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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 #29: THE SPINNEY (Horror, #OwnVoices Queer MC)
Jaq Evans
Mentored by:
Sequoia Nagamatsu and Cole Nagamatsu
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
horror, #ownvoices queer MC
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
depictions of suicide, mild body horror, some gun violence


Sixteen years ago, Brigit and her older sister played a game in the woods. One came home. The other didn’t. Now Brigit pays the bills as a fake medium “investigating the paranormal,” but when two teenagers vanish into those same woods, she must face her buried past to save them—except unlike Brigit’s powers, what lurks in the forest is very real. Paul Tremblay meets Magic for Liars.



Brigit Weylan slid her fingers across the tape recorder in her lap, the plastic warm as living skin. 

“Are you picking anything up?” Ian asked, snaking a hand beneath the camera on his shoulder to massage his trapezius. He caught her watching and she cut her eyes away, thumbing off her mic.

“Nothing but your breathing.”

“It’s ambiance. And we’re stalling because?”

She shifted on the pine floor. Pinkish clouds of insulation erupted from the walls on either side. It was a delicate maneuver to stretch out her legs, but if she didn’t reposition she was going to tear a meniscus. Brigit switched her mic back on. 

“Sorry for the technical difficulties. We’re getting a little interference, which is a good sign—”

At the far end of the attic, a cardboard box fell off its stack. Papers spilled across the plywood in a plume of dust that brought with it the moldering scent of mouse droppings. Ian coughed but kept the camera level. In the living room downstairs, the baby goth who’d hired them would have a perfect view. 

“Hello?” Brigit asked. “Logan, is that you?”

Logan Messer, struck down by a heart attack in 1998, had glared up from his obituary like a nineteenth-century oil magnate. Definitely the most likely of several spirits that could be haunting Haletown House. At least that’s what Brigit and Ian had told its newest occupant.

25 responses to “PW2020 Adult #29: THE SPINNEY (Horror, #OwnVoices Queer MC)”

  1. Jill Marr says:

    Hello there, Jaq–
    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!

  2. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Jaq,

    This sounds SO GOOD, and I’d love to take a look! If you could please email your query letter and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com (and put Pitch Wars somewhere in the subject line). Looking forward to reading!

    All best,

  3. Melanie Castillo says:

    Hi Jaq, Congratulations on successfully completing PitchWars! I love so much about this concept, 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

  4. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Jaq,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled!

    Your premise caught my eye, but I am also constantly looking for marginalized—especially queer— creators and rep in horror and fantasy. I’d love to read more of Brigit’s story and request the full.

    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: THE SPINNEY 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,

  5. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Jaq, I’m officially intrigued and would love to read more! 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!


  6. Stephanie Winter says:

    Hi there! This sounds great! Queer and horror projects are right up my alley. I’d love to read your full manuscript. Please send an email to query@psliterary.com with the manuscript and a synopsis attached. In the subject line, please mention Pitch Wars and direct it to my attention.

    Thank you! I’m so looking forward to reading your story.

  7. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Jaq, 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

  8. Chelsey Emmelhainz says:

    Hi Jaq,

    I would love to read the first 50 pages of THE SPINNEY. 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,

  9. 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!

  10. Jennifer Unter says:

    Hi Jaq,
    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.

  11. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Jaq!

    I love this pitch and your opening page! Can you send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript at http://querymanager.com/kellypeterson/pitchwars? I’m SO EXCITED to read this! Ghosts and creepy, atmospheric forests are my jam!


  12. Dorian Maffei says:

    This sounds haunting! I would love to request the first 50 pages of this. 🙂 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!

  13. Renae Moore says:

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

  14. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Jaq,

    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

  15. Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Hi there! I’d love to read this one. Could you send the full manuscript in Word format to aimee@browerliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject heading? Thank you!

    Note: if you notice that another agent from my agency (Brower Literary & Management) has also requested your manuscript, could you please let us know so we’re on the same page?

  16. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Jaq,

    I would 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,

  17. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Jaq,

    This description of your work immediately had me hooked. I would love to read more!

    Would you please send your full manuscript, a synopsis of the project, and a short bio about what you do and any of your previous publications to Haley@CMALit.com? Each should be a separate attachment in Microsoft Word or PDF format. To ensure your email doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, please include “Pitch Wars” in your subject line.

    The two other agents at Creative Media Agency, Paige Wheeler and Shannon Snow, are participating in Pitch Wars with me. Should one of them also request your manuscript, we would appreciate it if you would choose the agent you’d most prefer to work with and only send them the requested materials. Should they pass on the project for any reason, and you find yourself still seeking an agent, then you are of course free to resubmit to another member of CMA.

    Thank you for taking the time to send me more of what you’ve written!

    Haley Casey

  18. Hi, Jaq. The age-old fake-it-til-you-make-it-real. I adore thrillers that pull from the past, and I can tell just from this small excerpt this is going to deliver. I’d love to read more. 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!

  19. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear Jaq,

    Congrats on making it through the editing rounds with your mentor! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to check out everyone’s showcase samples. I’ve been eager to find some great horror to add to my list! Based on what I’ve read so far, I’d love to see more. Please query me at this link (QueryManager.com/QueryQuressa/PW2021) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!


  20. Adrienne Rosado says:

    I’d love to take a look at your work. Please feel free to send me the full manuscript and synopsis to arosado(at)stonesong(dot)com with Pitch Wars in the subject line.

  21. Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I’m intrigued! 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!

  22. Zabé Ellor says:

    Oh, I love a good horror story, especially with queer rep!

    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.

  23. 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!

  24. Ronald Gerber says:

    Hi Jaq, I love this intriguing concept and the voice in the excerpt. Would you please email your query and attach the first 100 pages of the manuscript (feel free to adjust to end on a complete chapter) to ronald@bookhaven.com?

  25. Christa Heschke says:

    This sounds SO good! Please send the full manuscript, synopsis and query to chquery@mcintoshandotis.com with Pitch Wars request and the title of the manuscript in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis