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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 #40: A WICKED THOUGHT (Modern Gothic Thriller)
Betsey Grace Groover
Mentored by:
Dawn Ius and April Snellings
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Modern Gothic Thriller
Word Count:



When Morgan is forced from Atlanta to the Romanian wilderness to work for her dad’s hunting firm, she has one goal in mind: his co-signature on a loan for art school. But in the fabled Transylvanian Highlands, Morgan meets a different kind of hunter—a young woman with an irresistible lure: access to her band’s utopian underworld where music and art magically intertwine. The price? Morgan’s soul.



A disfigured animal skull hangs on the wall over the cabin’s wooden staircase, its jaw fixed in a permanent yawn. Long snaggled teeth, curled tusks. Definitely boar. Judging by its size, Carpathian.

Dad’s favorite prey.

Worn stairs creak under my black Converse until I reach the landing beneath the skull’s gnarled bone. Twelve hours of uncomfortable silence on the road from Germany to Romania can turn even a gross carcass into a conversation starter.

My lip curls. “Looks like your kind of place.”

Dad’s Gore-Tex boots are silent over the foyer tiles. He motions to the boar, his chestnut beard twitching around a smile. “A hunter’s welcome.”

Right. I climb the rest of the stairs to a narrow hallway, where a time-yellowed map hangs in a wood frame on the mildewed wall. Transylvania stretched out on a scroll, illustrated by hand and preserved under glass like something from another age. Diagrams and ink sketches—of mountains and castles and horses-and-carriages—mark tiny towns and villages. Over Bran, a bat.

Ironic. Back in my middle school goth phase, I’d have been perversely giddy at the chance to explore medieval cities and landmarks of lore. Now I’d give anything to be back in my bedroom in Atlanta—on my papasan, blinds shut, AC set to arctic-blast.

I clench my teeth. Two months. I can do this.

6 responses to “PW2020 YA #40: A WICKED THOUGHT (Modern Gothic Thriller)”

  1. Oh, this pitch. AND this writing. 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

  2. Lauren Spieller says:

    So fun to see a client’s book used as a comp! 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

  3. Maggie Kane says:

    Hi Betsey!

    I would love to see the full of A WICKED THOUGHT! Please send it as a Word Document to maggie.queries@irenegoodman.com. 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!

    Thank you!


  4. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Betsey! I would love to keep reading A WICKED THOUGHT. 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

  5. Rena Rossner says:

    I would love to read this full manuscript! Please send it attached as a word document to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  6. 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.