THE RIVER HAS TEETH x Sapphic Midwestern Gothic
Arden will brave anything to find her best friend, Octavia, who vanished weeks ago. When local police give up the search, Arden steals her dad's car to look for Octavia herself. But the Midwestern highways hide dangerous secrets, and soon Arden learns that Octavia is being hunted by a cult—and something much more sinister. And finding Octavia may mean putting herself directly in its crosshairs.
People came to Bonesaw, Minnesota to disappear. A blink-and-you-miss-it town with two seasons: a bitter, harsh winter, followed swiftly by a summer so hot and humid, every breath was wet and stifling. They followed each other like clockwork. A predictable dance that never left its residents with enough time to prepare.
The people were even worse than the weather. Worn down by time, the only ones who came to live in Bonesaw were folks stupid enough not to realize they’d be stuck forever. Dad always said that once Bonesaw got its claws in you, it never let go.
It wasn’t often that people disappeared from Bonesaw. So when Octavia vanished, she took a piece of Arden’s sanity with her.
There were three gas stations, two high schools, and five restaurants. And Arden Fischel had the luck of working at the cheapest one. Cheap meant Sundays were too busy. Too crowded. Too much loud, grating chatter and not enough tips.
Arden jolted from her spot at the Hostess podium at the sound of laughter. Bright, shining laughter. The kind that, even if nothing was really funny, you couldn’t help but laugh too. In her desperation to find the source, she turned too fast like she was a little girl again, chasing after a dragonfly down by the harbor.
But Octavia was no dragonfly.
You had me sold at “Sapphic Midwestern Gothic!” Please submit the query, synopsis and first three chapters here: https://querymanager.com/query/sarahnfisk/PitchWars
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This is giving me Alice Isn’t Dead vibes, and I love it. I’d be thrilled to see the full manuscript through the Pitch Wars event link on my QueryManager: QueryManager.com/BeccaPodos/PitchWars
A place called Bonesaw where people come to disappear, a crappy job at a cheap restaurant, a missing girl… I’m hooked! Plus, as someone who waited tables for several years, serving customers who rarely tipped, I can relate oh so well to Arden, and I’d love to read more. If you think I could be a good fit, please query me and share the full manuscript: QueryManager.com/JenniferMarchSoloway/PitchWars2022
I love a good story and hope to have the chance to read yours!
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Hi, Zoe. I LOVE the description you wove into these paragraphs, and as a Kansan, I especially love the sound of a “Midwestern Gothic.” If you’re willing, I would love to see the full manuscript, synopsis, and an author bio sent to email@example.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
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Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media
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I love the way you describe Bonesaw and I’m definitely in the mood for some creepy YA horror. If you think we’d be a good match, please send the full to me using the submission form: QueryManager.com/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form/PitchWars.
Hunted by a cult? I’m in! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at email@example.com and put Pitch Wars in your subject line.
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Looking forward to hearing from you!
This sounds absolutely incredible (and chilling!)–my assistant Daniele and I would love to read it! I’m a diehard horror fan, and your writing is gorgeous. 🙂
Please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/christa_heschke/PitchWars2122
-Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis
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I don’t believe any of my colleagues at The Book Group are participating in Pitch Wars this year, but if you do get requests from others — or if you’ve already submitted to someone else on our team — don’t worry! We happily accept simultaneous submissions. If you wouldn’t mind flagging this in your query letter, it’s helpful to know up front.
Thank you! I hope I make the list of agents you chose to submit to but, either way, huge congratulations on your Pitch Wars participation this year.