Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

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.
MG #18: TUMBLEWEEDS (Contemporary)
Bruce Luck
Mentored by:
Margaret Dilloway
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Word Count:


11-year-old Waylon Willie Nelson has three jobs in his tiny desert town: lawnmower racing, selling tumbleweeds online, and taking care of Gran, whose Dr. Pepper-and-casino-loving ways have gotten her into a heap of trouble. Suddenly Waylon’s in way over his head on all three counts, trying to juggle disgruntled customers, a championship race, and Gran’s bad health. If only Waylon can figure out why Gran booted his mother out and get her to come back, maybe Waylon won’t be in this alone.



“If the buzzards are circling, does that mean we’re dead?” I leaned back in my chair and blocked the Nevada sun with my hand, sweat dripping down my arm. Three huge birds soared high above the cottonwood trees.

My friend Carmen tilted her head back. The floppy hat shading her eyes slipped off her head. She caught the hat and smacked me on the arm with it. “Those are turkey vultures, Waylon.” She plopped the hat back on her head and returned to her reading. If she wasn’t drawing in her sketch pad or messing with her phone, Carmen’s nose was in a book.

We sat at a table by the side of the road selling lemonade. And car washes. And cookies, and whatever we could. Carmen was saving up for college so she could escape this one-horse town. She wanted to be a businesswoman. I needed money to get my Gran a birthday present.

Make that trying to sell lemonade. We weren’t doing much of that.

It hadn’t been my only scheme for raking in the bucks. I had tried mowing lawns, walking dogs, being a pooper scooper, and hoping a bag of money would fall off the back of a Brinks armored truck passing by.

9 responses to “MG #18: TUMBLEWEEDS (Contemporary)”

  1. Clelia Gore says:

    This sounds right up my alley. I’d love to read more. Can you send me a Word document version of the full manuscript at clelia@martinlit.com. Please put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Well done!

  2. Andrea Cascardi says:

    Dear Mr. Luck,

    I love the voice in this excerpt and how you put me right into the moment with the concrete details of the Nevada heat. I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please can you send it to andrea+query@transatlanticagency.com as a Word or pdf attachment, with PitchWars request and the title in the subject line?
    I can’t wait to read more!
    Thanks you!

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. Danielle Burby says:

    What a great opening! Please send the rest! Follow this link for submission guidelines: http://queryme.online/1352/PitchWars2019

  7. Natalie Lakosil says:

    I would absolutely love to read this! Please send the full to me at natalie@bradfordlit.com. Looking forward to it!

  8. Laura Bradford says:

    You kind of sold me at the idea of selling tumbleweeds online…I kept thinking, you know, I bet there is a legit market for that kind of thing (though I imagine in this story, they don’t sell). I like the voice and I’d like to see more here. Please email me the first 100 pages + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line.

  9. Taylor Martindale Kean says:

    Dear Bruce,
    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars! I loved this pitch for TUMBLEWEEDS, and definitely want to keep reading. Can you send me the full manuscript as a Word doc to fullcirclelit@gmail.com? In the subject line, please include: Attn: Taylor Martindale Kean – Pitch Wars, TUMBLEWEEDS. Can’t wait to see more of your work!
    All best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary