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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 #16: HOW TO BE A MAN (Contemporary #OwnVoices)
Kirt Ethridge
Mentored by:
Ray Stoeve
Book Title:
2019 Entries
Contemporary #Ownvoices
Word Count:


Max thinks fighting everyone is the only way to survive being trans in Indiana. But his view of masculinity is challenged when his new teacher, an Army vet, gives him the tools to push for a GSA at his conservative school.



Jack leans against our school secretary’s desk casually and smiles at her, all dimples. “Hey, Mrs. Riley. Is Mrs. Shelley around? I want to ask her something.”

Mrs. Riley smiles back at him. Jack has that effect on people, especially all the teachers here who have known him since before we even got to high school. One of the pros of being a teacher’s kid. And he looks pretty smooth with his button-down shirt and his man-bun. Like Jonathan from Queer Eye and at least as gay. “She should still be in her office,” Mrs. Riley says, glancing over her shoulder at the principal’s propped-open door.

Surely Mrs. Riley knows what Jack’s going to ask, especially since I’m lurking behind him. We’ve been begging Shelley for a GSA since our freshman year, when Jack’s hair only curled past his ears but mine was to my shoulders and neither of us had figured out that Shelley was the kind of principal who prays in the hallways before first bell. Well. I don’t really beg. I demand. If I were asking to talk to Shelley, Mrs. Riley would either make me leave a note or just make me leave. But because it’s Jack with his earnest teacher’s-kid dimples, she says, “Go on back, sweetie.”

Jack beams. “You’re the best. See you in a minute, Max.” He low-fives me before he goes around the desk, through the hip-height swinging door, and back to Shelley’s office door. God, I hope he remembers our plan.

16 responses to “PW2019 YA #16: HOW TO BE A MAN (Contemporary #OwnVoices)”

  1. Saba Sulaiman says:

    Hi Kirt,
    There’s something so enchanting and quietly confident about your opening — I’d love to read more! Please send a query, synopsis, and the full manuscript (Word documents will suffice) to ssulaiman@talcottnotch.net — and don’t forget to mention #PitchWars in your subject line. Thanks—can’t wait to read on!
    Good luck,

  2. Marlo Berliner says:

    Interesting! 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!

  3. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to have a look! Kindly send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. Good luck, and have fun!


  4. Hi, Kirt,

    Cool concept! 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.



  5. Tara Gilbert says:

    I love this!!! 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 of us to submit to and let them know who else liked the pitch, so that we can share it with each other.


  6. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Kirt,

    This sounds fantastic, and 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!

    All best,

  7. Claire Friedman says:

    Hi Kirt! I loved your sample — and your pitch sounds completely up my alley! I’d love to consider. Please do send your query letter + first 50 pages to claire@inkwellmanagement.com — CF

  8. John Cusick says:

    Hi, Kirt! I’d really like to see more of this. Could you please send your query and first three chapters? Looking forward to connecting!

  9. Peter Knapp says:

    Hi Kirt,

    This sounds wonderful – I’d love to keep reading! Can you please send the full manuscript to queries@parkfine.com attached as a Word document, along with a 1-3 (or so) page synopsis if available (in the same document as the MS or attached as a separate doc is fine)? Please include a query letter in the body of the email and put “PitchWars Submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject of the email. Thanks so much for the opportunity, and I look forward to reading!

    With warm regards,

    Pete Knapp
    Park & Fine Literary and Media

  10. Bridget Smith says:

    I’d love to take a look! Please send the query (in the body) and the full manuscript (as an attachment) to querybridget@awfulagent.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!

  11. Kari Sutherland says:

    I really like Max’s voice and am intrigued to follow his journey. Please query me with “Pitch Wars” in the title here: https://querymanager.com/query/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form

  12. Alice Sutherland-Hawes says:

    Hi Kirt – I really love the sound of this. Could you send three chapters and a synopsis to me at childrens@madeleinemilburn.com? Looking forward to reading!

  13. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Kirt! This sounds amazing and I would be honored to read more. I’d love 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

  14. Allison Remcheck says:

    Dear Kirt,

    I would love to have a look at HOW TO BE A MAN. Please feel free to be in touch with me–with a synopsis and your first three chapters–via my box at this link:


    It would be great if you could write REQUESTED MATERIAL at the top of your e-mail.

    Thank you so much; I’m looking forward to it!

    Best wishes,

    Allison Remcheck

  15. Wendi Gu says:

    Hi Kirt,

    I *love* this title and premise and would be very interested in reading the rest your manuscript! At your convenience, do send your full manuscript in Word Doc to wgu@sjga.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

    All my best,

  16. Kristin Nelson says:

    What a lovely opening! I’d be delighted to take a look at your full manuscript. I’ve created a special Pitch Wars link so you can send the manuscript my way.

    Query Manager Event Link

    Pls also include your query letter as the first page of your full manuscript to help orient me when I dive in for the longer read starting on the 11th.

    It’s also okay to send to more than one agent at NLA if you have received multiple requests. We’ll coordinate on our end.

    Congrats on being a part of Pitch Wars. I can’t wait to read.