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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.
Lisa M. Wood
Mentored by:
Kim Long and Jennifer L. Brown
Book Title:
Middle Grade
Word Count:


A Darkness sleeps in Hemlock Hollow, or so the town legend says. Jude used to love the story, until his folklorist mom died. Now he avoids it—and his mom’s memory—at all costs. But when the woods call to him, people disappear, and the hemlocks creep closer, Jude can no longer ignore the truth: the Darkness is real, and his mom knew more than anyone realized. Now Jude must uncover the secrets woven into the pages of her forgotten research—and face his own past— if he’s going to save the town and put the Darkness to sleep for good.



Jude Ackerman hated Novembers. Flowers turned to husks, birds flew south, and the ground was hard and lifeless. Even the days died early.

If it were up to him, he’d skip Novembers altogether. He’d rip the month off the calendar permanently if he thought he could trick everyone into going along with it. But that was highly unlikely, so he had to find other ways to ignore the ache.

Leaves crunched as Jude walked down the sidewalk with his sister. They were the crusted, curled-up kind, and as if they weren’t dead enough, the wind took them from the sidewalk and blew them through the cast-iron fence and into the cemetery.

“Want to take a shortcut?” Pippa asked, gesturing to the gate. “I’ve been meaning to visit.”

Hemlock Hill Cemetery was a bit of a climb, but it would spit them right out onto Main Street and into the heart of the Hemlock Festival—the reason everyone else in Hemlock Hollow loved Novembers, and the reason there was no getting around them.

Jude braced himself against the fall wind. “I don’t mind the walk,” he said, putting as much distance between himself and the cemetery as he could.

29 responses to “PW2021 MG #09: HEMLOCK HOLLOW (HORROR)”

  1. Shannon Snow says:


    I was very excited about your pitch and excerpt and would love to take a look at this! If you would like to submit to me, please email your complete manuscript and synopsis in Word format to shannon@cmalit.com.

    Please put “Pitch Request” in the subject line. I hope to hear from you!

    Shannon Snow
    CMA, Inc. Literary Agent

  2. Sarah N. Fisk says:

    Oh how I love those first three lines. Please submit the query, synopsis and first three chapters here: https://querymanager.com/query/sarahnfisk/PitchWars

    If multiple agents at Tobias request your materials, please submit to the one you think would be the best fit.

  3. 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.

  4. Kurestin Armada says:

    Hello, and congrats on completing Pitch Wars! I absolutely love the atmosphere here 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. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to dive into this. Please feel free to send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If other DGB agents ask for this, choose whoever you’d like to send to and let us know about the other requests, and we’ll work it out in house!

  6. Paige Wheeler says:

    I’d love to take a look at the first 50 pages. Please email me the first 50 pages and the synopsis to my email address, paige@cmalit.com. In the subject heading write “Requested MG from Pitchwars.” Thank you!

  7. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I’d love to read more. Please send your query + full manuscript + synopsis to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren Spieller

  8. Laura Stone says:

    Hi, I’d like to see more. Please go to http://blueridgeagency.com/LauraStone.html and complete the submission process. This will include a query letter, a full synopsis (all major points and the ending), and the first three chapters. Ensure your chapters are formatted with 12 point Times New Roman, double spaced, with indented paragraphs. Please state in the query letter that I requested the submission through Pitch Wars.

  9. Larissa Melo Pienkowski says:

    I’m really enjoying what I’m reading so far—this is absolutely up my alley! I’d love to see more, so if you’d like, please feel free to send me the first 50 pages at larissa@jillgrinbergliterary.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.

  10. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Lisa,

    I am so curious about this! I would definitely love to read more if you want to send the full over: QueryManager.com/natascha/PitchWars And if another agent at The Tobias Literary Agency requests, feel free to query whoever you feel best.

    Good luck to you!


  11. Marcy Posner says:

    Hi Lisa— I can sense how powerful this story will be. I always love sensitive, insightful examinations of grief, especially for young readers. Please send your full manuscript as an attachment with your query letter in the email body to marcy@foliolit.com. Make sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line so I can find it easily! If you happen to receive requests from my other colleagues, please select the agent you are most interested in working with and send materials only to them.

  12. Penelope Burns says:

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

    All best,

  13. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear Lisa,

    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!



  14. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi Lisa,

    This sounds super intriguing 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!

  15. Kristin Nelson says:

    Ooh! I do love a creepy, atmospheric vibe. Would love to read more. Please copy/paste your pitch or query letter as the first page of your manuscript, and then click on this link to submit:


    If you encounter any issues, please email query@nelsonagency.com and we will assist you. Thank you!

  16. Alex Rice says:

    Would love to see this manuscript in my inbox! Please send over the full manuscript and a synopsis to me at alex.rice@caa.com, using the subject line of “Pitch Wars Query // TITLE.” If another agent at CAA also requests, please include their name in the query as well. Looking forward to reading! All my best, Alex Rice

  17. Carlisle Webber says:

    I’d like to see this manuscript! Please submit it along with a query letter here: QueryManager.com/Carlisle/PitchWars2022.

    If more than one agent from Fuse Literary requests your work, please choose one of us to submit to.

    Good luck, and I look forward to reading your work.

  18. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I love how creepy this pitch is, and the excerpt does such a great job setting up the atmosphere! I’d love to have the chance to read the full manuscript. If you could please submit your query and materials using my Query Manager link: QueryManager.com/EricaBauman/PitchWars

    I’m looking forward to reading more!

    All my best,

  19. 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 – MG” 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

  20. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Can’t wait to read this!! Just shooting another request and you can either send full to your previous query in my box, or you can use this link: QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  21. Laurel Symonds says:

    This is so atmospheric! I’d like to see more. If you’re interested, please send me your query + first 25 pages with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com. (If more than one agent from The Bent Agency requests materials, feel free to send to all of us–just let us know. Thank you!) Looking forward to reading more!

  22. Andrea Somberg says:

    I enjoyed these opening pages and would love to take a look at the manuscript if you’d care to send it along! Word document to Andrea[at]harveyklinger.com would be great, with PitchWars Requested Manuscript in the subject line. Thanks! -Andrea Somberg/ Harvey Klinger Inc./ http://www.andreasomberg.com/ http://www.harveyklinger.com

  23. Jordy Albert says:

    I would love to read more! Please follow submission guidelines here https://QueryManager.com/JordyAlbert

  24. Alec Shane says:

    Very strong opening here; would love the full MS please, to ashane@writershouse.com, with “PitchWars Requested Material” as the subject heading

  25. Abigail Samoun says:

    I’m intrigued! Please send the entire manuscript and outline to abigail@redfoxliterary.com

  26. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there!

    I’d love to read the first 50 pages of this. Please send them attached as a word document along with your query pasted into the email to: rena@dhliterary.com


    Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  27. Alexandra Levick says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Like Jude, I would also love to rip the month of November off the calendar permanently! “Even the days died early” is absolutely going to stick with me for a while. I’d love to see where this journey goes! If you think we’re a good match, please send a query letter and the first 50 pages to me at alevick(@)writershouse(.)com. (Not the submissions email, please!)

    For more information about me, please see: alexandralevick.com
    For more information about Writers House: writershouse.com

    Wishing you the very best of luck on your agent search!


    Alexandra Levick | She/Her | Literary Agent & Media Rights Manager | Writers House

  28. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi Lisa!

    This sounds incredible–my assistant Daniele and I would love to read it! It reminds me in many ways of another favorite horror novel we worked on. 🙂

    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

  29. Kristin Ostby says:

    I’d love to see this! Please query me at https://querymanager.com/query/kristinostby! If my colleague Chelsea Eberly has also requested it, please choose one of the two of us—whomever you think would be the best fit. Thank you so much!