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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.
PW2019 Adult #35: UGLY & DELICIOUS THINGS (Queer contemporary romance)
Anita Kelly
Mentored by:
Meryl Wilsner and Rosie Danan
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
Queer contemporary romance
Word Count:


As the first openly non-binary contestant on America's favorite cooking show, Chef’s Special, London wants to focus on food, but the competitor stationed in front of them is too damn distracting. Dahlia has unruly hair, disarming honesty, and a tendency to trip over her own feet. Their on-screen chemistry makes them fan favorites—and they give in to their attraction off camera. But as a finale only one can win draws nearer, Dahlia and London must prove their steamy fling can stand the heat outside the kitchen.



Dahlia Woodson might have been shit at marriage, but she could dice an onion like a goddamn professional.

The first even slices, the cross hatching. The comfort in how logical and perfect it was. Dahlia had put in the work, onion after onion, until she could create consistent knife cuts every time. Until she trusted her hand, her knife, without having to think about it at all: fast and efficient and right.

When Dahlia stepped onto the set of Chef’s Special in Burbank, California on a Tuesday morning in late July, she thought about onions.

She certainly couldn’t focus on the mahogany floor under her feet, how it positively gleamed. Or how high the ceilings were, far higher than she had imagined, higher than seemed necessary. And the lights—Holy Moses, they were blinding. It was like some sort of sports stadium. For food nerds.

Dahlia walked around the soaring wooden archway behind the cooking stations that marked the rear edge of the set. It was majestic and unmistakable, like the doorway of a cathedral, if a kitchen could be a church.

She was busy staring in awe at the archway, the shining lights above.

Which was why a second later, she smacked herself right into a soft, solid wall of person.

27 responses to “PW2019 Adult #35: UGLY & DELICIOUS THINGS (Queer contemporary romance)”

  1. Tara Gilbert says:

    Aaaah I love this! I’d love to see more. Please use the link below to submit the full along with a synopsis and query letter.

    Thank you for considering me! If more than one Corvisiero agent shows interest, please choose one agent to submit to and let them know who else liked the pitch, so that we can share it with each other.


  2. Tara Gelsomino says:

    I love the voice here — it’s very distinctive. I would love to see query, full synopsis, and first three chapters if you’d like to send them. Please email with word doc attachments to tara@onetrackliterary.com with a subject line referencing Pitch Wars.

  3. Kim Lionetti says:

    Hi Anita: This sounds great! I’d love to take a look at the synopsis and full manuscript. Please upload them here: QueryMe.online/KimLionetti/PitchWars. Look forward to reading! – Kim

  4. Marlo Berliner says:

    This is off to a great start and I’d love to read more! Please send the full with Pitchwars Adult in the subject line to marlo.jdlit@gmail.com. Looking forward to reading!

  5. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Anita,

    So happy to see this queer rep! I’d love to read the full. Please upload to QueryMe.online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to diving in!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Literary Agent
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  6. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi, this sounds intriguing. Please submit query + first 3 chapters to QueryMe.online/evascalzo/PitchWars.

  7. Naomi Davis says:

    I LOVE this concept. And I love anything that highlights food in a new and fun way. This sounds right up my alley! ndavis@bookendsliterary.com – Please attach the full manuscript and synopsis along with your query, and include #PitchWars in the subject line.

  8. Amanda Jain says:

    What an opening line! I’d love to see more of this. Please send your query letter, synopsis, and full manuscript as a .doc attachment to ajain@bookendsliterary.com. I look forward to reading!

  9. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Kelly,

    You’ve got a captivating premise for UGLY AND DELICIOUS THINGS, and I would welcome the chance to read further. Please do send the complete to me at atuttle@dystel.com. I hope to hear from you.


    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  10. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Anita,

    I love this excerpt and would love to see more! Please send the full manuscript and query letter to me at jess@browerliterary.com with PITCH WARS + title in the subject line. Can’t wait to take a look!


  11. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Anita! I’m loving this idea — and what an awesome sample! I’d love to consider. Please do send through your query letter + first 50 pages to claire@inkwellmanagement.com — CF

  12. Carrie Pestritto says:

    A cooking show competition? Romance? A non-binary contestant? I am SO THERE for this! What a great setup! I’ve been dying for a cooking/baking show romance for awhile now and I’m always eager for more diversity, so I’m definitely interested in reading more.

    Would you please send me your query in the body of an email, with the first 100 pages attached as a Word doc? The subject of the email should be “PITCH WARS REQUEST: UGLY & DELICIOUS THINGS” and you can reach me at cpestritto(at)ldlainc(dot)com.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

  13. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look! When it’s time, you can send to jmccarthy@dystel.com, and I’ll happily dive in and give a read!


  14. Rebecca Podos says:

    I am smitten! And I’d love very much to see the full at Rebecca@reesagency.com!

  15. Kiana Nguyen says:

    Hi Anita! I’d love to see a full of UGLY AND DELICIOUS THINGS! Please send the query and an attachment of the full to knguyen@maassagency.com. Include the query in the email and first page of attachment. Please use the subject: PW 2020: TITLE. Thank you!

  16. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Anita,

    This sounds great, and I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the first 100pgs to ebauman@aevitascreative.com, with “PitchWars” in the subject line?

    Looking forward to seeing more!

    All best,

  17. Dana Murphy says:

    OMG yes please, this sounds (i’m sorry – i’m so sorry) delicious. Please send the first 50pgs and a query letter to submissions@thebookgroup.com, with my name in the subject line and #PitchWars somewhere in the body of the email.

    Looking forward to reading. Good Luck!

  18. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Anita, this sounds delightful! I’d love to read the full manuscript. If you’d like, send a Word document as an attachment in an email to ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY PITCH WARS in the subject. Hope to hear from you soon!

  19. Lauren Spieller says:

    That’s a hell of a first line! I’d love to keep reading. May I please see the full manuscript + synopsis? It would also be great if you could include ‘Pitch Wars Request’ in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! 

    Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS Literary Agency

  20. Emmy Nordstrom Higdon says:

    Hello! My name is Emmy Nordstrom-Higdon, and I am an agent(-in-training) with The Rights Factory! I just started building my list, and I’m so lucky to have Sam Hiyate as my mentor. If we end up working together, you’ll get the best of both worlds – the wisdom of an agent with 16 years in the biz, and my enthusiasm and attention as a new agent with just a handful of select clients so far. Part of why your manuscript caught my eye is because I am non-binary, and watching (and re-watching) cooking shows with my partner is a total comfort ritual for me. I am thrilled to request a full manuscript from you, which you can send to assistant@therightsfactory.com. Please include a query letter and write PITCH WARS in the subject line. In the meantime, you can check out my bio and what I’m most interested in at https://www.therightsfactory.com/about-us, and my blog at http://www.booksbeyondbinaries.blog, if you want to know a little more about me. Really hoping to hear from you soon, and congratulations on participating in Pitch Wars!!

  21. Kerstin Wolf says:

    I can’t tell you how much this made my heart sing! I would love to see the full manuscript of this. If you think we might make a good match, please submit your full manuscript using this link: QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars

  22. Laura Bradford says:

    I’m here for the food! And the romance, of course. I’d love to see more…this seems delightful.

    Please email me the full ms + synopsis and make a note in the subject line that this is a Pitch Wars entry. laura at bradfordlit dot com. Can’t wait to see more!

    Laura Bradford
    Bradford Literary Agency

  23. Maggie Cooper says:

    Dear Anita,

    I would 100% self-identify as both a food nerd and lover of queer romance, so naturally, I’d love to see a full manuscript at mcooper@aevitascreative.com. (You’re welcome to send to both my lovely colleague Erica Bauman and me, so have no worries on that front!)

    Very best,

  24. Tamara Kawar says:

    Hi Anita,

    I’d absolutely love to read more of UGLY & DELICIOUS THINGS! Could you please send the full manuscript as a Word doc to tkawar[at]icmpartners[dot]com? Please make sure to include “PW2019” in your subject line.

    Thank you!


  25. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Anita, I’d like to read more. Would you please send your query (body of the email) and the first 50 pages (Word doc)? spelletier@dystel.com

    Sharon Pelletier
    Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

  26. Jessica Watterson says:

    I would love to see the full of this with synopsis and query pls! send to queryme/online/jessicawatterson/pitchwars. I hope you will send to me! 🙂

  27. Diana Fox says:

    I’d love to read more! Please email me the full manuscript at diana at foxliterary dot com. (Including “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line is also helpful but not required.)