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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 #02: A WHISPER OF MOTHS (Romantic fantasy)
Christine L. Arnold
Mentored by:
Allison Saft
Book Title:
Young Adult
Romantic fantasy
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
murder, references to alcoholism, descriptions of blood



Zaea dreams of running her family's magic bookshop, but she's never wanted the burden of magic herself—much less the gruesome vision it brings of her father committing an impossible murder. Desperate to prove his innocence, she grudgingly allies with the cold, scrupulous investigator whose magic links with her own. When they uncover a dark bargain, Zaea must accept their bond and her own power to save her family, her freedom, and her heart.



Zaea Hart unlocked the door to Hart & Home and flipped the sign to open. Snow already buried the windowsills, enveloping the shop in a gossamer shroud. 

With any luck, everyone would be holed up against the cold today—she didn’t have the time or patience to deal with customers. Once the Guild’s envoy arrived at the end of the week to take her father away, she would never get the answer to the question that haunted her.

Why did you do it?

She knelt to light a fire, breathing in the scents of the thyme, rosemary, and mugwort drying over ladders propped against the wall near the hearth. Calming smells, steadying smells. Her fire crackled to life, and with the peppery puff of woodsmoke, red bursts of Transformation magic popped across the shop. The oil lamps lit, washing the walls with a golden glow. It was a spell Papa’s grandmother had cast after she’d first converted the shop from an abandoned grain silo and rebuilt it into Hart & Home. Three weeks ago, even after the hundreds—maybe thousands—of times she’d seen it work, seeing the spell had still filled her with awe and longing. But that was before.

Now, she knew—magic wasn’t a thing worthy of awe. It wasn’t a thing to long for. It only brought death.

17 responses to “PW2021 YA #02: A WHISPER OF MOTHS (Romantic fantasy)”

  1. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi Christine,

    This sounds great! If you’d like to query me at QueryManager.com/ErnieChiara and include your first 20 pages with Pitch Wars in the referral box, I would love to check it out!

    Thanks so much, and best of luck!

    Ernie Chiara,
    Fuse Literary

  2. Sarah N. Fisk says:

    Okay you already had me at a magical bookshop named “Hart & Home” but I loved EVERYTHING ELSE about this too! 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. Masha Gunic says:

    I would love to see this! Please send me your query and full manuscript to masha@azantianlitagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If any other agents from ALA request this as well, please send to one of us at a time at your choice.

  4. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Christine,
    You have an engaging premise for A WHISPER OF MOTHS, and I’d love to read further. If you’re interested in my considering your work, please do send me the first 50 pages to me at atuttle@dystel.com in a query marked Pitch Wars. If you receive requests from other Dystel agents, please select the one you feel is best suited to your voice and let us know of interest from the other agents. We can sort it out on our end. In the meantime, I wish you success with your writing and with Pitch Wars.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  5. 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.

  6. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Christine – this sounds FANTASTIC. I would absolutely love to read this! 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)

  7. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Christine,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! This project sounds so magical (sorry, I’m wincing at the cheesy pun) and I’d love to read more! If you could please send your query and the full manuscript using my Query Manager link: QueryManager.com/EricaBauman/PitchWars

    And if more than one ACM agent requests, feel free to send to both—just let me know who else is reading, so I can coordinate on my end.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    All my best,

  8. Sarah Landis says:

    I’d love to read this one! Could you email the full to me at slandis@sll.com? Thanks! -Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic

  9. Bridget Smith says:

    This sounds delightful, 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!

  10. Jennifer Weis says:

    Hello! I would love to see the full of this. Please send it to jenniferweis@rossyoon.com. Thank you!

  11. 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 – YA” 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

  12. 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.

  13. Natascha Morris says:

    OOO I love the cozy mystery fantasy vibes this is giving off! I would love to read more! If you want to query me, I would love to read the full: QueryManager.com/natascha/PitchWars And if another Tobias Literary Agent queries you, please feel free to pick whoever you feel would be the best fit.

    Good luck!


  14. Lee OBrien says:

    This sounds incredible—I would love a chance to read!

    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!

  15. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Christine,

    I’m intrigued! 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

  16. Becca Langton says:

    Hi Christine

    I really enjoyed reading your excerpt! 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!

  17. 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,