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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 YA #35: DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D (Contemporary #OwnVoices)
Anna Sortino
Mentored by:
Aiden Thomas
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Contemporary #OwnVoices
Word Count:


Lilah isn’t deaf, but she’s not hearing, either. At summer camp for the deaf, Lilah must improve her ASL skills fast if she wants to fit in and communicate with the cute boy she’s crushing on. While she’s ready to dive into Deaf culture, the community can be wary of outsiders. And when a frightening miscommunication happens off campgrounds, Lilah also learns how dangerous a world made for the hearing can be. (Switched At Birth meets Jenny Han)



I’m standing at home plate with a baseball bat resting on my shoulder and a blindfold tied tight around my eyes. Behind me, someone is saying something, but I can’t hear them.

“What?” I shout with careless volume. The word rolls easily off my tongue. I’ve probably uttered it every day of my life. It saves me from having to explain, “I’m sorry. Please repeat yourself. I wear hearing aids for my hearing loss but still couldn’t understand you.”

“I’ll poke your back with a stick,” Raine says again.

To be honest, I’m not happy about playing beeper baseball, but I can’t afford to complain. Camp Gray Wolf is a summer camp for the deaf and the blind that I’ve attended since I was ten.  This is the only place I have where I can be with other kids like me. We’re all about accessibility and inclusion, even when it makes our games somewhat impractical.

I love camp more than anything, but this year is different. I’m seventeen, and I get to take on new responsibilities as a counselor-in-training. As a C.I.T., I need to prove I have what it takes to be a counselor next year, otherwise my summers at Camp Gray Wolf will come to an end. 

23 responses to “PW2019 YA #35: DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D (Contemporary #OwnVoices)”

  1. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Anna,
    I hope this finds you well! I’d love to read your novel. If you’re interested in sharing, could you send the full manuscript to amorrison@writershouse.com?
    I hope to hear more!
    All best,

  2. Megan Manzano says:

    I need this in my life! Please send your query, synopsis, and first 30 pages to https://querymanager.com/query/MeganManzano/PitchWars

  3. Kim Lionetti says:

    Hi Anna: I would love to see this! Please upload the full manuscript and synopsis here: QueryMe.online/KimLionetti/PitchWars. Can’t wait to read it! – Kim

  4. Natascha Morris says:

    Your comps are fabulous! SWITCHED AT BIRTH was honestly the best. I would love to read more of Lilah’s story here, Anna. If you want, please upload to QueryMe.online/natascha/PitchWars. I look forward to reading it.

    Thank you!

    Natascha Morris
    BookEnds Literary

  5. Marlo Berliner says:

    Great beginning! I’d love to read more! Please send the full with Pitchwars YA in the subject line to marlo.jdlit@gmail.com. Looking forward to reading!

  6. Jennifer Unter says:

    This sounds great – I’d love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages to jen.nadol(at)theunteragency(dot)com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  7. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Anna, I’d love to take a look at this! If you’d like, send the full manuscript to ashley@reesagency.com and put QUERY PITCH WARS in the subject line. Hope to hear from you soon!

  8. Sabrina Taitz says:

    Would love to read more – please send your full manuscript to staitz@wmeagency.com in PDF format. Thanks! – Sabrina Taitz @ WME

  9. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Anna,

    I love what I’ve read so far and would love to see more! Please send the full manuscript and query to me at jess@browerliterary.com with PITCH WARS + title in the subject line.

    Thanks and I can’t wait to read!


    Jess Dallow, Brower Literary and Management

  10. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Anna,

    For starters, congratulations on successfully completing Pitch Wars! You did it and deserve to celebrate this huge achievement.

    My name is Samantha Fabien and I’m an agent at the Laura Dail Literary Agency (LDLA). This premise immediately warmed my heart. These are characters I’ve never seen in books and the idea that this is #ownvoices makes it twice as special. Although it may be silly, Switched At Birth was the first time I got to see into the deaf community and it was so beautiful. I nearly wept when it ended. This is a story I never knew I needed and I would love to read the full manuscript.

    Would you please send me your query in the body of an email, with the full manuscript attached as a Word doc? The subject of the email should be “PITCH WARS REQUEST: DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D” and you can reach me at sfabien(at)LDLAinc(dot)com. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

    If more than one LDLA agent requests your book, you are welcome to send to as many or few of us as you like. Just tell us in the query, and we’ll chat amongst ourselves.

  11. Ginger Clark says:

    I would love to take a look at this. Can you email me the first fifty pages as either a PDF or DOCX or RTF? Put the words “Pitchwars 2020 request” in your subject line. Thank you so much!

  12. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! 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

  13. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Anna,

    I adore your premise and your first pages and would love to see more!!

    Please submit the first 50 pages of DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D, along with your query and synopsis, here:


    Please also make sure to put “Pitch Wars” in the referral line or mention that I requested here in your query.

    I look forward to reading! 😊

    Warm Regards,

    Cortney Radocaj
    Associate Agent
    Belcastro Agency

  14. Jennifer Mattson says:

    Dear Anna,
    I’d be happy to see the full of DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D; I found the documentary SOUND AND FURY compelling and have long been interested in exploring Deaf culture further. If you’d like to share the manuscript with me, please email by attachment to jmatt[at]andreabrownlit.com, and include the phrase “Pitch Wars Request” as part of the subject line.

    Note, if another colleague of mine from Andrea Brown Literary also requests this manuscript, please choose just one of us, but let us know who the other requester was, with thanks.

    Thanks for your participation and good luck with all,
    Jennifer Mattson, Agent
    Andrea Brown Literary Agency

  15. Rena Rossner says:

    As someone who has been plagued by hearing issues my whole life, this excerpt hit me right in the gut. I’ve spent my life saying “what” all the time…I must read this full manuscript! Please send it attached as a word document to: rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner

  16. Hi Anna,
    I really like this premise! I would love to to read the full manuscript, if this sounds good please send the full to QueryMe.online/Stacey_PITCHWARS/PitchWars2020. Add #PitchWars to the submission form.

    Looking forward to receiving DEAF WITH A CAPITAL D!


  17. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Anna! This sounds incredible and I’d love to learn more about Lilah. I’d like to request the full manuscript, which you can send to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

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

  18. Laurel Symonds says:

    Hi! I’d love to see this. Please send a query and 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  19. Kari Sutherland says:

    Lilah’s voice drew me in just from this short sample! I’d really like to read more of this–I’ve got hearing loss as well and it’s not something I see explored often enough in books. Please query me with “Pitch Wars” in the title here: https://querymanager.com/query/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form Looking forward to reading more!

  20. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’d love to see 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, Rubin Pfeffer Content

  21. Heather Cashman says:

    Hi, Anna! This sounds like a fun read, and I’d love to see more stories featuring deaf characters on the shelves. If you think we’d be a good fit, please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/HeatherCashman with Pitch Wars in the referral line, and I’ll respond soon with a full request so you can upload the file. Thanks!

  22. Claire Draper says:

    This sounds wonderful! Would love to request on behalf of Jenny Bent.

  23. Chelsea Eberly says:

    I love the camp setting and that this features the deaf community from an own voices author. I hope you will send the full manuscript my way with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line to: submissions (at) greenhouseliterary (dot) com. Thank you!