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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 #33: THE AFTERLIFE OF MAL CALDERA (#OwnVoices Speculative Fiction)
Nadi Reed Perez
Mentored by:
Roma Panganiban
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
#OwnVoices Speculative Fiction
Word Count:


Mal ruined her life, and now it’s over. But death is a fresh start at the local haunted mansion where carefree ghosts dance their afterlives away. Feeling too guilty to join them while her sister mourns, Mal finds a medium to help her seek closure, but chasing grief rather than cutting loose might trap her in a fate worse than death. She could risk trying to clean up the mess she left behind—or blow off the past and party. FLEABAG meets BEETLEJUICE.



It didn’t bother me much, being dead. I hadn’t really been living anyway. At least now I’d never have to do the dishes in the sink, or worry about the bills piled on the table, or nurse any guilt over staying in every night. Nothing urged me to get out of bed anymore. It felt like I’d been rehearsing for this a long time—how to be a ghost.

But I couldn’t haunt my apartment forever. No doubt it would be back on the market soon, in spite of being cramped and badly lit, the walls always thumping with aggressive bass, occasionally accompanied by distant sirens. My presence would be easy to clear out: just secondhand furniture, piles of laundry both dirty and clean, empty bottles of whiskey and packs of cigs. No decorations, as if I’d barely moved in. I hadn’t gotten around to buying plants, or finding art that spoke to me, or making enough friends to showcase on the fridge.

I could linger for however long the place remained unoccupied. But after that, I didn’t really want company. If the next tenant walked around naked, or hosted lots of overnight guests, or brought a bedmate along with them, I didn’t want to see it—well, unless they were hot.

12 responses to “PW2020 Adult #33: THE AFTERLIFE OF MAL CALDERA (#OwnVoices Speculative Fiction)”

  1. Larissa Melo Pienkowski says:

    So happy to see this query here! I would love to take another look at this, Nadi. Please feel free to resend me the full revised MS as a Word attachment to larissa@jillgrinbergliterary.com.

  2. Jill Marr says:

    Wow–this looks fun! I’m technically closed to queries at the moment but couldn’t resist coming here to check out the action. And I just love this!
    Please send the first 50 pages in Word to jill@dijkstraagency.com, along with your query letter. It helps if you include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.
    I look forward to reading!

  3. Mary C. Moore says:

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

  4. Grace Ross says:

    I love the voice! Would you send the first 50 pages of the manuscript to grace@rhaliterary.com? Please include Pitch Wars in the subject. Thank you! – Grace Ross, Regal Hoffmann & Associates, http://www.rhaliterary.com

  5. Devon Halliday says:

    Love the idea that death is a never-ending party. I’d be delighted to read! You can send the query and full manuscript to querydevon@transatlanticagency.com with PitchWars in the subject line. If you get multiple requests from Transatlantic agents, please submit to us one at a time.

  6. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Nadi, I’d like to see more of this! Could you please send your query with the first 50 pages attached? spelletier@dystel.com

    -Sharon Pelletier
    Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

  7. Isabel Kaufman says:

    Hi Nadi,

    The comps for this are killing me in the best way and your style has me hooked from the start—I would love to see more. Could you please email your query letter and the first 5 pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to submissions@foxliterary.com, with ATTN: Isabel and Pitch Wars in the salutation of your email?

    So hoping to read more!


  8. We’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!

  9. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Nadi, this sounds great! Please send your full manuscript, query and synopsis via email to mollie.glickasst@caa.com with “Pitch Wars Requested Submission” in the subject line. Please let me know if you are submitting to more than one agent at CAA.

  10. Laura Bradford says:

    I’m so intrigued! Please email me the full manuscript + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put Pitch Wars in the subject line and paste the pitch into your email. Thank you!

    Laura Bradford

    *If more than one agent from the Bradford Literary Agency has requested this, go ahead and send it to those agents and just let us know

  11. Amanda Rutter says:

    I really enjoyed your pitch and extract. Can you send the full through to Amanda Rutter from Azantian Literary Agency? Please also include the query, but no synopsis. The email should have Pitch Wars and the novel title in the subject line. The email address to use is amanda@azantianlitagency.com. If two agents from Azantian have requested, then please pick your preferred – we will share amongst ourselves if we think another agent would be a better fit. Thank you, and I look forward to reading!

  12. Cindy Uh says:

    I’m really drawn to this premise. 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