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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.
MG #3: PATCHING HOLES (Contemporary Realism)
Robert Polk
Mentored by:
Yamile Saied Mendez
Book Title:
Patching Holes
2018 Entries
Contemporary Realism
Word Count:


The beginning of summer vacation finds thirteen-year-old farm girl Blake Jensen managing acres of grief from a baby brother’s accidental drowning and Dad’s recent incarceration for drugs. When she chases trespassers off the property, she stumbles onto $8K Dad hid before going to prison. With strangers still creeping the farm, Blake must confront Dad to protect her mom and brother, and maybe begin patching the holes in her heart. For readers of SUMMERLOST + THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.



Things die on a farm all the time. If you live in western Nebraska, you understood that. You knew things were supposed to die. Things like old hens, picked corn plants, and mosquitos after the first freeze. But not baby brothers.

Charlie was almost two when he drowned in the horse-tank. This morning, Charlie’s favorite hen Gretchen was dead too.

Blake eased her shovel underneath Gretchen’s stiff body, careful not to ruffle feathers. She’d like to think they were together again, Charlie and Gretchen. She could almost see Charlie now, hugging Gretchen tight and toddling around in his red cowboy boots.

As the metal blade slid along the dry dirt with a grinding screech, Blake winced and hefted the load. Surely, she was the only thirteen-year-old in the county stuck with dead hen burial duty this morning. She glared across the gravel driveway at the tank underneath the wooden plank fence. Empty of water now, flowers peeked over its cold steel rim, over bullet holes Dad’s .357 magnum had made after Charlie’s funeral three years ago.

That tank had to go.

22 responses to “MG #3: PATCHING HOLES (Contemporary Realism)”

  1. Clelia Gore says:

    Hi there! This sounds like it has a lot of potential. 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. Brent Taylor says:

    I’d be delighted to read this. Please send the query and full manuscript (as a Word doc) to brent(at)triadaus(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. Elizabeth Bewley says:

    Hi Robert,
    I’d be happy to read the first fifty pages of your manuscript. Can you please email them to me at ebewley@sll.com? Thanks in advance!
    Elizabeth Bewley
    Sterling Lord Literistic

  5. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! This was a lovely sample, and I’d like 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

  6. Carrie Hannigan says:

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

    Thank you! Looking forward to reading it. And good luck today!

    My email is: channigan@hsgagency.com

    Best wishes,
    Carrie Hannigan

  7. Melissa Edwards says:

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

  8. Natascha Morris says:

    Hi Robert,

    This looks like I am going to need some tissues and I LOVE IT! Please send the full manuscript to me at QueryMe.online/1067/PitchWars2019. I look forward to reading it.

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  9. Sarah Gerton says:

    Hi Robert,

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

    I was hooked by the first page of PATCHING HOLES 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

  10. 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.

  11. Melissa Nasson says:

    Can I just say wow? I would love to keep reading this. Please send the full manuscript 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

  12. Katie Grimm says:

    Dear Robert,

    The concept for PATCHING HOLES is right up my alley, and the opening is so evocative! 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

  13. Christa Heschke says:

    Wow. This really pulls on the heartstrings and your writing is beautiful! I’d love to see the full. Please send your query, manuscript and synopsis to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com with Pitch Wars request in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  14. Natalie Lakosil says:

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

  15. Isabelle Bleecker says:

    Hi Robert,
    This sounds interesting. Can I see more? Please send a query letter and the first 50 pages of your manuscript to me at Isabelle@Nordlysetagency.com

  16. 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

  17. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Robert,

    I’d love to see this! Can you send your query and manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  18. Jessica Watterson says:

    Hi there- would love to see this ms in my query manager please. Your writing is wonderful and this sounds really great. Please send to QueryMe.online/JessicaWatterson/Pitchwars and follow all instructions in the form, including uploading your full ms.

    Thank you!

  19. Laura Bradford says:

    Love the first paragraph! I think the imagery is really evocative here and I really get such a strong sense of mood. I’d love to see more! Please email me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait to read it!

  20. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hello! I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript of PATCHING HOLES! 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. Taylor Martindale Kean says:

    Dear Robert,
    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars! I loved this pitch for PATCHING HOLES, 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, PATCHING HOLES. Can’t wait to see more of your work!
    All best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary

  22. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Robert, What an opening paragraph! I want to get to know Blake. Please send the full manuscript with complete synopsis and author bio (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. Looking forward to reading!