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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.
YA #11: THE WANA CUP (Contemporary Fantasy)
Tigest Girma
Mentored by:
Alechia Dow and Mel Howard
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:


Fifty-four countries. One will be crowned champion of The Wana Cup. After accidentally selling an Almaz stone and exposing Africa’s secret magic, the only way 17-year-old Ma’aza can avoid life imprisonment is entering the tournament as Ethiopia’s player. And she’s not only battling against other players but an ancient political war that could tear the continent apart.



The sight of Mathew Sanders approaching––pale, blue-eyed, handsome––evoked the exact opposite emotion of when I first saw him in seventh grade.

There was anger now. Disgust. Maybe even hate.  

Thick clouds shrouded the hall windows, allowing little light to filter through. Somehow, this only emphasized the shine of his white shirt. I almost rolled my eyes. The last thing nature needed to do was cast more attention on Mathew.

“You ready, Mazi?” He rubbed his hands together. We’d both left our previous class early to discuss our deal––money in exchange for his shot at the basketball finals.

I cringed at the nickname. It was Ma’aza. Or Maz. “I am, are you?”

At a closer glance, his face had pinched more than usual, eyes a little dazed. “Yeah, I guess.”

He ran his hands over his forearm. Again. Then again.

I nearly reached out to swat it away. If this was his idea of being subtle, he’d give us away long before we’d make it to class. “Stop looking so nervous.”

While I kept my own face blank, my chest heaved when the enormous Victorian clock ticked above us. It settled heavy, almost crushing my lungs. I didn’t blink at rule breaking, and was relatively thick skinned––you needed it to conquer high school in a foreign country, but this was another matter I couldn’t shake.

“Uh, Mathew.” I perched my books on the small ledge. “We need to talk about what happened.”

17 responses to “YA #11: THE WANA CUP (Contemporary Fantasy)”

  1. Clelia Gore says:

    Wow! This sounds awesome. Please send me the full manuscript (Microsoft Word form is best) at clelia@martinlit.com, along with a query. Please include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks for sharing! Nice job!

  2. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there!

    I’d love to take a look at this full manuscript. Can you please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Thanks! I can’t wait to read!


    Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  3. What a gorgeous opening. The writing, the way it lures the reader in. And that premise!

    I’d love to read more. Please send your query and full manuscript as word doc attachments to hilary@ktliterary.com with PitchWars in the subject field. Can’t wait!

  4. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! 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

  5. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi! I’d love to take a look. Please email the ms. as a double-spaced .doc to medwards@stonesong.com. Thank you!

  6. Kat Enright says:

    This sounds incredible, and I’m already falling for Maz. Can you please send me the query, synopsis, and full to kat@theseymouragency.com?

    P.S. If more than one agent at the Seymour Agency requests this, please only send to one of us! Best of luck.

  7. Elizabeth Bewley says:

    Hi Tigest,
    I’d be happy to read more! Can you please send me the first fifty pages as a Word doc attachment? I’m at ebewley@sll.com.
    Elizabeth Bewley
    Sterling Lord Lit

  8. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Hi Tigest!

    I really love what you have here. Will you please send me the full manuscript as a word doc attachment to channigan@hsgagency.com ?

    I can’t wait to keep reading.

    Best wishes,

  9. Elana Roth Parker says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more! Please email me at eparker [at] ldlainc [dot] com:

    * Subject line: PitchWars Submission: YOUR BOOK TITLE
    * Your query letter in the body of the email
    * The full manuscript attached as a Word document

    Elana Roth Parker
    Laura Dail Literary Agency

  10. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great – I would love an opportunity to consider! Can you please send the query letter (in the body of an email) and manuscript (attached as a Word doc) to queries@parkfine.com with “Pitch Wars submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject? Thank you!

    – Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  11. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Tigest! This sounds so interesting and I really enjoyed your writing sample. I’d love to read more! Please send a query letter and attach the first 100 pages as a Word doc with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to alexweiss.jdlit@gmail.com.

    If more than one JDLA agent requests this, please feel free to submit to the best fit. Thank you!

  12. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thank you!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

  13. Devin Ross says:

    Hi Tigest- I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please send it to dross@newleafliterary.com with “pitch wars request” in the subject line. Excited to read!

  14. Jennifer Mattson says:

    Dear Tigest,
    I’m curious about the mixture of contemporary tone and an epic, elevated premise—I’d love to see the first three chapters to see where this goes! Please send to jmatt@andreabrownlit.com, with subject line Pitch Wars 2019 Requested Material.

    If my colleague Kelly happens also to request this, please send to just one of us (your choice) and let that person know the other has expressed interest. Many thanks!

    —Jennifer Mattson, Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

  15. Kerstin Wolf says:

    YES!!!!! Just so much yes!!!!!! I’d be thrilled if you could send me the full manuscript at QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars.

  16. Eddie Schneider says:

    Dear Tigest,

    Your query sounds interesting—I’d be happy to look at the first 50-75 pages of THE WANA CUP, along with a 1-2 page synopsis. A .rtf file for the former is preferred, and the body of your e-mail is perfect for the latter.

    Thanks, and I look forward to reading your work.


  17. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Tigest,

    I’d like to see more! Can you send your query and first fifty pages to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,