. You certainly have a compelling voice and engaging premise, and I’d like to read further. If you would like me to consider representing your work, please do send the first 50 pages to my attention at atuttle@dystel.com. If more than one DG&B agent requests your work, please only submit to one of us and let that agent know who else at the agency requested the project, We will work it out amongst ourselves. In the meantime, I wish you success with the Showcase and your writing.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  10. Amy Giuffrida says:

    I absolutely love the comps for this! Your opening grabbed me right from the start and I need to more. I’d LOVE to see the full manuscript. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop reading once I start! Please send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/AmyGiuffrida/PitchWars

    Best of luck to you!

  11. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! This is right up my alley. I’d love to read more. If you think we’d be a good fit, please send your query + full manuscript to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren

  12. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear E.E. Thank you for sharing your work. I would love to read more. Please send the full ms and query letter with Pitchwars in the subject line to lgalvin[at]aevitascreative[dot]com


  13. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi E.E.,
    I’d love to take a look! Please email the full to medwards @ stonesong . com with PitchWars and the title in the subject line.

    Thank you!

    All best,

  14. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi E.E., I’d like to read more! Could you please send your query, and the full manuscript attached as a Word doc?
    I’m with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret – if others here request, just choose who you think is the best fit and mention who else requested when you send to them.
    -Sharon Pelletier

  15. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hi, I’m Jem, and this sounds amazing! I’d love to take a look. If you’re open to me considering your novel, please send me a query, a one to two-page synopsis, and the full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars.

  16. Paige Wheeler says:

    Thank you for your participation in Pitch Wars. I found your project intriguing and would very much like to see the first two chapters of the manuscript. Please email me at paige@cmalit.com the following attachments in Microsoft Word format (not PDF):
    1. the first two chapters,
    2. a synopsis of your project,
    3. a short bio including any previous publications.
    To expedite the review process, please use “requested material-pitch wars” as the subject heading of your email.
    As a professional courtesy, please let me know if any other agents are considering your work. Also, if you do get an offer, please contact me so that I may be able to review and respond accordingly.

    I look forward to reading your work!
    Kind regards,
    Paige Wheeler 

  17. Claire Friedman says:

    This pitch gave me chills! I’d love to read. Please send the full manuscript to claire@inkwellmanagement.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!

  18. Kim Lindman says:

    Hi there! I love this concept, and I’d be so happy for you to send me the full. (You can find info on how to submit at the Stonesong website.)

    All my best,

    Kim Lindman

  19. Dear E.E.
    I was immediately drawn to the premise and the comps for Jackal, but the eerie tone here really hooked me. I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please use this link to upload your pages: QueryManager.com/1353/PW2021

  20. 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!

  21. Amelia Appel says:

    Dear E.E. Adams,

    I’m super intrigued and would love to read more! Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc. attachment to amelia@triadaus.com with your pitch, full synopsis, and author bio pasted into the body of the email. In the subject line, please include, “PITCH WARS REQUEST – JACKAL”.

    Thank you so much and I look forward to reading!

    All best,

  22. Kimberley Cameron says:

    Interesting narrator – would love to see the first 50 pages!



    ETA: email Kimberley@kimberleycameron.com with “Pitch Wars” in subject

  23. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi E.E.,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled!

    I was immediately blown away by your comps! I also have been screaming into the universe how I want more POCs writing thrillers, suspense, and horror. I’d love to request the full manuscript.

    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: JACKAL 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,

  24. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear E.E.,

    I’m SO intrigued by the use of an unnamed narrator in the opening and by Liz’s story. If you think we’d be a good fit, please send the query and full manuscript as a Word document to my attention at dca@doncongdon.com with PITCHWARS in the subject line. Thanks and can’t wait to read more of JACKAL!

    Katie Grimm
    Don Congdon Associates, Inc.

  25. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi E.E., this writing sample is so gorgeous! I’m officially hooked. If you’d like to query me, please include your query letter and upload your full manuscript to the link below. If you decide to query more than one agent at Rees, that’s totally fine, just let us know you did so in the query. Thanks and congrats on Pitch Wars and all your hard work!


  26. Jenny Bent says:

    Ooh I love this opening. Can you please send the full to me at pitchwars@thebentagency.com, and put “pitchwars” in the subject line. It’s perfectly fine to send to multiple agents at TBA if you get those requests, just please do let us know who else you are sending to so we can coordinate on responses.

  27. Victoria Cappello says:

    Hello, this sounds wonderful. If you’d like me to consider, please send the full manuscript as a word doc to victoria@thebentagency.com and put ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject. If another agent here at TBA also requests, that’s totally okay, we’d just be grateful if you would let us know if more than one of us has your work. Thank you!

  28. Jessica Errera says:

    E.E., I was hooked by your premise and dying to read more of your pages–I’d love to read your full ms, and a synopsis if you have, so please send them to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com at your convenience. And do mention PitchWars in your subject, if you don’t mind. Thanks and be well!

  29. Alec Shane says:

    Will take a look at this – full manuscript please, as a Word doc, to ashane@writershouse.com

  30. Chelsey Emmelhainz says:

    Hi E.E.,

    I would love to read the first 50 pages of JACKAL! 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,

  31. Carlisle Webber says:

    I would like to see this. Please send your query letter (in the body of the message) and your full manuscript (as a Word attachment) to carlisle @ fuseliterary .com with the subject Pitch Wars requested material: TITLE.

    If you get a request from more than one agent at Fuse Literary, please choose one of us to send your work to; we don’t compete with each other for titles.

    Thank you!

  32. Rebecca Podos says:

    Woah, this sounds amazing. I would love to see the full MS at rebecca@reesagency.com!


  33. 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.

  34. Jennifer Unter says:

    Hi EE,
    We’d love to take a look! Please forward the opening 50 pages, as a Word attachment, along with your query pasted in the body of an email to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com.

  35. Nalini Akolekar says:

    This sounds really interesting. I’d love to see the complete and a synopsis. Please send to nakolekar@spencerhillassociates.com.

  36. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there! I’m super intrigued. I’d love to read this full manuscript. Please send it attached to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com


    Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  37. Dorian Maffei says:

    Wow! LOVECRAFT COUNTRY meets THE LOVELY BONES?! I would love to request the full manuscript. 🙂 You can send the query and manuscript through my online submission form: QueryManager.com/dorianmaffei/Request

    Quick note that if you have received requests from multiple agents at Kimberley Cameron & Associates to please only choose one agent to submit to at a time. If it’s not a good fit for one agent, we would most certainly pass it on to our colleagues!

  38. Shannon Hassan says:

    I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query letter + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com? Thanks for the chance–Shannon

  39. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi E.E.,

    I love your pitch and sample!! Could you please submit your query, synopsis, and first 50 pages to my Query Manager?


    Please mention this is a PitchWars request at the beginning of the query, or in the referral section of the form. If another Belcastro agent requests, please make sure to only submit to one of us (we’re good at sharing!).

    I look forward to seeing your pages!!


    Cortney Radocaj
    Literary Agent
    Belcastro Agency

  40. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi E.E.,

    I’d love to see this! If you’re interested, can you send your query and the full to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with PitchWars in the subject line? Thank you!

    All best,

  41. Hi, E.E. I am rapt by this mystery of who the narrator is. The way Liz is framed for us is so interesting, and I would love to read more (I also binged LOVECRAFT COUNTRY in, like, a day). If you’re interested in submitting, please visit my QueryManager page at QueryManager.com/SavannahBrooks and be sure to put that this was a Pitch Wars request somewhere in the query. Thanks!

  42. Josh Getzler says:

    Hi E.E.,

    I really enjoyed your pitch and your sample. Could you please send the full MS of Jackal to my email address, with PitchWars in the subject? Thanks, and looking forward to reading more.

    All the best,

    Josh Getzler
    Hannigan Getzler Literary

  43. Stefanie Lieberman says:

    This accomplished so much in so little space. Can’t wait to read the rest. Please send the full manuscript to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com and write the following in the subject line: Stefanie Lieberman, Pitch Wars material. Thank you!

  44. Andrea Somberg says:

    I enjoyed these opening pages and would love to take a look at the full manuscript! Please feel free to send it along as a word document to andrea@harveyklinger.com. Include the query letter in the email, and put “Pitch Wars Requested Manuscript” within the subject line. And if multiple agents at Harvey Klinger have requested, please feel free to send along to all of us but just let us know who else is considering. Thanks! – Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Inc.

  45. Zabé Ellor says:

    Wow! I love your style and the intriguing mystery of this pitch, and I would love to see more!

    Please could you send the query and first fifty pages to me, as an attachment, at zrellor.books@gmail.com? Please paste your query on the first page of your attached sample pages, and also in the body of the email, and include PITCH WARS in the subject line. If more than one JDLA agent requests, feel free to first submit to the one you think is the best fit.

  46. Cindy Uh says:

    I love this pitch. Please send the first 100 pages as an attachment to cindy.uh@caa.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If you are submitting to more than one agent at CAA, if you could just make note of it, that would be great.
    Looking forward to reading!
    Cindy Uh

  47. 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!

  48. James McGowan says:

    Hi EE—

    I hope you are well! This book sounds dark and page-turny and I can’t get the pitch out of my head. I’d love to have a read of this manuscript, if you’re interested. You can upload the query and full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/jmcgowan/Pitchwars I’m eager to read more! Best, James