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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 #35: CURIOUS TIDES (Fantasy – Dark Academia)
Pascale Lacelle
Mentored by:
Sarah Underwood and Kat Dunn
Book Title:
Young Adult
Fantasy - Dark Academia
Word Count:


Emory believes her secret drowned with her classmates—until their bodies start washing ashore, threatening to unveil her twisted magic and its role in their deaths. With the help of reclusive student Baz, Emory must seek the truth behind the drownings before her powers—and the secret society they draw to her—consume her next.

NINTH HOUSE meets THE STARLESS SEA in this lush, dark world where secrets, stories, and those lost to the tide never remain lost for long.



She was drowning in a sea of stars.

Emory knew this was how she would die, smothered by this strange tide. Selfishly, she hoped the thing brushing against her was Romie; she didn’t want to die alone.

In the darkness between stars were memories she wished to forget: a cave like a womb, the students at its heart, the widening of Romie’s eyes as the sea rushed in, swift and inevitable.

We are born of the moon and tides and to them we return.

But Emory wasn’t ready to go.

The thought was a flimsy lifeline she reached for, hands seeking purchase in wet sand until they found a clammy, solid weight to grasp. 

Emory, Emory, the sea whispered. It relinquished its hold as she hauled herself onto shore. The receding waves unveiled the shape of her anchor in the sand, and Emory jerked back, a scream lodged in her throat. 

A body: limbs bent and broken and wrong. Others were strewn around it, blue lips and unseeing eyes, but all Emory could think as she searched their faces was how none of them were Romie.

And if this was death, it was a cruel punishment to keep them apart at the end of all things.

Your fault, the stars above seemed to say. Emory couldn’t find it in herself to refute them.

23 responses to “PW2021 YA #35: CURIOUS TIDES (Fantasy – Dark Academia)”

  1. 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

  2. Larissa Melo Pienkowski says:

    I absolutely LOVE what I’m reading so far—this is so 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.

  3. 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

  4. I’d love to read more! You can send your query letter, a synopsis, and the first 3 chapters of your manuscript to me directly at maria@psliterary.com. One document (attached to the email) that contains all three items is preferred. Please include “Pitch Wars” and your manuscript’s title in the subject line of your email. (If another agent at P.S. Literary requests your manuscript, please submit to only one of us.)

  5. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Pascale! I loved your sample — 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. Penelope Burns says:

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

    All best,

  7. 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!

  8. Jennifer Weis says:

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

  9. Jordy Albert says:

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

  10. Shannon Snow says:


    Your pitch and pages caught my attention and I would love to see more. If you would like to submit to me, please send the first three chapters, short bio and synopsis in Word format to shannon@cmalit.com. I look forward to hearing from you! Good luck in the Pitch Wars!

    Shannon Snow
    CMA, Inc. Literary Agent

  11. Michaela Whatnall says:

    I’ve been searching for a fantastic dark academia project, and this sounds incredible! (Also, I love your comps!) 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Laurel Symonds says:

    I’m really intrigued by what I’ve seen so far and would love to read more! Please send the first 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If more than one agent from The Bent Agency requests, you’re invited to send to all of us. Just let us know—thanks!

  15. Natascha Morris says:

    Okay, I am not gonna lie, I am ocean obsessed in all things and whenever there is a book that even has an hint of it in the title, color me in, even if there is nothing ocean related about it. To that end, I would love LOVE to see this in full: QueryManager.com/natascha/PitchWars. And please pick me, but know that if another agent at The Tobias Literary Agency requests, you are more than welcome to query whoever you think fits you best.


  16. Laura Bradford says:

    This sounds so creepy and amazing! The voice is just fabulous and I’d love to see more! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    Thank you!
    Laura Bradford

    ***If you receive a request from more than one agent at Bradford Literary Agency, you are welcome to send to all agents who made the request, but just let us know when you send the material***

  17. D. Ann Williams says:

    Hi Pascale,
    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! Your excerpt is intriguing, and I would love to read more. Please feel free to send me your query, full manuscript, and synopsis (if you have one) to QueryManager.com/DAnnWilliams/PitchWars2022

    Please let us know if you get multiple requests from ECLA agents, and we will coordinate internally if one (or more!) of us falls in love with your manuscript.

    Have a great showcase!
    D. Ann Williams (she/they), Associate Agent, Emerald City Literary Agency

  18. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Pascale,

    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

  19. 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.

  20. Lydia Silver says:

    Oh wow, this is such a powerful opening! I loved the concept of this and your writing pulled me right in, even though there are so many secrets still to be uncovered. I’d love to read more! If you’d like me to consider your work, please do send me your full manuscript along with a cover letter and your synopsis (sorry! necessary evil) to lydia@darleyanderson.com.

    All the best,

  21. Lee OBrien says:

    Hi Pascale,

    This sounds awesome, and I’d love to read the rest! 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!


  22. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi Pascale!

    My assistant Daniele and I absolutely adore your writing–what an immersive opening! We’d love to read this. Please send us your query, synopsis, and full manuscript via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/christa_heschke/PitchWars2122

    Thank you!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  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!