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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 #04: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELT BUCKLE (Contemporary Adventure)
Catherine Cook
Mentored by:
Rajani LaRocca and Remy Lai
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Contemporary Adventure
Word Count:


Twelve-year-old Lucy is convinced Grandpa’s emerald belt buckle is evil—just like the ring in their favorite book, The Lord of the Rings. When the buckle came into her family’s life, it caused a terrible rift, and since Grandpa’s death, everyone keeps fighting over it. Determined to save her family, Lucy sneaks off on a 300-mile, volcano-bound quest to destroy the buckle.



The belt buckle was destroying her family and Lucy didn’t know what to do.

Grandpa Gray had died suddenly. And now, five days later, the whole family was gathered at Lucy’s house after the funeral. They were supposed to be mourning him, not fighting over the one precious thing he’d left behind. Well, not the only thing.

Lucy wrapped her fingers tighter around the worn, leather-bound copy of The Lord of the Rings and breathed in the smell of smoky earth and ancient time. It was Lucy and Grandpa’s favorite book. They’d read the entire story together a dozen times. A dozen wonder-filled, magical times.

Lucy closed her eyes and tried to imagine he was there with her now, his soft white hair against her cheek, his deep chiming voice in her ears.

“Our family’s bigger!” Uncle Chuck pounded his big fist—which used to give the best fist bumps—on the long oak dinner table, rattling the platter of half-eaten ham and two pans of cheesy potatoes. “We should get that buckle.”

“I’m a single Mom!” Aunt Rhonda didn’t have a very big fist, but she did have a very big voice. “It’s obvious who needs the money more.”

Lucy squinted at the lines of little black words, desperate to escape into the book. She was back at the beginning, when Gandalf the wizard explains how the evil ring of Middle-earth must be destroyed.

9 responses to “PW2020 MG #04: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELT BUCKLE (Contemporary Adventure)”

  1. 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!

  2. Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more. Please send your query, the full MS, and a synopsis (if you’ve got one) to jessica@dhliterary.com. Looking forward to reading!

  3. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Catherine,

    This sounds amazing! Definitely feel like the reader is going to be in for an amazing book here. I can’t wait to read the full. Please upload at QueryManager.com/natascha/PitchWars. And if another Tobias Literary Agent requests, please know you can submit to multiple parties for this event, and we will discuss in house if multiple agents are interested.

    Thank you and can’t wait to see this!

    Natascha Morris
    The Tobias Literary Agency

  4. Alice Fugate says:

    Hi Catherine,

    This novel sounds great, and the sample is beautiful. I’ve returned to LOTR and The Hobbit as comfort stories during COVID myself. I’d love to see a query and the full manuscript of this, please. You can email me at alice@joyharrisliterary.com with the query and attach the sample as a Word doc or PDF.

    Hope to hear from you, and looking forward to reading!

    Alice Fugate
    The Joy Harris Literary Agency, inc.
    1501 Broadway Suite 2605
    New York, New York 10036
    Ph: 212 924-6269
    Fax: 212 840-5776

  5. Laura Bradford says:

    I just love the direction you are taking this story in the sample (which wasn’t what I was imagining when I read the pitch). It has so much potential and I’d love to read more! 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

  6. Andrea Cascardi says:

    Dear Catherine,

    This is such an intriguing pitch and opening! I love a good quest story and this has the makings to be an epic one, so I’d love to read the full manuscript. Several other Transatlantic agents are taking part in Pitch Wars, so if you get a request from more than one of us, we just ask that you submit to us one at a time. We’re very collegial, but I hope you’ll choose me in that case! My email is Andrea@transatlanticagency.com and our website is http://www.transatlanticagency.com if you want to learn more about us.
    I look forward with hope of seeing your name in my in-box!
    Thank you,

  7. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    What a cute concept! I love seeing this blend of nostalgia/grief paired with grandparents but also the conflict seen through a child’s eyes. I’d be thrilled to read 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

  8. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Catherine! I would love to keep reading THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELT BUCKLE. If you could send me a query with the full manuscript attached to tara@emliterary.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line, that would be fantastic.

    Tara Gonzalez – Associate Agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency

  9. Hi Catherine!

    I’m a huge LOTR fan (aren’t we all?) and this sounds like such a great adventure. I’d love to see the full. Could you please submit it via QueryManager.com/JenniferWills/PitchWars2020? I’d also love to see a synopsis if you have one.

    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer Wills
    The Seymour Agency