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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.
Alexandra Otto
Mentored by:
LQ Nguyen and George Jreije
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Word Count:


Eleven-year-old Anna loves stories. On the eve of the Ukrainian New Year, she asks her grandmother for the most important story of all: the truth about what really happened to her mother. But before her grandmother can tell it, the story gets stolen. To get it back, Anna and her twin brother must work their way through a plot hole into the world of stories, accompanied by none other than the legendary witch, Baba Yaga. If she can’t defeat the leader of a society that runs on the power of stolen tales, she risks losing her grandmother’s stories, the last connection to her mother, forever. THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND with a Ukrainian twist.



The day her grandmother’s stories were stolen, the borscht boiled, the snow fell, and the ravens cawed outside Anna’s kitchen window. 

It wasn’t just any other day in Alaska, but the Ukrainian feast of Malanka, which fell two days before Anna’s twelfth birthday. Her twin brother Roman would probably ask Grandma Zenovia for video games and something with lots of sugar. Anna only wanted one thing this year: the truth about why her mother had left. 

Last night, Anna had peeled beets for Grandma’s borscht. In the splashes of their pink dye, she imagined animals, the way some people saw constellations in the stars. A tiny pink fox lurked on her pinky. A rose colored wolf roamed across her thumb. She wondered if her mother ever did the same thing, wherever she was. Maybe the pink fox on Anna’s pinky could cross paths with a magenta deer leaping across her mother’s palm. And just then they would meet again, if only in a story. 

29 responses to “PW2020 MG #11: THE STOLEN STORY SOCIETY (Fantasy)”

  1. Mary C. Moore says:

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

  2. Tara Gilbert says:

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

  3. Eva Scalzo says:

    Dear Alexandra,

    I’ve always found it hard to articulate what I would be looking for in middle grade, which is why I have never been open to it widely. It’s not lack of interest in the genre, it’s just finding the MG voice that resonates has been hard for me to explain. But this sample and pitch is exactly it! I’d love to see more, if you’re interested in submitting, please send the full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2020

    Best wishes,
    Speilburg Literary

  4. Rena Rossner says:

    OMG this book is my jam! Please send the full manuscript attached as a word document to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  5. Amy Giuffrida says:

    I am so excited that the day is finally here!! I would LOVE to see the full of your story, Alex. Please send my your query, synopsis, and full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/AmyGiuffrida/PitchWars

    I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Otto,
    Congratulations on being in the Showcase. I love your premise and your opening pages and would like to read further. If you are interested in my considering your work for representation, please do send the first 50 pages to atuttle@dystel.com. If more than one DG&B agent has responded, please send to the agent who is your first choice. Please let that agent know who else at the agency requested, and we will work it out amongst ourselves. Good luck with your writing, and I will hope to hear from you.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  7. Rick Richter says:

    Hello Alexandra! 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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 

  10. Whitney Ross says:

    Hi Alexandra, I’m intrigued by your pitch! 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!

  11. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Alexandra,

    I love the lyrical nature of this sample and I can’t wait to read the full! I just want to immerse myself in your words. 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

  12. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Hi Alexandra. Your manuscript sounds fantastic and I would love to read it. Could you send the full manuscript as a Word document to me at: carrie@hgliterary.com with “Pitch Wars Requested Ms” in the subject line? I am on vacation next week but will be checking my emails for any manuscripts that come in!

    Best wishes,

  13. Erin Clyburn says:

    Hi Alexandra! I was hooked by this premise and excerpt and would love to see more of THE STOLEN STORY SOCIETY. Please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript through my QueryManager link: QueryManager.com/ErinClyburn/PitchWars. If you receive requests from multiple JDLA agents, feel free to submit to whichever of us feels like the best fit. I’m looking forward to reading your work!

  14. Lauren Spieller says:

    This sounds great! I’d love to read more. 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

  15. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Alexandra,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled!

    Your excerpt and pitch really captured my attention. I love the idea of stolen stories and how far we would go to find them again. I’d love to request the full manuscript so I can continue reading it.

    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 STOLEN STORY SOCIETY 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,

  16. Amber Caraveo says:

    Oh, I was captivated by the writing of this one from the outset! I’d love to see more! 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!

  17. Allison Hellegers says:

    I love borscht and middle-grade fantasy, so I want to read more! Please send full to https://www.stimolaliterarystudio.com/Submissions and put PITCH WARS above the query. Thanks!
    -Allison Hellegers

  18. Alice Fugate says:

    Hi Alexandra,

    This novel sounds great, and the sample is beautiful. 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

  19. Laura Bradford says:

    I LOVE the opening sentence and I think this feels SO atmospheric! 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

  20. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Alexandra,

    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

  21. Jennifer Azantian says:

    Hi Alexandra,

    I’d love to take a look at the full. If you’d like to query, please send your query letter, 1-2 page synopsis, and attached full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/AzantianLiterary/PW. If more than one ALA agent requests your work, please choose one of us to share with at a time.

    Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading!

    Jennifer Azantian

  22. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Alexandra, this sounds great! Please send your full manuscript, query and synopsis via email to mollie.glickasst@caa.com with “Pitch Wars Requested Submission” in the subject line. Please let me know if you are submitting to more than one agent at CAA.

  23. Kaitlyn Sanchez says:

    Alexandra, this sounds beautiful. I just helped with a broscht picture book last year, and I adored learning about this beautiful tradition, and this story is so intriguing. I’d be delighted to read more of this story.

    If you’re interested in sending me your manuscript, please send the first 50 pages in Word document format to kaitlyn@redfoxliterary.com and include “Pitch Wars” somewhere in the subject line of your email.

  24. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds fantastic! 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: THE STOLEN STORY SOCIETY (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

  25. Zabé Ellor says:

    The imagery and voice here absolutely blew me away. I’d love to read 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.

  26. Sarah Gerton says:

    Hi Alexandra! I really enjoyed your pitch and the lyrical, magical writing in this sample page and would love to read more–you can check out my bio at curtisbrown.com/agents and if you’re interested, send me the full manuscript at sg@cbltd.com (please put “PitchWars” in the subject line). Thank you so much!

  27. Christa Heschke says:

    Your first pages drew me in and I’ve always been really intrigued by Baba Yaga. I am a folklore nerd! 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

  28. Diana Fox says:

    I’d love to read more. Please email me the full manuscript at diana at foxliterary dot com–thanks!

  29. Kari Sutherland says:

    Hi Alexandra,
    Your voice in the excerpt is wonderful and so lyrical. I’d love to take a look at the full. Please send the full via this form: QueryManager.com/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form/PitchWars. If more than one Bradford Literary agent requests it, you can send to multiple of us, just let us know so we can coordinate. Many thanks! Kari