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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 #14: CHURCH OF SCARS (#OwnVoices Contemporary Fantasy with horror elements)
Crystal Seitz
Mentored by:
Alex Brown and Skyla Arndt
Book Title:
Young Adult
#OwnVoices Contemporary Fantasy with horror elements
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
animal death (non-pet), parental death, vomit, grief, blood


CRUEL PRINCE with Scandinavian vampires 

Astrid Skarsgård never believed the frozen woods were as monstrous as everyone said–until her grandmother disappeared in them. To find her, Astrid must team up with the bloodthirsty beast her grandmother warned her about. But as she unravels her family’s grim legacy, Astrid discovers the actual monsters were never in the woods.



People don’t just disappear. Not anymore. 

But that’s the reason we’re heading home for the first time in nine years. Dad drives down the winding road and the seat belt cuts across my throat as I lean closer to the cold window. Tiveden presses against our car, ragged pine needles reaching for us like thousands of outstretched hands.

I lean closer, half-looking for the creatures my grandmother used to warn lived here. Anytime something goes wrong in Unden, Amma blames the Hidden Folk. Birds dropping out of the sky like stones. Cattle collapsing, bones snapping like branches. Bloodless bodies lying face down in the forest.

My chronic illness.

“Almost there,” Dad says, gripping the steering wheel so tight his knuckles blanch. 

He despises his mother’s stories. The word he uses for them is nonsense, or if he’s feeling less generous, bullshit. After moving, I’m inclined to agree with Dad. It wasn’t Amma’s superstitions or magical staves that helped me. It was the doctors in Stockholm with their antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

A lot has gone wrong lately, but as I search the shivering trees, there are no monsters to blame. Only Dad and some shit luck. I sigh. I’m sure Amma would say what she always said about the Hidden Folk: just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Except now she isn’t here, either.

23 responses to “PW2021 YA #14: CHURCH OF SCARS (#OwnVoices Contemporary Fantasy with horror elements)”

  1. 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.

  2. Kurestin Armada says:

    Hello, and congrats on completing Pitch Wars! I absolutely love the voice 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

  3. Jennifer March Soloway says:

    People disappearing, ragged pine needles reaching for us like thousands of outstretched hands, Hidden Folk unseen but very much there… I love a good Scandinavian grounded fantasy/horror, and I’m hooked! If you think I could be a good fit, please query me and send the full manuscript: QueryManager.com/JenniferMarchSoloway/PitchWars2022

    I love a good story and hope to have the chance to read yours!

  4. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Crystal!

    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

  5. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Crystal! I’m loving this pitch — I’d be happy to consider! If you think we’d be a good fit, please send the full ms to claire@inkwellmanagement.com

  6. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Oooo gimme some new vamps! I would love to see the full manuscript. If you find us a match, please send query, synopsis, and pages to QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  7. Kristin Nelson says:

    Scandinavian vampires? Yes, please! I’d love to read more. Please copy/paste your pitch or query letter to the first page of your manuscript before using this link to submit: QueryManager.com/1350/PW2022

    If you have any trouble with the link, please email query@nelsonagency.com and we will assist you.

  8. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Crystal,
    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,

  9. Hannah Andrade says:

    Hi Crystal! I absolutely LOVE the sound of this! 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. I can’t wait to read it!

  10. Ellen Goff says:

    Dear Crystal,

    Thank you so much for sharing your pitch here. This sounds SO up my alley, I lovelovelove this concept. Definitely two of my favorite comps, vampires and Cruel Prince. If you’d like to send it to me (which I hope you do!), please send me the full manuscript as a word doc to ellen@hgliterary.com. Don’t worry, I’ll remember this pitch and your name!

    I can’t wait to read this one, I am such a huge horror fan. Congrats on doing Pitch Wars, by the way! That alone is a huge accomplishment.


  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. Chelsea Hensley says:

    Hi Crystal! I’d love to read more of this. 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

  13. Becca Langton says:

    Hi Crystal
    I’m a huge fan of Scandi thrillers and anything horror and it feels like this might have a bit of both. 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!

  14. 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

  15. Kaitlyn Sanchez says:

    I’d be delighted to consider this. Please see submission guidelines here: https://www.contextlit.com/submissions under Kaitlyn Sanchez, and please put PITCH WARS REQUEST and your genre and title in the subject line of the email. Thanks for sharing your work!

  16. Karly Dizon says:

    Hi! I absolutely love the concept behind your work. Can you please send me your first 10 pages here:

  17. Rebecca Podos says:

    Scandinavian vampires!! This gives me “Let the Right One In” vibes. I would love to see the full manuscript through the Pitch Wars submission link in my QueryManager: QueryManager.com/BeccaPodos/PitchWars

  18. Roseanne Wells says:

    Oooh! Great ending, Crystal! I’d love to take a look. Please submit the full manuscript and a synopsis to querymanager.com/roseannewells/pitchrequest, and I’m excited to keep reading!

  19. Quressa Robinson says:

    Dear Crystal,

    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!



  20. Chloe Seager says:

    Hi Crystal, I’m a big horror fan and this sounds intriguing. If you could email the first three chapters and a synopsis to childrens@madeleinemilburn.com I’d love to read more.


  21. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi Crystal! I really like the attitude from your narrator in these first lines so I’d love to take a look at the first five chapters of this book. Please send them as an attached word document file along with your full synopsis to: jessica@jenniferlyonsliteraryagency.com, and please include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line so I can make sure and read quickly. Thanks! – Jessica Felleman [she/her]

  22. Lee OBrien says:

    Hi Crystal,

    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!


  23. 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!