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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 #23: BOUND BY BLOOD (Gothic Fantasy)
Jenny Marie
Mentored by:
Rachel Griffin
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Gothic Fantasy
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Death of a character on page, Death of an animal on page



With her family and homeland suffering from a destructive curse, eighteen-year-old Eleanor agrees to marry the fabled Autumn Lord in exchange for a cure. But when he doesn’t keep his end of the bargain, a bloodthirsty creature emerges from the plague. Battling a growing attraction to her mysterious husband, Eleanor must stop the monster before it destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.



The world was fading.

I could see it in the wilting trees, their branches heavy and tired. Any color their bark still retained seeped out from the roots, sucked into the leaf-littered ground, diluted until it was gone. It left them gray. Sickly. Just like the sky and fields. The people.


The shelter of the barn hovered behind me, but I still shuddered at the word. It stirred up memories of children’s rhymes sing-songed in cruel jest, the rhythm echoing through my mind.

Eleanor is an Autumn baby.

The Autumn Lord has a lonely side.

The Dimming wasn’t real, though. It was just night-time folklore, nursery rhymes and boogeymen.

Still, it was hard not to imagine some mystical explanation for all the sickness and decay. The forest was only part of it. The harvest had been poor, with barely enough food for winter. The summer had been too hot and dry, and there weren’t enough healthy births in spring.

An entire year of want. Of sickness and loss.

It was nothing like when I used to play in these woods, building forts with Peter and knocking them down with Daniel. I could never get that joy back. I couldn’t fix my fading world any more than I could fix my fading family.

Unless I believed a children’s song.

When you reach eighteen, you’ll be a lady.

You’d better watch out; he’ll make you his bride.

9 responses to “PW2020 YA #23: BOUND BY BLOOD (Gothic Fantasy)”

  1. Molly Ker Hawn says:

    I’d like to read this! Can you send it to hawnqueries [at] thebentagency.com, with PITCHWARS: BOUND BY BLOOD in the subject line? And if you’re submitting to multiple Bent Agency agents (which is totally fine), please let me know, either when you send the ms. or in a follow-up email. Thanks so much!

  2. 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.

  3. Sarah Landis says:

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

  4. Suzie Townsend says:

    H! I’d love to see this! What great imagery here! 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.

  5. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Jenny! I’m obsessed with this idea! I’d love to consider. Please do send the full manuscript to claire@inkwellmanagement.com. Can’t wait to read!

  6. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled.

    Wow! From the pitch to the excerpt, I can already begin to feel the gothic vibes. I can already see myself getting lost in the atmosphere. I’d love to request the full manuscript 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: BOUND BY BLOOD 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,

  7. Laurel Symonds says:

    A YA Rebecca is definitely something I would love to read more! Please send the first 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If more than one agent from The Bent Agency requests, you’re invited to send to all of us. Just let us know—thanks!

  8. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there! I’d love to take a closer look at the first 50 pages! Please send them attached as a word document to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  9. Elle Thompson says:

    Hi! I’d be very interested in reading this in full. If you could please submit your work to elle@triadaus.com with the email header “PITCH WARS: [Title]”, the query pitch, and the full MS attached in .doc format, I’d be very appreciative. If another agent from TriadaUS has requested your manuscript, please submit to each of us–we will sort it out on our end. Thank you so much!