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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 MG #12: LEMON DROP FALLS (Contemporary)
Heather Clark
Mentored by:
Nicole Panteleakos
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Word Count:


Mom's last words: Keep them safe. Help them be happy.

Morgan promised, so she sacrifices soccer, free time, and friendships for her younger siblings. But when Dad's "talk therapy" campout ignites Morgan's anxiety, she makes a reckless decision to prove she can fill Mom's shoes . . . which leaves her literally fighting for survival.




I keep telling myself it will all get easier next week.

Well . . . not all. The hardest part, I’m stuck with forever. But at least once school starts, I won’t have to patrol this blazing playground every day like a sweaty prison guard, saving my siblings from death by monkey bars.

Then again, who uses the word “easy” to describe junior high?

Manic giggling pulls my attention back to Janie and Budge—scrambling onto the zip line together like they want me to panic.

“One at a time, guys!”

“Pleeeeease, Morgan!” Janie leans dizzyingly far off the platform, her broomstraw hair sweeping the wood chips below. “We’re practicing our trapeze act.”

Familiar fear squirms in my gut. There’s a good chance they’re planning to construct an actual trapeze. Janie’s seven-year-old brain is the source of all fun—for five-year-old Budge.

For twelve-year-old me?

“It’s too dangerous.”

Janie glares back at me.

I raise my eyebrows, channeling Mom. I can endure glaring to keep them in one piece.

But then she yells, “Mom would let us!”

I flinch. I don’t know how many times this summer I’ve heard those words, and they never stop hurting.

Mom would let them.

Mom would do a million and one things better than I ever can.


It’s not. But I can’t bring myself to say what I’d have to say instead: Mom’s gone. Mom won’t ever be here again.

All you’ve got is me.

18 responses to “PW2019 MG #12: LEMON DROP FALLS (Contemporary)”

  1. Laura Bradford says:

    I just love the voice here! “I won’t have to patrol this blazing playground every day like a sweaty prison guard, saving my siblings from death by monkey bars.” is both charming and evocative. I think the narrative of an older child being the de facto guardian for younger siblings is so relatable and I’d love to see this! 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!

  2. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Heather!

    I love this premise and your voice! I’d be thrilled to read more!

    Could you send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to Kelly@reesagency.com? You can simply attach the manuscript as a Word document and make sure to put “Pitch Wars Requested Submission” in the subject title! =)

    Looking forward to reading more, and wishing you all the best of luck!

    -Kelly Peterson

  3. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Clark,

    The opening pages for Lemon Drop Falls are so compelling. When you are ready to send out the submission, I would welcome seeing the complete. You can send the full manuscript to me at atuttle@dystel.com. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  4. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Heather! Wow, this sounds so lovely and heartbreaking. I would love to read more. Please send the first 50 pages to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

    Thanks so much!
    Alexandra Weiss
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  5. Erin Clyburn says:

    I’m so intrigued by your pitch and excerpt, and I’d love to see your full manuscript! If you’d like to submit to me, you can do so through this link: QueryMe.online/ErinClyburn/PitchWars.

  6. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Heather,

    This sounds great, I’d love to read more! Could you please send a query and the full manuscript to ebauman@aevitascreative.com, and put “Pitch Wars” in the subject line?

    Looking forward!


  7. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Dear Heather,

    I’d love to read this full! Please email me directly at colleen@adventurewrite.com. Paste your query and synopsis directly into the body and attach your full. Thanks and looking forward to reading!

    Colleen Oefelein
    Associate Agent
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
    245 Park Avenue
    39th Floor
    New York NY 10167
    Facebook: Colleen Oefelein
    Twitter: @eerie_o

    Celebrating 19 years of making dreams come true!

  8. Jennifer Unter says:

    Great opening and I like the sound of this – would love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to jen.nadol (at) theunteragency (dot) com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  9. Ashley Blake says:

    Hello Heather, I’d love to read more of this! If you’d like, send the full manuscript to ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY PITCH WARS in the subject. Hope to hear from you soon!

  10. Marlo Berliner says:

    Love the idea of a young girl needing to step into her mother’s shoes! (When I was a pre-teen my mother was ill, so I had to do exactly that with my much younger siblings. Needless to say, this piece really spoke to me.) 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!

  11. Katherine Wessbecher says:

    I’m a responsible (some might say bossy) eldest sister with 4 silly siblings who relates to Morgan on an extremely personal level. I would love to see the full manuscript! You can send it to katherine (at) bradfordlit (dot) com. Thanks! 

  12. Shannon Hassan says:

    Hi Heather, this sounds compelling, and I and would love to read more! Please send a query + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com (with PitchWars in the subject) Thanks, Shannon

  13. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Heather,

    This sounds great. Please send the full manuscript to mollie.glickasst@caa.com.

    Best wishes,
    Mollie Glick

  14. Hi, Heather,

    I love your voice! 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. Paste your pitch in the body of the email and 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.



  15. Jana Hanson says:

    Hi, Heather —

    I would love to read more of LEMON DROP FALLS. Please send the first 5 chapters to me as soon as practicable (jhanson@metamorphosisliteraryagency.com)

    Thank you so much, and best of luck to you in Pitch Wars!

    Jana Hanson

  16. Kari Sutherland says:

    This sounds so heart-wrenching! I have a feeling, I’m going to cry, but in a good way. Can you please query me here: https://querymanager.com/query/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form and put Pitch Wars in the title line? Looking forward to reading further.

  17. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send it as a Word doc or PDF attachment to melissa@rpcontent.com with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks, Heather!

    -Melissa Nasson, Rubin Pfeffer Content

  18. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    I absolutely love the voice and comps for this. Please send to QueryMe.online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to diving in!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Literary Agent
    Belcastro Literary Agency