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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 MG #07: CHILDREN WHO COME AND GO (#OwnVoices Afrofantasy)
Isi Hendrix
Mentored by:
Sylvia Liu
Book Title:
2020 Entries
#ownvoices Afrofantasy
Word Count:


MATILDA X TRISTAN STRONG. Sick of being shunned as an evil ogbanje for her freakish memory, Adia Kelbara can’t wait to start her apprenticeship at the Academy of Shamans. When an actual ogbanje—a soul-possessing demon—threatens the empire, she must ally with snarky gods and new friends to fight it, even as her brilliant mind is the ogbanje’s next target.



If an atlas bothered to mention the Swamplands, it was sure to include a footnote stating that “the affairs of this village are not worth discussing.” But the affairs of this day were of great importance to twelve-year-old Adia Kelbara.

Adia stood outside her house, clutching a letter so tightly her nails dug into her palm. A letter that could change her life and get her out of the swamp. So long as her aunt and uncle didn’t kill her first.

You have to go in at some point, she told herself.

Usually, she went straight to the forest after she left the village schoolhouse. The mosquitoes and tsetse flies were relentless in the Swamplands and even worse in the forest, but it was the only place she could read in peace. Today, however, she needed to tell her aunt and uncle about the letter. Slipping it into her pocket, Adia opened the front door.

Aunt Ife stood in the living room dusting a table and humming a hymn. Aunt Ife was always humming a hymn.

“Hi, Auntie.”

Her aunt’s only reply was a distracted nod.

Adia took a deep breath. She might as well get it over with.

“So…I received my placement letter today for my year of practicality.”

Her aunt spared her a glance.

“Year of practicality? Don’t be silly. That’s for twelve-year-olds. You’re nine.”

“I’ve been twelve for three months.”

Aunt Ife blinked. “If you say so.”

32 responses to “PW2020 MG #07: CHILDREN WHO COME AND GO (#OwnVoices Afrofantasy)”

  1. Mary C. Moore says:

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

  2. Tara Gilbert says:

    Hi Isi! I’d love to see the first three chapters! Please use this link to send in the materials. QueryManager.com/TaraGilbert/PitchEvent

  3. I love the premise here and the voice in the opening! It sounds amazing, and I’d love to read more. Please kindly send the full manuscript and a synopsis as word doc attachments to hilaryquery at ktliterary.com with ‘Pitchwars Requested Material’ in the subject field. I can’t wait to dive in!

    Hilary Harwell, Literary Agent
    KT Literary LLC

  4. Renae Moore says:

    Please send your query, synopsis, and first two chapters of your book using the following link: QueryManager.com/renae/PitchWars
    Please feel free to apply to more than one agent at Tobias simultaneously. We will handle multiple submissions on our end.

  5. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Isi,

    You have a great pitch! I am intrigued. I would love to see more.

    I hope you’ll consider submitting to me. You can send query, synopsis, and the first three chapters to QueryManager.com/JenniferHerrington/PitchWars2021

    Thanks! I hope to see your submission!


  6. Rick Richter says:

    Hello Isi! I’m super excited by this project and would love to read more. Could you please send a full manuscript to rrichter@aevitascreative.com and cc my assistant at cmarsiglia@aevtiascreative.com. Please include ‘Pitch Wars’ somewhere in the title. Thank you!

  7. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to take a look at this. You can send the full to me at jmccarthy at Dystel dot com. Word attachments are preferable if possible. If more than one DGB agent requests, please feel free to choose one of us to go to first and just let us know who else asked. Thanks so much, and happy Pitch Wars!

  8. Paige Wheeler says:

    Thank you for your participation in Pitch Wars. I found your project intriguing and would very much like to see the first three chapters of the manuscript. Please email me at paige@cmalit.com the following attachments in Microsoft Word format (not PDF):
    1. the first three chapters,
    2. a synopsis of your project,
    3. a short bio including any previous publications.
    To expedite the review process, please use “requested material-pitch wars” as the subject heading of your email.
    As a professional courtesy, please let me know if any other agents are considering your work. Also, if you do get an offer, please contact me so that I may be able to review and respond accordingly.

    I look forward to reading your work!
    Kind regards,
    Paige Wheeler 

  9. Lauren Spieller says:

    Hi Isi! I love the sound of this, and I’m ready TRISTAN STRONG as we speak, so this is great timing! If you think we’d be a good fit, please send your query + full manuscript to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren

  10. Hi Isi,

    This story sounds wonderful! I was hooked from the first line and thought that final moment with Aunt Ife hit the balance between funny and painful perfectly. I would love to see more.

    If you head to my agent page (jdlit.com/savannah-brooks), you’ll find my submission guidelines and link to QueryManager. Please be sure to include that this was a Pitch Wars request somewhere in the query.

    I look forward to reading more!

  11. Whitney Ross says:

    Hi Isi, I’m intrigued by this concept! I’d love to see your query, synopsis, and full manuscript, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. You can reach me at whitney.queries@irenegoodman.com. Excited to take a look!

  12. Samantha Wekstein says:

    Hi Isi! I love your premise. I’d like to read more! If interested, can you please send your first 50 pages to samantha@thompsonliterary.com? Thanks!

  13. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Isi!! I love this pitch and your opening page!! Your voice is amazing. 🙂 I’d love to see your query, synopsis, and full manuscript at http://querymanager.com/kellypeterson/pitchwars. I’m SO EXCITED to read!!! – Kelly

  14. Alec Shane says:

    This sounds fun -would love to see the full. Please send as a Word doc to ashane@writershouse.com

  15. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Isi,

    This sounds AMAZING—I’d love to have the chance to read the manuscript! If you could please send your query letter and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com (and put Pitch Wars somewhere in the subject line). I’m looking forward!

    All best,

  16. Karly Caserza says:

    Thank you for sharing your work. I’d love to see the first 20 pages. Please send them to QueryMe.online/Karly/ and add “PitchWars” before your title.

    If another Fuse agent requests your work, please query us one at a time.

  17. Alexandra Levick says:

    Hi Isi,

    I’d love to take a closer look at this! If I seem like a good fit for your body of work, please send your query letter and the first 75 pages of your manuscript (attached as a word document) to me at alevick(@)writershouse(.)com. I would appreciate it if you could note in the subject line that your message is a Pitch Wars request.

    More information about me is available here: https://www.alexandralevick.com/
    More information about Writers House is available here: http://www.writershouse.com/home

    Additionally, if more than one agent from Writers House requests your work, please note you may only submit to one of us at any given time.

    Thanks very much!

    Alexandra Levick | She/Her | Writers House

  18. Amber Caraveo says:

    I’m so intrigued by the concept here. It sounds great! Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF to me, Amber, at submissions@skylark-literary.com and put “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line. I’d also like to see a one-page synopsis if you have it. Please tell me a little about you in your covering email and if you’d like to know a little about me, and about Skylark Literary, then you can find out more here – http://www.skylark-literary.com/about-us. If by chance my colleague, Joanna, also requests this, please feel free to send it to both of us or to pick whoever you like the sound of best! 🙂 Thank you!

  19. Ameerah Holliday says:

    I’m intrigued and I’m loving the characters names! I’d really like to see more, please feel free to send a query letter, bio and the first 50 pages to Ameerah@serendipitylit.com

  20. Kurestin Armada says:

    Hi Isi, Congratulations on successfully completing PitchWars! I love the voice and world building you’ve packed in this one short page. I’m dying to continue reading! 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: 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 whoever feels like the best fit! We’re happy to coordinate internally. All the best, Kurestin

  21. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Isi, I would love to see more material for this project! If you would like to submit to me, please send me your query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters/50 pages (whichever is longer) at the following link: QueryManager.com/emlysaght/Pitchwars2020

  22. Hannah Sheppard says:

    Hi Isi,

    I love the sound of this! If you’d like to submit to me please send the full manuscript as a Word attachment with your cover letter and synopsis pasted into the body of the email to hs.submission@dhhliteraryagency.com.

    Best wishes,

  23. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Isi, this sounds amazing and I would love to read more! Could you please send the query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you! 

  24. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Isi,

    I would love to see this! If you’re interested, can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with PitchWars in the subject line? Thank you!

    All best,

  25. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear Isi,

    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 think your premise sounds great and 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!


  26. Hi, Isi!
    I’m loving the voice in this, and the premise is so intriguing. I’d love to see the full. Could you please submit it via QueryManager.com/JenniferWills/PitchWars2020? I’d also love to see your query letter and a synopsis if you have one.

    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer Wills
    The Seymour Agency

  27. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great! I’d love to read more. Please send a query in the body of the email to queries@parkfine.com with = “Pete Knapp – Pitch Wars: CHILDREN WHO COME AND GO [MG]” in the subject line. Please attach the manuscript as a Word document, and include a short synopsis (either in the beginning of the same document as the manuscript or as a separate attachment). Thank you, and I’m looking forward to considering. Warmly, Pete Knapp // Park & Fine

  28. Cindy Uh says:

    I’m so drawn to Adia’s voice and 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

  29. Lee OBrien says:

    I would love to read this!

    To query me, you can send the query and full MS to lee.queries@irenegoodman.com with the words “Pitch Wars” in the subject line! If another agent at Irene Goodman requests your manuscript, please submit to just one agent at a time. If they pass, you are welcome to resubmit to another.

  30. Jennifer Mattson says:

    Dear Isi,
    This is intriguing! I would be delighted to receive the full MS, via this QueryManager link: QueryManager.com/JenniferMattson/PitchWars20_21.

    If another agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency also makes a request, please choose just one of us, to avoid confusion! And thanks.

    Hope you are taking good care. —Jennifer Mattson, Agent

  31. Roseanne Wells says:

    Hi Isi, I love this introduction! The voice is strong, and I’m really excited to read more about Adia’s adventures (gotta love snarky gods and high stakes!). I’d love to take a look. Please send the full manuscript and a synopsis as doc or docx attachments to queryroseanne@gmail.com with Query: #Pitchwars and the title in the subject line. I’m very excited to read this project!



  32. Christa Heschke says:

    What a great opening! I’d love to read more! 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