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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 #39: THE ARCANE MAGE (#LGBT Contemporary Fantasy Romance)
Suzy Darlington
Mentored by:
Mary Ann Marlowe
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
#LGBT Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Word Count:



Alex Vance commands enough magic to annihilate London, but he’d rather watch Love, Actually and fight over popcorn with his magical pet than save the world. When his agonisingly sexy ex-boyfriend, Tyler Winterbourne, prince of Magice Primaria, rescues him from a deadly attack of dark creatures, Alex must face the past he ran from, the love he’s afraid of, and the most unlikely adversary of all: his father.



Snow stars rip from the ground beside me along with chunks of broken mortar and brick, all sucked up into an angry snowstorm I can’t control anymore. I’d laugh if I wasn’t currently suffocating. This is what I get for fighting what I am. The world’s most powerful mage is going to die a rather pedestrian death, choking on some hairy starfish.

I search through a tiny gap in fur and suckers for Inkpit. Even without my glasses, his weakening glow draws my gaze to the patch of snow he’s been dragged into. His white-tipped paws that were clinging to my coat minutes ago stick out of the powder like tiny gravestones.

If only I could reach him. But there’s nothing I can do to save my gruff now. Not without killing us both. My hands squeeze my own throat, bound by spiderish extensions that harpooned–Assassin’s Creed style–from the stars’ fat limbs. I can’t speak any strength into my magic. All I can do is self-destruct. 

Something melancholy and masochistic surrenders inside me. I’ve failed. Failed Inkpit. Maybe I am just like every other arcanist–if I don’t slaughter my way out of an impossible situation, I die. But perhaps this is appropriate atonement for my sins. For burning my family’s house down. For stealing their magic.

4 responses to “PW2020 Adult #39: THE ARCANE MAGE (#LGBT Contemporary Fantasy Romance)”

  1. Eva Scalzo says:

    Dear Suzy,

    This sounds like it is good fun, and I’d love to see more. Please submit the full manuscript to QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2020.

    Speilburg Literary

  2. Melanie Castillo says:

    Hi Suzy, Congratulations on successfully completing PitchWars! These are fantastic comps. I love humor coming through in this pitch, and your voice is really pulling me in. I’d love to continue reading! If you’d like to share the full MS, please send the query in the body of an email with the full manuscript and synopsis attached as a Word document. 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 whomever feels like the best fit! We’re happy to coordinate internally. Best, Melanie

  3. Rebecca Podos says:

    Ooh, this sounds so fun. I would love to see the full manuscript at Rebecca@reesagency.com, if you’d like to send!


  4. Zabé Ellor says:

    I love the voice and the fresh worldbuilding this promises–it would be great 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.