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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.
Rochelle Hassan
Mentored by:
Jamie Pacton and M.K. England
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:



Aziza is a hedgewitch who guards the border to fairyland.
Leo was cursed to forget his true love.
Tristan is a necromancer soul-bound to a vicious hag.

When Aziza is accused of Tristan’s crimes, she and Leo race to prove her innocence – and wind up on a collision course with the hag, who wants to strip away everything that matters to Aziza:

Her magic. Her best friend. Her life.




“You can’t stay there.”

The Christmas tree towered over her, at least three stories tall. Its coat of dancing white lights washed out the stars and staved off the night. But Aziza was more interested in what was under the tree than what was on it.

“You’ll starve,” she said, keeping her back to the sparse crowd and her boots clear of the shadows. “No campers down there. No lost children, either. Nothing with fingers or ears for you to bite off.”

This was the heart of the fair. Light poured down from the lampposts lining the park trails; ropes of flashing rainbow bulbs criss-crossed walkways and studded vendors’ stalls. When people skirted too close, their shadows met the base of the tree. She flinched.

Shadows were vectors for certain beings. Get two shadows to touch, and you had a bridge.

Under the pretense of tying her shoelaces, Aziza knelt to study the Shade – this cunning little predator that had taken such pains to blend in.


Past the tangle of the bottommost branches and the cords of the fairy lights, the dark turned dense and oily black. She inhaled the sharp-sweet smell of pine needles and caught an unmistakable sour note underneath.

“If you don’t go back to where you came from,” she said, “I’m dragging you there myself. Last warning.”

14 responses to “YA #15: THE MOST TERRIFYING THING IN THE FOREST (Contemporary Fantasy)”

  1. Patricia Nelson says:

    Hi Rochelle,

    I would love to read more of this! Could you please send your query, along with the full manuscript as a Word doc attachment, to patricia@marsallyonliteraryagency.com? Please make the subject line “PitchWars YA Request: The Most Terrifying Thing in the Forest.”

    Thanks so much!

  2. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! This is very intriguing. I’d love to see more. Please send your query in the body of an email, plus your full manuscript and a synopsis (attached). I look forward to reading!

    Lauren Spieller
    TriadaUS Literary Agency

  3. Sarah Landis says:

    Hi! I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please send to slandis@sll.com. Thanks!

  4. Sarah Gerton says:

    Hi Rochelle,

    I hope this finds you well! I’m an associate agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd.–it’s great to e-meet you.

    I was very intrigued by this first page of THE MOST TERRIFYING THING IN THE FOREST and would love to read more. If you’re interested in submitting to me, would you please send the full manuscript as a word doc to sg@cbltd.com with “PitchWars” in the subject line?

    Thank you, and good luck in the showcase!

    All best,

    Sarah Gerton

  5. Danielle Burby says:

    Yes please! This is something I’d definitely like to read more of. Follow this link for submission guidelines: http://queryme.online/1352/PitchWars2019

  6. Nora Long says:

    Hi Rochelle,

    I’d love to take a look at your manuscript. Please send along the first fifty pages as an attachment (Word doc or PDF) to nlong@writershouse.com.
    Looking forward to reading!


    Nora Long
    Writers House, LLC

  7. Ginger Clark says:

    Hi, I would love to see this. Please send the full manuscript as an attachment (a PDF, RTF, or Word Document is fine) to my email address which is gc@cbltd.com . Please include “Pitchwars 2019 Request” in the subject line. Thank you very much.

  8. Jenny Bent says:

    I would love to see this one. Can you please send the full ms to me at info@thebentagency.com. Please put the query in the body of your email and #pitchwars in the subject line. Thanks!

  9. Marlo Berliner says:

    This sounds interesting! I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  10. Kerstin Wolf says:

    I love this excerpt of Aziza trying to coax a Shade out from a Christmas tree! It’s just such an interesting and fantastic idea that caught my attention! I’d love it if you could send me your full manuscript to QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars.

  11. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Rochelle,

    I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com.

    My best,

  12. Christa Heschke says:

    This sounds right up my alley. I loved Tithe as a teen 🙂 Please send the query, synopsis and first 100 to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  13. Kari Sutherland says:

    Ooo! Intriguing. I’d love to read more. Can you please send me the first 50 pages as an attachment and use “Requested PitchWars” in the subject line? Thanks! kari@bradfordlit.com

  14. Weronika Janczuk says:

    Please send to weronika@d4eo.com:
    + query letter in email body
    + Word .doc with first 50-75 pages
    + subject line, PARTIAL REQUEST – PITCH WARS – TITLE