Pitch Wars 2019 Wish List


Welcome to the wish list of 2019 Pitch Wars mentors Layne Fargo Halley Sutton!

We are only accepting Adult manuscripts in the following genres: Thriller/Suspense, Mystery, Horror, Gothic, Dark Contemporary, and Literary Fiction

(Our wish list is also available in a more accessible format in Google Docs if you prefer.)

We are 2019 Adult Mentors

Our favorite authors include:

Megan Abbott, Eve Babitz, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Tara Isabella Burton, Chelsea Cain, Gillian Flynn, Tod Goldberg, Sara Gran, Araminta Hall, Jennifer Hillier, Jessica Knoll, Elmore Leonard, Kelly Link, Laura Lippman, Atticka Locke, Carmen Maria Machado, Alissa Nutting, Helen Oyeyemi, Riley Sager, Ruth Ware

Things we’re hoping to see in our inbox:
  • Not-so-secret feminist agendas. Does your book smash the patriarchy? Then we want it!I hope you like feminist rants because that's kind of my thing
  • “Unlikeable” female characters. Layne has a whole podcast about them, and both of our debut novels feature lots of shamelessly unlikeable ladies.
  • Voice-y prose. If your main character has a strong, unique voice, we’ll follow you pretty much wherever you want to go.
  • We love books with a vibrant sense of place, particularly if it’s an out-of-the-ordinary place, or makes us see something familiar in a new light.
  • For thrillers, we prefer career-centric settings rather than domestic, but mostly we’re just looking for something we haven’t seen before (i.e. not just the standard trouble-in-the-suburbs/the-husband-did-it story).

Who says that murder's not an art?

  • For mysteries, we’re drawn to character-driven stories (think Kristen Lepionka’s Roxane Weary series).
  • In the horror genre, we love lush feminist darkness like Carmen Maria Machado and Julia Fine.
  • We love a graphic sex scene, especially if it furthers plot and/or character development in addition to being scorching hot.

Sophisticated with a hint of slutty

  • No matter the genre, we’re definitely hoping to see diverse books in our inbox, #ownvoices LGBTQ rep in particular.
Things we’re not so wild about:
  • Gratuitous violence against women, sexual or otherwise (especially if written by men)
  • Pretentious literary fiction with no plot. We love gorgeous literary prose, but it’s got to have a solid plot driving the narrative in order to hold our interest. If you’re convinced you’re the next David Foster Wallace-style literary genius, we’re not the mentors for you.
  • We’re open to mysteries, but please no cozies (we like it dark) or straight-up police procedurals. There are other Pitch Wars mentors far better suited to work on books in those subgenres.
  • If your work could be featured on r/menwritingwomen, or you seem like the type to leave cups of urine around your boss’s office…Move Along

And finally, a little bit about us: Layne was a 2017 mentee, and in 2018 she was Halley’s mentor. Now we’re agent sisters, both represented by the fabulous Sharon Pelletier of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret!

Layne Fargo & Halley Sutton

Both of our debut novels are Pitch Wars books. Layne’s debut Temper is a psychological thriller set in the Chicago theater scene, and it’s available now from Simon & Schuster’s Scout Press imprint. Halley’s feminist L.A. noir novel The Lady Upstairs will be out next summer from Putnam.

Last year Layne converted Halley to the Save the Cat beat sheet lifestyle, so our mentee’s first assignment will probably be reading Save the Cat Writes a Novel. We’re tough, detailed-oriented editors, but we’re also enthusiastic cheerleaders, and we see the mentor / mentee relationship as a collaborative partnership between equals. It’s worked out great for the two of us, and we can’t wait to find a new writer to usher into the (gender-nonspecific) sisterhood!