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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 YA #22: A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS (#OwnVoices Alt. Historical Fantasy/Sapphic Romance)
Lillian Lu
Mentored by:
Emery Lee
Book Title:
2020 Entries
#Ownvoices Alt. Historical Fantasy/Sapphic Romance
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
graphic depictions of violence, war, blood, gun violence, fire, references to child abuse, stalking, anxiety, racism, misogyny, homophobia


In 1800s China under foreign occupation, 17-year-old Athena has a set script: survive finishing school, marry well. But when visions of future deaths entangle her in a dangerous conspiracy, she must forsake the life she’s known to save her family and her people.




I once asked Mama if it was possible to murder a man but not have been at the scene for the murder itself.

She peered at me in that inscrutable way she has and said that just as there were many ways to heal, there were many ways to kill.

“Whether the man has earned it is the question,” she said.

I was eight then. I thought I’d have the answer by now, on the brink, as they say, of entering the world. But knowledge doesn’t work like that, in lessons learned at school or in lucid messages from the universe. It doesn’t happen in a line. Past, present, and future crisscross and intertwine in convoluted ways.

There is much I do not know: how I killed Fei’s uncle from a thousand miles away, why I see the horrible things I see before they occur, or why my monthly blood comes with a vengeance.

The latter feels like punishment for the former, the invisible blood on my hands coursing to my abdomen.

I shiver by the hearth, and I’m brought back to the present.

Breathing deeply, I try to focus on the feeling of warm porcelain against my palms.

“Drink,” Mama says, her voice gentle and low.

I obey, willing my eyes open and tipping the bowl towards my lips.

I don’t know the words for the forbidden ingredients that stare at me from the bowl—aside from the chicken—but I drink it all down like an escaped thief.

21 responses to “PW2020 YA #22: A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS (#OwnVoices Alt. Historical Fantasy/Sapphic Romance)”

  1. Karly Caserza says:


    Please send first 20 pages to QueryMe.online/Karly/ and please add “PitchWars” before your title. Thank you for sharing your work.

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

  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. Jenny Bent says:

    Hi! I’d like to see the full on this please. Please send to pitchwars@thebentagency.com with “pitchwars” in the subject line. It’s fine to submit to other agents at the Bent Agency if they also request, just please let us know so we can coordinate responses.

  4. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Lillian,

    This sounds absolutely amazing!! I would love to take a look at your full manuscript – will you send it along as a Microsoft Word attachment to abishop@dystel.com, along with your pitch in the body of the e-mail?

    And, just to note: our agency policy this year is If more than one DGB agent has responded, you should choose who you want to submit to first and let that agent know who else at the agency requested. And we’ll work it out amongst ourselves. 🙂

    I’m looking so forward to hopefully reading!!



  5. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars, Lillian! I remember seeing you tweet about this, and after reading your pitch and first page, 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

  6. Karyn Fischer says:

    Hi Lillian,

    This sounds amazing! I’m really intrigued by the pitch and excerpt above. If you’re interested, I’d love to see the full manuscript at QueryManager.com/KarynFischer/PitchWars. Thanks, and I look forward to reading!

  7. Sarah Landis says:

    I’d love to read this one! Could you email it to slandis@sll.com? Thanks!! Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic

  8. Melanie Castillo says:

    Hi Lillian, Congratulations on completing PitchWars! Your writing has already gripped me. 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

  9. Suzie Townsend says:

    H! I’d love to see this! What a great opening. Please send the manuscript with the query pasted into the first page to Suzie(at)newleafliterary(dot)com. Put REQUESTED-PITCH WARS in the subject line.

  10. Allison Hellegers says:

    I’m hooked and would love to read more! If you are interested in submitting to me, I would be happy to review the full manuscript. You can submit via our website, https://www.stimolaliterarystudio.com/Submissions, but do put PITCH WARS above the query. Thanks! -Allison Hellegers

  11. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Lillian, 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

  12. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Lillian! I would love to keep reading A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS. 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

  13. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Lillian,

    A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS sounds so good and I’d love to read! If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com and make sure to include “PW2020” in your subject line?

    Thank you!


  14. Kelly Peterson says:

    YESSSSS LILLIAN!!! I love this!!! Can you please send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript at http://querymanager.com/kellypeterson/pitchwars? I’m so excited to read your work!!! Good luck with everything and congrats! -Kelly

  15. 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: A CLAN OF CASSANDRAS (YA)” 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 reading.

    Pete Knapp // Park & Fine Literary and Media

  16. I would love to see this! Please send your query, the full MS, and a synopsis (if you have one!) to jessica@dhliterary.com. Looking forward to reading!

  17. Zabé Ellor says:

    Wow! This voice and worldbuilding is incredible. I’d love to see 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.

  18. Rebecca Sherman says:

    Hi Lillian,

    I would love to read more of A Clan of Cassandras (the excerpt is wonderful). Please email me with your query, synopsis (optional), and first 50 pages at rebeccasubmissions@writershouse.com. Please put Pitch Wars Requested- [Title] as your subject line. If you receive requests from more than one Writers House agent, you must chose one agent to receive your material.

    All my best,

  19. Nicole Payne says:

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

  20. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi Lillian! I’d love to take a look at your query letter, synopsis and full manuscript. Please send them over to me at jfsubmissions@jenniferlyonsliteraryagency.com and mention that I made the request via Pitch Wars in the subject line. The query and synopsis can either be attached or in the body of the email, but please send the manuscript as a Word Doc attachment. Looking forward to reading! -Jessica Felleman

  21. Kari Sutherland says:

    Hi Lillian,

    This sounds so intriguing and I adored the lyrical narrative style. I’d love to read more! 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