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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 YA #04: A TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO PIRATES (Contemporary Fantasy)
Elizabeth McWhorter
Mentored by:
Lane Clarke and Mary E. Roach
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:


THIS POISON HEART meets PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN with Black girls in STEM, ghosts, and a splash of Caribbean history.

Avery’s summer in the Bahamas is not going as planned.

Escape her overbearing cousin? Fail.

Ghost-free adventures? Fail.

First-hand historical accounts to boost her research project? Unexpected win. Thank you, ghosts.

But when Avery stumbles on a cursed dagger, things take a dangerous turn—and if she doesn’t figure out how to dispose of it, more than just her summer plans are at risk.



The final echoing ding rang out, a cacophony of unlatching seat belts filling the cabin. Avery grabbed her teal backpack from under the seat in front of her, limbs aching to stretch again. Occupying the window seat she so desperately wished was hers, her cousin Jocelyn stirred from her nap, the impression of her snoozing face fogged onto the window.

What was the point of having a window seat if you were going to sleep through the whole flight?

The majority of the journey—her first international flight—was blocked by Jocelyn’s sleep-slackened features and the condensation clinging to the ends of her micro braids. In their descent, Avery had been tempted to jostle Jocelyn, to force her awake. Sighing into her seat, she resigned herself to what patches of clear, blue-green water were visible as they had glided closer to the Caribbean island.

Avery touched the ends of her own straightened hair, wondering how long it would be before the humidity took its toll. She leaned forward to peer out the window one final time, but with the interior cabin lights aglow and the airport terminal plunging the plane into shadow, all she could see was her brown skin reflected back at her, ghostly in the strange half-light of the cabin.

14 responses to “PW2021 YA #04: A TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO PIRATES (Contemporary Fantasy)”

  1. I’d love to read this! Please send query letter and first 50 pages to jessica@dhliterary.com.

  2. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look! You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If more than one DGB agent requests, please feel free to choose whoever feels like the best fit! Just let us know who else requested, and we’ll work it out in house!

  3. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Elizabeth! There’s nothing about this that doesn’t appeal to me. A TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO PIRATES sounds right up my alley and I’m dying to read! If you’re interested in submitting to me, I’d love for you to send me your query and the full manuscript to tara@emliterary.com. Just mention Pitch Wars in the subject. Thanks so much! Tara Gonzalez (Agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency)

  4. Haley Casey says:

    Hi, Elizabeth. Your comps ALONE would have been enough for me to want to read more, but ghosts, a cursed dagger, and Avery’s voice in these paragraphs sealed the deal. If you’re willing, I would love to see the full manuscript, synopsis, and an author bio sent to haley@cmalit.com! As a note, if another agent from Creative Media Agency requests your work, please only send materials to the person you feel is the best fit. (I hope it’s me, but I hope even more sincerely that you choose the agent who you think will best represent you and your writing.) Thanks! —Haley

  5. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Elizabeth!

    I adore your voice, and am always excited to see pirates and ghost adventures! 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

  6. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Elizabeth!

    I love the sound of this and would love to see more. Can you please submit your query, synopsis, and first 30 pages here?


    If another Belcastro agent requests as well, please choose one of us to send to and mention in your query who else has requested; we’ll be sure to pass the submission along to the other agent if it ends up being a pass 🙂

    Looking forward to reading more!

    -Cortney Radocaj, Belcastro Agency

  7. Hannah Andrade says:

    Hi Elizabeth! This one sounds so fun—I absolutely LOVE the sound of it! Can you please send the first 100 pages of this to me on my QueryManager (https://QueryManager.com/hannahandrade)? And don’t forget to put PitchWars in the subject line along with your project, because I definitely don’t want to miss this. I can’t wait to read it!

  8. 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

  9. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    This pitch! I am so intrigued. Could you please send your query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you!


  10. Michaela Whatnall says:

    I’m always looking out for stories with piratey vibes, and this sounds extremely fun! 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!

  11. Becca Langton says:

    Dear Elizabeth,

    I was hooked straight away by your pitch and then your compelling excerpt – I would have loved to keep on reading. Please do query me through my email, becca@darleyanderson.com and include ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject line. Darley Anderson is a well established global agency and I am so pleased to be building a US focussed list in a team that includes a Film and TV agent and a well experienced international rights team.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  12. Jamie Vankirk says:

    This sounds great, and I’d love to see more! If you’d like, please send the query and first 50 pages as a word doc to submissions@rnliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject.

  13. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Elizabeth! Your pitch is my dream come true and I am dying to read more. I would love to request the full manuscript. If you’d like to send it my way, please upload it here: QueryManager.com/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2021​.

    Alexandra Weiss (she/her)
    Azantian Literary Agency

  14. Chloe Seager says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I am so here for Pirates of the Caribbean and Black girls in STEM! If you could email the first three chapters and a synopsis to childrens@madeleinemilburn.com I’d love to read more.