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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.
R.A. Basu
Mentored by:
Vaishnavi Patel and Sarah Mughal
Book Title:
Fantasy; BIPOC
Word Count:



As the brown-skinned adoptive daughter of the Governor, Poppy Sutherland has always been an outcast, rejected by high society and alienated from the people her father colonized. When she discovers her fiancé intends to frame her to further his career, Poppy allies herself with the city’s most notorious gang leader, who promises her a place as heir to their colonized nation–in exchange for his captured brother.



Headmistress Thornhaven’s grey eyes bored into my brown ones from over her teacup. I lifted my own with great caution — it wouldn’t do to spill it — and took a sip myself. She watched me closely, tracking my movements like a falcon does a mouse, from the moment I bent my head to drink to the moment I returned the cup to its fragile saucer.

“Miss Sutherland,” she said. I tensed. Here comes the criticism. “I must confess that when you first arrived in my office seven years ago, I was not expecting much from you.”

I could hear everything she wasn’t saying: backwards, Virian, brown.

Colour me surprised, I thought dryly. I could still recall how her pale face had curdled in disdain when I’d washed up at her door, drained from my six weeks at sea. All of the clothes I’d packed had been made for the golden heat of Viryana, not the Welkish damp.

As I’d shivered in the Academy’s foyer, the headmistress had sneered, “I am not in the business of taming wild animals. However, I’ll give this my best effort. We wouldn’t want Governor Sutherland to have spent his funds in vain on a… thing… like you, would we?”

The memory of her cruelty swelled inside my throat, but I forced it down with another deep sip of tea, bringing myself back into the present.

18 responses to “PW2021 Adult #35: A RECKONING OF FLOOD AND FLAME (Fantasy; BIPOC)”

  1. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi R.A.,

    This sounds great! If you’d like to query me at QueryManager.com/ErnieChiara/PitchWars and include your full manuscript and synopsis, I would love to read it!

    Thanks so much, and best of luck!

    Ernie Chiara,
    Fuse Literary

  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. Jim McCarthy says:

    I can’t say no to a Fonda comp! I’d be happy to take a look if you’d like to share. You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If any other DGB agents request, please feel free to choose whichever of us feels like the best match and let us know who else asked, and we’ll work it out in house! Thanks!

  4. Michelle Hauck says:

    This excerpt slayed me. I just love the voice. If you choose to submit to me (hopefully), please upload your query, synopsis, bio, and full manuscript using this form: QueryManager.com/2011/PitchWars If another agent from Storm Literary Agency requests, you may submit to all of us simultaneously. Best,

    Michelle Hauck

  5. Samantha Wekstein says:

    Hi R.A.,

    This sound great and I love your sample! I’d like the chance to read your query and first 50 pages. If you’re interested, can you please send them to QueryManager.com/SamanthaWekstein/PitchWars. Thank you!

    All the best,

    Samantha Wekstein

  6. Paige Wheeler says:

    I’m intrigued and I’d love to take a look at more of your work. Please email me the synopsis and first 100 pages to me at paige@cmalit.com. Please write “Pitch Wars Requested Material” in the subject heading. Thanks so much!

  7. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi R.A.,
    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,

  8. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi R.A.,

    I love the sound of this, and the openings paragraphs are fantastic. I would love to read your manuscript! Please send to querytamar@contextlit.com, making sure to write Pitch Wars Request in your subject line.



  9. Penelope Burns says:

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

    All best,

  10. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi R.A.,

    Congratulations on your Pitch Wars entry! This sounds incredible, and I’d love to read the full manuscript! If you could please submit your query and materials using the following Query Manager link (so that the system flags it on my end): QueryManager.com/EricaBauman/PitchWars

    And if more than one ACM agent requests, please feel free to submit to them simultaneously—just let us know who else is reading and we’ll sort it out on our end.

    I’m so excited to read more!!

    All my best,

  11. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear R.A.,

    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!



  12. Michaela Whatnall says:

    I’m totally hooked by the high stakes of your pitch, and the voice in your sample completely drew me in! 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!

  13. Matt Belford says:

    Hi R.A.! 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!

  14. Laura Bradford says:

    What a great hook! The setting sounds super transporting and atmospheric and I’d love to see more. Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    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***

  15. Lee OBrien says:

    This sounds incredible—I would love to see the rest!

    Submission guidelines:
    You can send the query and full MS to to lee.queries@irenegoodman.com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. If more than one IGLA agent requests your work, please only send to one of us at a time—if they pass, you’re welcome to reach out to another!

  16. 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

  17. “I’d like to see more— please send query letter, full manuscript, author bio, and synopsis to EWRquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Please attach all materials as Word documents, and include “Pitch Wars” in subject line. Thanks!”

  18. Chelsea Hensley says:

    Hi! This sounds great, I’d love to read more! If you’re interested, you can send the full manuscript, your query, and a complete synopsis to my Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/Chelseahensley/PitchWars2021