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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.
PW2021 Adult #44: FROM RAGE THEY RISE (Contemporary Fantasy—Sapphic, Non-binary #OwnVoices)
Valo Wing
Mentored by:
Keena Roberts and Molly Steen
Book Title:
Contemporary Fantasy—Sapphic, Non-binary #OwnVoices
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Misgendering, Alcohol Abuse, Gaslighting



Illyrian, a grumpy genderqueer pianist, doesn’t believe the fantasy world seen through their right eye is real. But when the cinnamon-roll non-binary knight from that realm appears in Manhattan, refusing to go back without her, Illyrian must decide whether to redeem their musical career or leave as a disgraced prodigy—before the magic tethering the swoony knight to Manhattan fades, separating them forever.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s bar-top gleams sharp and unforgiving as a blade.  Pretentious donors and desperate musicians swarm the atrium; couture in duet with marble  deities, champagne-blitzed oxygen suffocating. No one speaks to me. My long-suffering fingers  curl around a crystal tumbler of vodka, cling to the promise of relief.  

Mistake, Illyrian. Mistake, mistake— 

“Who are we avoiding?” a low voice purrs from my left. 

I battle panic; its quicksilver crescendo through veins. Grit: “No-one. Just hate crowds.”

“Since when?” She laughs, her poisonous timbre achingly familiar.

Swallowing dread, I look from my drink, praying it’s not— 

The woman responsible for derailing my entire life smiles, all malice. “Almost didn’t  recognize you, Lyr.” 

Fuck my fucking life.  

Satin red dress hugging delicate shoulders, Udele Igarashi’s gaze lingers on the golden  eyepatch obscuring my right iris. I strangle the urge to trace its edges. Remind myself it’s secure. I’m safe, which means everyone else is, too. There’s no need to worry. 

Uda arches an elegant brow. A strand of dark hair brushes her pale curve of jaw. “You’ve  changed.”  

Dammit. She’s still stunning. 

Feigning nonchalance, I sip the vodka, ice slicing my tongue. Rainbows scatter like bruises  over her collarbones and neck from the glittering tumbler in my hands; finger-thin and  accusatory. My lungs squeeze with horror. I grimace. “Funny what four years of house arrest will  do to a person.” 

The bartender hands Uda a flute of champagne. She inclines it toward me, expression cold.  “Welcome back, Illyrian Vor.”

7 responses to “PW2021 Adult #44: FROM RAGE THEY RISE (Contemporary Fantasy—Sapphic, Non-binary #OwnVoices)”

  1. Michelle Hauck says:

    This sounds amazing! I’d really like to see more. 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

  2. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi Valo! I love the narrator’s voice in this first section and would definitely like to read more. Please send a full synopsis and the first 50 pages (as an attached word document) to jessica@jenniferlyonsliteraryagency.com, and please write “PitchWars” in the subject line so I’m sure to see it quick. Thank you and looking forward to reading! – Jessica Felleman[she/her]

  3. Michaela Whatnall says:

    I love seeing non-binary characters centered in fantasy, and this sounds super fun! I would love the opportunity to consider your 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!

  4. Matt Belford says:

    Hi Valo! 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!

  5. Bridget Smith says:

    This sounds great, and I’d love to take a look! Please send me your query and first 50 pages at QueryManager.com/BridgetSmith/PitchWars2022. Can’t wait to read!

  6. Lee OBrien says:

    Hi Valo,

    I would love to read this! Could you send the query and full MS 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!


  7. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi, Valo! This sounds incredible–my assistant Daniele and I would love to read it!

    Please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/christa_heschke/PitchWars2122

    Thank you!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis