Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

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 #25: STARDUST IN THE WIND (Historical)
Meaghan O'Keeffe
Mentored by:
Jen Marie Hawkins and Anna Birch
Book Title:
2019 Entries
YA Historical
Word Count:


There are two things Nieve has always been sure of: her best friend, Manny, and her fascination with outer space. It’s 1985, and for the first time NASA will send a teacher along with a team of astronauts into outer space. When an essay contest pulls Nieve into the orbit of teacher-turned-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, Nieve’s dream of seeing the stars for herself seems closer than ever. Except, as Nieve turns to the stars, everything else falls apart: Just as sparks begin to fly with Manny, she loses him to new friends at school—including his beautiful new girlfriend, Shannon. With the Challenger launch date approaching, Nieve learns that time never stops moving forward and nothing lasts forever—but what’s on the other side may be more beautiful than she has ever imagined. At 65,000 words, STARDUST IN THE WIND is historical YA found at the intersection of Pretty in Pink, The Edge of Seventeen, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.



Most stars travel in pairs, orbiting one another—they’re called binary stars, and some of them travel so closely together that their gases and dust flow from one to the other, so you might not even know which is which. That’s how Manny and I are. It’s how we’ve always been.
Our night swimming spot is a mile from my house on Highway 22, past the graffiti-filled rock walls that line that part of the highway. It’s just after the TONY THE DRUNK IS A THIEF, when the wall breaks up and opens to Lake Champlain.
The humidity clings like Velcro on the night everything starts to change. We climb to the top of the cliff wall, lie across the flat top, and call our bets.
“27,” Manny says.
That’s how many cars we guess will pass in the next hour.

18 responses to “PW2019 YA #25: STARDUST IN THE WIND (Historical)”

  1. 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!


  2. Elana Roth Parker says:

    Hi! I’d love to read more! Please email me at eparker [at] ldlainc [dot] com:

    * Subject line: PitchWars Submission: YOUR BOOK TITLE
    * Your query letter in the body of the email
    * The full manuscript attached as a Word document

    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.

    Elana Roth Parker
    Laura Dail Literary Agency

  3. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Meaghan,

    I would absolutely love to read this – will you send me your query and first 20 pages to tara@emliterary.com at your convenience, and mention Pitch Wars in the subject? There’s no timeline on my end, just whenever you feel ready!

    Thanks so much!

    Tara Gonzalez
    Associate Agent
    Erin Murphy Literary Agency

  4. Peter Knapp says:

    Hi Meaghan,

    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

  5. Marlo Berliner says:

    My father is the retired teacher everyone calls ‘Rocketman’ to this day, as he was a semi-finalist in our state for the Teacher In Space search. He never quite made it as far as Christa, but after that he did get aerospace education and model rocketry introduced into our state’s curriculum. All this to say, your premise really grabbed me, the memories of that time give me all the feels, and 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. Mary Cummings says:

    I’d be happy to read more. Please send the first approx 25 pp and final approx 25 pp, a synopsis and some bio info as Word docs. Mark header ‘REQUESTED MATERIAL – PWYA” Thanks much.
    Mary Cummings
    Agent, Books for Kids and Teens
    Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises amsterlit.com cummingskidlit.com

  7. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Dear Meaghan,

    My name is Carrie and I’m a partner and agent over at Hannigan Getzler Literary (HG Literary). 
    I’d love to read more of your manuscript! Can you please send me the first 50 pages of your manuscript as a word doc to: 


    Best wishes,

  8. Rena Rossner says:

    I’d love to read the first 50 pages. Please send them attached as a word document to rena@thedeborahharrisagency.com

    Excited to read!

    – Rena Rossner

  9. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    There is so much to love in this pitch and I’ve been dying to find historical like this. I’d love to read the full. Please send to QueryMe.online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to diving in!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Literary Agent
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  10. Andrea Morrison says:

    I would very much like to read STARDUST IN THE WIND! If you’re interested in sharing, could you send the full manuscript to me at amorrison@writershouse.com?
    I hope to see your MS in my inbox!
    All best,

  11. Clelia Gore says:

    Hi! I’m intrigued by this! I’d love to read more. Please send me the first 50 pages (Microsoft Word doc is OK) to clelia@martinlit.com, along with a query letter. Please put ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject line. Thanks for sharing your work!

  12. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Meaghan! A story about Christa McAuliffe? Sign me up. I’d love to read the first 50 pages, which you can send to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

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

  13. Christa Heschke says:

    This sounds really interesting and I like that it takes place around the time of the Challenger incident. Please send the full manuscript and query to chquery [at] mcintoshandotis [dot] com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” and the title in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!
    –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  14. Melissa Nasson says:

    I’ve driven by TONY THE DRUNK IS A THIEF many times on my way from Boston to VT! 🙂 Please send the first 50 pages of STARDUST IN THE WIND 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

  15. Elizabeth Bewley says:

    Hi Meaghan,
    I’d be happy to read your full manuscript. Can you please email it to me at ebewley@sll.com?
    Elizabeth Bewley
    Sterling Lord Lit

  16. Shannon Hassan says:

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

  17. Sobbing that 1985 is considered historical, but intrigued nonetheless! Please send this pitch in the body of an email, synopsis and first fifty pages attached as a Word doc, with YA PITCHWARS and your title in the subject, to Jennifer@theseymouragency.com.

  18. 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.