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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.
Emily Joy Howard
Mentored by:
Kimberly Torne
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Contemporary LGBTQ
Word Count:


With her dad living across the country and her brother about to bolt for college, 12-year-old Winnie masterminds a 3000-mile road trip to reunite her family. Her brother hasn’t seen their dad since transitioning to his true gender but begrudgingly agrees to the trip for Winnie. Facing mechanical troubles, natural disasters, and mansplaining stranger danger, Winnie’s plan to bring her family back into orbit implodes, leaving her wondering if she can be the gravitational field holding them together or if they’ll end up light years apart.



My door squeaks as my brother’s dark silhouette tries to sneak into our bedroom. I hide a smile under my blanket, pretending to sleep.

Phoenix will get it now.

He pauses in the doorway, his shoulders broader than I remember, and for a moment I worry it isn’t him but a burglar. Then he runs a hand through his curly hair, and I relax. Grandma used to call us “the scrawniest girls in the world” as she served us pie after pie, but she was as wrong about my brother being a girl as the rest of us.

Phoenix pushes the door open another inch to squeeze through. Big. Mistake.

A bucket above the door tips, sending a marble down a funnel, into a tube. My brother freezes, tilting his head toward the clattering, before the marble hits the first domino. Dominoes fall with a steady click, click, click across the room, passing my bed like tiny tap dancers. The final one hits play on the turntable with a precision that took me hours to perfect.

In the dark silence, Phoenix seems to relax—until our room explodes with the high-pitched wail of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

“Winona, you brat!” He flips on the lights and lunging across the room to turn off the music.


  1. Clelia Gore says:

    I like a good road trip adventure! I’d love to read more. Can you send a Word document version of the first 59 pages to clelia@martinlit.com. Please put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks!

  2. Suzie Townsend says:

    This sounds fabulous. I’d love to read more! Please send the query and full manuscript to me at suzie (at) newleafliterary (dot) com.

  3. Jim McCarthy says:

    I would love to have a look at this. You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. A Word attachment is preferable if possible.

    Happy Pitch Wars!

  4. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Dear Emily,

    I enjoyed your excerpt and would love to read more. Could you send the entire manuscript as a Word doc attachment to channigan@hsgagency.com? Please write “Pitch Wars Requested Ms” as the subject.

    Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading it. And good luck today!

    Best wishes,
    Carrie Hannigan

  5. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Emily! I absolutely adore the title, the concept, and your beautiful writing. I’d love to read more! Please send a query letter and attach the full manuscript 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!

  6. Natascha Morris says:

    Hi Emily,

    I absolutely love this opening! I would love to read the rest of the manuscript. If your interested, please upload your full manuscript to QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2019.

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  7. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Emily,

    This sounds like such a fun read. I’d love to see the first 50 pages! Please submit your query, synopsis, and first 50 to http://QueryMe.Online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to the read!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  8. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I really enjoyed this and 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

  9. Emily,

    I’ve been looking for a story like this! Such a fantastic premise. ☺ Can you send me the full and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Sent to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.

    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime

    Looking forward to reading more.



  10. Quressa Robinson says:

    Hi Emily,

    I’d love to take a look at the full MS. I’m always a sucker for a great family story. Please query me at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PitchWars2019) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!


  11. Heather Cashman says:

    I’d love a chance to read the rest of this!
    If you think we’d be a good fit, please send the full to heather.stormliteraryagency@gmail.com with Pitch Wars Query, your name, and the title in the subject line.
    Thank you and good luck!
    Heather Cashman
    Storm Literary Agency

  12. 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

  13. Alyssa Henkin says:

    Hi Emily,

    I’d love to see the full manuscript for this! Please send it along to my email at ahenkin@tridentmediagroup.com and copy my assistant’s email at henkin.assistant@tridentmediagroup.com.

    Looking forward to reading!


  14. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Emily,

    I’m so intrigued by the concept and perfect balance in the first page of THE UNIVERSE AND OTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS. Please send your query letter and the full manuscript as a Word doc to dca@doncongdon.com with PITCH WARS REQUEST in the subject line. Thanks and look forward to reading more!

    Katie Grimm

  15. Christa Heschke says:

    Cool title, great premise and writing! I’d be excited to read on! Please send the query, synopsis and first 100 pages to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh and Otis

  16. Jana Hanson says:

    I would love to read the first five chapters of this manuscript. Please e-mail me at jhanson (at) metamorphosisliteraryagency (dot) com.

    Thank you, and best of luck in Pitch Wars!

    Jana Hanson

  17. Kelly Sonnack says:

    Hi Emily,
    I’d love to read your manuscript. Will you send the full to me via QueryManager? The link to the form is in my bio on our website (andreabrownlit.com) or I’ll link to it in my twitter feed. Please put “Pitch Wars” in your query or in the referred by field.
    Thanks, and looking forward!
    Kelly (@KSonnack)

  18. Jennifer Unter says:

    I’d love to read more. Please send the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to assistant@theunteragency.com. Thanks!

  19. Laura Bradford says:

    The hook is fantastic and I have a (not-so-secret) love of road trip capers. This one sounds like it could promise some rollicking fun and I’d love to see more of this sibling relationship. Please email me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line.

  20. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hello! I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript of THE UNIVERSE AND OTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS! Please send it along as a word document to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience.

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Inc.

  21. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Emily,

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

    My best,

  22. Kari Sutherland says:

    Hee! This made me smile and I love the family dynamics here. I’d really like to read more. Can you please send me the full manuscript as an attachment: kari@bradfordlit.com and include “Requested PitchWars” in the subject line? Thank you!

  23. Adria Goetz says:

    Ha! Love this scene. Can you send me the first chapter? adria@martinlit.com

  24. Eddie Schneider says:

    Dear Emily,

    Your query sounds interesting—I’d be happy to look at the first 50-75 pages of THE UNIVERSE AND OTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS, 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.


  25. Allison Remcheck says:

    Dear Emily,

    I would love to read THE UNIVERSE AND OTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS. Please feel free to be in touch with me via my inbox at this link (it would be great if you could include #pitchwars requested material in the subject):


    Thank you so much!


    Allison Remcheck

  26. Wendi Gu says:

    Dear Kimberly,

    What a pitch! I love the title and the warmth in this tiny sample here. Please send the full manuscript to wgu@janklow.com. I’d love to consider it further.

    My very best,
    Wendi Gu