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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 #41: TALL COTTON (#OwnVoices #Mystery/ Thriller)
Catherine Tucker
Mentored by:
M. J. Soni and Alex Segura
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
#ownvoices #Mystery/ Thriller
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Domestic abuse, White Supremacy


In 1970s Jim Crow-era Mississippi, a young Black boy with an abusive father and a defiant Black lawyer find themselves entangled in the murder of a wealthy white plantation owner. The duo must seek the truth in the face of the white supremacist retribution it unleashes. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD meets THE HATE U GIVE.



It was the summer of 1970 in the small town of Quentin, Mississippi. On a particular Saturday afternoon, clouds as white and fluffy as the cotton in the fields drifted across an azure sky. Spiky grass, thick in some places, sparse in others, tickled my toes. My sister, Josephine, and I had been playing kickball in our front yard. School had ended, and I was still excited about being promoted to the fifth grade. It was the perfect day.

Until it wasn’t.

I kicked the ball hard and watched it skitter past Jo. Hearing a rumble, I whirled around in time to see Momma and Daddy tumble through our screen door, entangled in a fierce struggle. Blood trickled from Momma’s nose, and fear registered in her eyes. My heart pounded so hard I thought it would explode in my chest. I tried to run to her, to help her. But my feet felt as though they were plunged deep into a bucket of clay.

“Woman, you gone do what I told you!” Daddy landed a hard backhand across Momma’s face. She staggered back then crumpled to her knees. Like a panther, Daddy pounced on her. His meaty dark fingers clamped tight around her neck. Gasping for air, Momma kicked and clawed vigorously at his hands.

Jo screamed, “Bailey, do something! He’s killing her!” When I didn’t move, couldn’t move, Jo looked around frantically for something to use as a weapon.

9 responses to “PW2020 Adult #41: TALL COTTON (#OwnVoices #Mystery/ Thriller)”

  1. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear Catherine, I am gripped! This is such an important story and I would love to read more. Could you please send through the first 50 pages of your MS for our consideration? I am hooked. My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com Can’t wait, and I hope you are doing as well as possible! All best, Anya; Peony Literary Agency

  2. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear Catherine,
    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. Nalini Akolekar says:

    I’d like to see this complete and a synopsis. Please email to nakolekar@spencerhillassociates.com. Thanks!

  4. Gina Damasco says:

    Hi Catherine, I found your pitch interesting, and the writing was well crafted – 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!

  5. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Catherine, I’d love to read more! Could you please send your query with 50 sample pages attached? spelletier@dystel.com (And if other DG&B agents have requested, just choose who you think is the best fit and let them know when you query who else was interested.)

    Sharon Pelletier
    Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

  6. Elizabeth Bewley says:

    Hi there! Thanks for the opportunity to read your pitch and sample pages. I’m intrigued! Can you please email me your full manuscript as a Word document attachment? My email address is ebewley@sll.com. Please include “Pitch Wars” in your subject line of the email. I’ll look forward to reading.
    Elizabeth Bewley
    Sterling Lord Literistic

  7. Josh Getzler says:

    Hi Catherine,

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

    All the best,

    Josh Getzler
    Hannigan Getzler Literary

  8. Amy Tannenbaum says:

    Hi Catherine,
    I’ve love to read more. Please send a synopsis, and the first three chapters in the body of an email to: atannenbaum@janerotrosen.com.
    Thank you!

  9. James McGowan says:

    Hello Catherine,

    I hope you are well! This pitch, and your sample, sound incredible. 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,