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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 #01: THESE FAMILIAR WALLS (Paranormal Horror – Contemporary)
C.J. Dotson
Mentored by:
Rochelle Karina
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
Paranormal Horror - Contemporary
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Violence, Death, Mental Health


GIRLS OF BRACKENHILL meets the film OCULUS in a dual-timeline paranormal horror.

As a lonely preteen, Amber ignores her family’s misgivings about the troubled new kid in the neighborhood and forges a turbulent friendship, brief but with lasting consequences.

Twenty-two years later, he resurfaces to kill Amber’s parents.

Amber moves into her childhood home with her husband and kids. All she wants is to put her strained past behind her, move on, and enjoy life. But Amber finds the familiar walls are haunted by more than bitter memories and lockdown anxiety. She loses track of her thoughts in dreamlike trances and her reflection won’t blink. A hateful voice whispers from nowhere and shadows gather with a will of their own. Maybe the stress is crumbling her sanity. Or maybe a spectral presence threatens her family.



Amber Hughes pushed open the front door and forgot herself, standing framed in the threshold, staring into the house in which she’d grown up. The “POLICE LINE” tape she’d seen strung around in the crime scene photos was gone, as was the stain on the hardwood floor. At half past eight in the morning, the sun already shone warm on the back of her neck. Across the street from the house insects buzzed in the trees and undergrowth lining the little creek she’d explored as a girl, somewhere in the distance a dog barked in a friendly sort of way, and the wind whispered through the branches of the tree she had climbed to the top of in her teens. That breeze pushed past her, bringing the powerful scent of the hyacinths growing along the front of the house and freshly mowed grass from a nearby yard, and that was the smell of her childhood.

10 responses to “PW2020 Adult #01: THESE FAMILIAR WALLS (Paranormal Horror – Contemporary)”

  1. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi C.J.,

    This sounds so fantastic! I’d love for you to send your query letter and synopsis in the body of the email with the full manuscript attached in a word doc to jess@browerliterary.com, Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    If someone else from Brower requests this, just email us both and we’ll decide in house who will read and let you know.

    Looking forward to reading!


  2. Nicole Payne says:

    This sounds so good! Please send query, synopsis and first 3 chapters to nicole@goldenwheatliterary.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

  3. Victoria Cappello says:

    Hello, this sounds wonderful. 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!

  4. Elizabeth Copps says:

    Dear C.J.,

    I would love to read the first 50 pages of THESE FAMILIAR WALLS! To submit to me through Copps Literary Services, please use Query Manager and note “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line: QueryManager.com/QueryManager_ElizabethCopps/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.



  5. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    This sounds so thrilling! Love Oculus and would love to see this full! If you find us a fit, please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  6. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear C.J.
    Thank you for sharing your work. I’d love to read more. Could you please send the full and query letter to lgalvin[at]aevitascreative.com

    Lori Galvin

  7. 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 can coordinate on our end?

  8. Christine Lee says:

    Hi C.J.! I’d love to read more. You’re welcome to send your full manuscript to christine@leshneagency.com. Please include “Pitch Wars” and your book title in the subject line. Thanks!

  9. Christa Heschke says:

    I am a BIG horror fan and 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

  10. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi C.J.,

    I’m intrigued here! If you’re interested, can you send your query and first 50 pages to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with PitchWars in the subject line? Thank you!

    All best,