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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 #08: ON GOOD AUTHORITY (Victorian Gothic/Romantic Suspense)
Briana Una McGuckin
Mentored by:
Elizabeth Little
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
Victorian Gothic/Romantic Suspense
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Sexual Assault (not by the love interest), Infertility, Mentions of Pregnancy Loss and Child Death, Domestic Abuse, Murder



In the workhouse, games of dominance and submission give young Marian and Valentine the comforting illusion of control. But when they are hired as a maid and footman to a master who turns their game violently against them, they must draw the line between servitude and surrender—confronting their repressed desires along the way.



14th February 1867

Dear Friend—


I wasn’t sure whether to address you by first name or last, after everything that has happened.

Even this solution seems wrong—“friend” is too familiar, surely. A presumptuous claim to make on you. And yet, it is woefully inadequate in describing your claim on me.

The tailoring shop is open now, and I’m busy sewing, but my mind drifts often to Valor Rise—to Mr. Bornholdt’s death, and the part I played in it. I’d be ashamed, if I still believed in perfect justice. But if I am a blight upon ordered society, it is society’s order that has made me so. My victim had power enough to take away nearly all my choices; it is not my fault the one choice he left me was fatal to him.

Not that I’m at peace. When I imagine you, utterly alone because of my crime, the guilt is terrible—worse than any jealousy. So, tell me you found someone else who cares for you. Tell me she’s as good as I meant to be—that she’s better.

As I preach honesty, I’ll admit I’m not entirely well. I live as if every person were police and my wrongdoings were written right across my face. I stick myself with pins as often as whatever cloth I’m aiming for.

But don’t pity me. I almost deserve this. The way some women long to be rescued, I have always longed to be captured.

15 responses to “PW2020 Adult #08: ON GOOD AUTHORITY (Victorian Gothic/Romantic Suspense)”

  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. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear Briana,

    Thank you for sharing your work. I would love to read more. Could you please send the full and query letter to lgalvin[at]aevitascreative[dot]com. Thanks again.

    Lori Galvin

  3. 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 

  4. Jessica Alvarez says:

    I am intrigued. I’d love to give it a read if none of my BookEnds colleagues have already requested. Please upload your manuscript, synopsis, and query at this link: http://www.QueryManager.com/JessicaAlvarez/PitchWars. Thanks!
    Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds Literary

  5. Kimberley Cameron says:

    Hi – Could be an interesting premise and I like the first page:-)

    Please send first 50 pages and I’ll take a careful read…

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

  6. 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!

  7. Victoria Cappello says:

    What great pitch, I’d love to read more. 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!

  8. Rebecca Podos says:

    Wow, this sounds so intriguing. I would love to see the full manuscript at rebecca@reesagency.com!


  9. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Briana,

    I’d love to read this! 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!


  10. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Briana,

    I’m very intrigued here and would love to see more – if you’re interested, can you send your query and first 100 pages to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  11. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Briana, this sounds really intriguing, and I would love to read. Could you please send the query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you!

  12. Josh Getzler says:

    Hi Briana,

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

    All the best,

    Josh Getzler
    Hannigan Getzler Literary

  13. I’d love to see a query, synopsis, bio, and full manuscript. Please send as Word documents to EWRquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Looking forward to reading more!

  14. Elle Thompson says:

    Hi Briana! I’m so excited to see your project come to fruition in Pitch Wars. I’m still very excited about your project and would love to consider it as part of the event. 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!

  15. Diana Fox says:

    I’d love to read more! Please email me the full manuscript at diana at foxliterary dot com.