Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

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.
PW2021 Adult #27: A CROOKED VENGEANCE (Fantasy)
LJ Alexander
Mentored by:
S.A. Simon and Rosalie M. Lin
Book Title:
A Crooked Vengeance
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Violence, Mentions of Abuse (off-page)


Klepto-adjacent Josefine trusts her pistol, her forbidden magic, and sometimes, the truth. But none can free her brother from prison. When a magic-hunting prince hires her in exchange for her brother’s release, Jo takes on her biggest heist yet. The job would be simple, save for the asshole-shaped backstabber in the way: Commander Kassian, who put her brother behind bars. Luckily, they’ve got dirt on each other.



There were three things I brought to every job—Papa’s pocket watch, my revolver, and a vial of poison. In the seven years of my professional endeavors, I’d used the pistol once and the poison thrice. All parties involved were still alive—albeit scarred. Still, the items guaranteed my safety, or for my comfort, the illusion of it.

Tonight, they were tucked into pockets I’d sewn into my two-sizes-too-big wool coat, which smelled of bergamot and gunpowder. Tonight, the job was different. Dangerous. Potentially life-changing. It’s what I’d signed up for: stealing from Rasov’s youngest prince.

I hadn’t been to the Imperial Palace in a decade, and I’d returned for one reason: the promise of 3,000 rones. A payoff of a two-story house in the countryside… and the Imperial Guard’s bullets through the head. Most thieves wouldn’t attempt it. I wasn’t most thieves. 

What I hadn’t prepared for was the plus one–a guide my employer deemed essential to navigating the labyrinth of secret tunnels beneath the Imperial Palace. A necessary evil, but everything about him, from his vile scent to his upturned mustache, unnerved me. Not that I needed further unnerving, not after a year’s worth of spite propelled me to this point. Because if I was honest–and I prided myself on being an honest thief–this job offered more than 3,000 rones; it offered long-due retribution. 

14 responses to “PW2021 Adult #27: A CROOKED VENGEANCE (Fantasy)”

  1. Melanie Figueroa says:

    Hi LJ,

    Congrats on completing Pitch Wars! I’d love to take a look at A CROOKED VENGEANCE. You can query me directly using this link: QueryManager.com/melaniefigueroa/pitchwars


  2. Amanda Rutter says:

    I would love you to submit your Pitch Wars entry to me, using my Query Manager form: QueryManager.com/Amanda_Rutter/PitchWars

    Please send through the query letter and the full manuscript.

    If more than one Azantian agent requests materials, please pick the one you feel would fit you best.

  3. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi LJ,

    This sounds super fun and right up my alley. I’d love to see the full manuscript, if you are interested in sending it my way. You can submit the full here: QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2022

    And if you want to know more about me, here’s a link to my website: http://www.evascalzo.com and my twitter handle is @evascalzo.

    Best of luck to you!

  4. Kurestin Armada says:

    Hello, and congrats on completing Pitch Wars! Absolutely love this voice already–please do send the full manuscript + a synopsis attached as word docs to my attention at submissions (at) rootliterary (dot) com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. If any of my colleagues also request, feel free to pick one of us or just mention us all and we’ll sort it on our end. Cheers, Kurestin Armada @ Root Literary

  5. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi LJ,
    This sounds great! I’d love to take a look. Please upload your material to booksubmissions.caa.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.
    Best wishes,

  6. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear LJ,

    Congrats on making it through the editing rounds with your mentor! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to check out everyone’s showcase samples. Based on what I’ve read so far, I’d love to see more. Please query me at this link (QueryManager.com/QueryQuressa/PW2022) and follow the directions. If more than one Folio Lit agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!



  7. Paul Lucas says:

    Hi! I’d love to see the ms. Please send it as a word file to plucas@janklow.com and reference PW.

    Thank you and good luck!

  8. Michaela Whatnall says:

    Ooh, a heist with a sibling relationship at its center, and a protagonist with a big personality? I’m hooked! I would love the opportunity to consider this project. Please send a query and the first 50 pages as a Word document to me via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/michaelawhatnall/PitchWars2021 If you have any trouble using the link, you’re welcome to email me instead at mwhatnall@dystel.com.

    If you’ve received a request from more than one Dystel, Goderich & Bourret agent, please only submit to the agent here that you feel would be the best fit, and let that agent know about any other requests you received from our agency. Thank you!

  9. Matt Belford says:

    Hi LJ! This is a great pitch and I’d love to see more of your work! Would you please send me your first 25 pages via my Query Manager form: QueryManager.com/MWBelford/PitchWars?

    Thank you!

  10. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi LJ!

    I love this concept, your voice, and basically everything about this manuscript so far! I’d love to read your full manuscript, if you wouldn’t mind sending it to me. This link will lead you to my Query Manager, where you can upload your query, synopsis, and full manuscript: QueryManager.com/KellyPeterson/PitchWars

    Wishing you the best of luck, and hoping to see your manuscript! =)

    Warm Regards,
    Kelly Peterson
    Rees Literary Agency

  11. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi LJ,

    I’m intrigue! Please send the full manuscript, preceded by your bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document) to https://querymanager.com/SandyLu/Requested_Materials

    I look forward to reading more!

    Sandy Lu
    Book Wyrm Literary Agency

  12. Laura Bradford says:

    Klepto-adjacent? I love it! As far as I am concerned, with a heist and vengeance, this has it all and I’d love to see more! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    Thank you!
    Laura Bradford

    ***If you receive a request from more than one agent at Bradford Literary Agency, you are welcome to send to all agents who made the request, but just let us know when you send the material***

  13. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great! I would love to read more. Can you please send the full manuscript attached as a Word document to queries@parkfine.com with “Pete Knapp – Pitch Wars – Adult” in the subject of your email? Please include the query letter at the start of your Word document, and if available please also send a short synopsis (but no worries if not readily available). Thanks! I look forward to reading. Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  14. Penelope Burns says:

    I’d like to see more of this! If you’d like, can you send the first 50 pages and your query to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,