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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.
PW2020 Adult #42: NETHERFIELD MUST GO! (#OwnVoices rom-com)
Nikki Payne
Mentored by:
Sam Tschida and Carly Bloom
Book Title:
Netherfield Must Go!
2020 Adult Entries
#ownvoices rom-com
Word Count:


PRIDE & PREJUDICE X BLACK-ISH. Liza B—the only DJ who gives a jam—wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every corner in her hood. When Liza speaks truth to power, she learns just how wrong you can be about someone… And how right they can be for you.



A red button flashed on the control board—Liza had a caller.

“You’re live with Liza B, the only DJ who gives a jam. What’s on your mind?”

A cheery voice buzzed into Liza’s earphones. “This is Keisha, and we are in a man shortage.”

A smile crept across Liza’s face as she slid the dial all the way up. This tiny booth was her sweat and coffee-soaked space, and she was right at home amidst the posters of Afrobeat stars, Punjabi crooners, K-pop Idols, and Reggaeton bad boys competing for space on the wall.

“It is a man drought,” Liza agreed. “What do you plan to do about it?”

“You know those new buildings they’re putting up at Netherfield Court?”

“You mean the overpriced apartments that will force us out of our neighborhood and change the fabric of DC forever?” Liza said.

“Um…yeah,” Keisha stammered. “Anyway, there are a lot of men working construction. I plan to walk past in my shortest shorts!”

“To get catcalled? What do you get out of that deal?”

“Do I need to spell it out, Alizé Bennett?” The woman dragged Liza’s whole government name out, as if being named after a popular 90s alcoholic drink was something Liza wanted broadcast across her nation’s capital. Keisha continued, “I’m a woman with needs.”

“Excuse me. I thought it’s universally acknowledged that every broke woman wants a rich man, not just Vitamin D!”

“Times are changing, honey,” Keisha quipped.

29 responses to “PW2020 Adult #42: NETHERFIELD MUST GO! (#OwnVoices rom-com)”

  1. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear Nikki, I love your voice and the premise of this book. I would absolutely love to read more. Could you please send through the first 50 pages of your MS for our consideration? My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com. Really can’t wait, and I hope you are doing as well as possible! All best, Anya; Peony Literary Agency

  2. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Nikki,

    This sounds so fantastic! I’d love for you to send your query letter and synopsis in the body of the email with the full manuscript attached in a word doc to jess@browerliterary.com, Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    If someone else from Brower requests this, just email us both and we’ll decide in house who will read and let you know.

    Looking forward to reading!


  3. Mary C. Moore says:

    Would love to read more! Please use this link to send: QueryManager.com/Mary_C_Moore_KCA/PitchWars

  4. Amanda Orozco says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH and must read more!

    Please (please) send the query and full ms to amanda@transatlanticagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. You can read more about me and Transatlantic Agency at: https://www.transatlanticagency.com/about-us/agents/amanda-orozco/. (Please only submit to one agent at Transatlantic at a time.)

    Feel free to reach out with any questions and really looking forward to reading! Many thanks!

    Amanda Orozco

  5. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Payne,
    Congratulations on being in the Showcase. Your opening immediately drew me into your story, and I’d like to read further. If you’re interested in my considering your work for representation, please do send the first 50 pages to atuttle@dystel.com. If more than one DG&B agent has responded, please choose who you’d like to submit to first and let that agent know who else at the agency requested, and we will work it out amongst ourselves. Good luck with your writing.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  6. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I’d love to take a look! Please email the full to medwards @ stonesong . com with PitchWars and the title in the subject line.

    Thank you!

    All best,


    Hi Nikki,

    I’d love to read more of NETHERFIELD MUST GO! What a brilliant hook! Could you please email the query and full manuscript to: rebecca@defliterary.com? Please label the subject as: ‘Pitch Wars Requested.’

    Thanks so much!

    Rebecca Strauss

  8. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars, Nikki! I’d love to read more. If you think we’d be a good fit, please send your query + full manuscript to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren

  9. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hi, I’m Jem, and this sounds fun! I’d love to take a look. If you’re open to me considering your novel, please send me a query, a one to two-page synopsis, and the full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars.

  10. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear Nikki
    Thank you for sharing your work. I would love to read more. Could you please send the full and query letter to lgalvin[at]aevitascreative[dot]com. Thanks again.

    Lori Galvin

  11. Samantha Wekstein says:

    Hi Nikki! I love a good P&P retelling. I’d like to see your first 50 pages. If interested, please send them to samantha@thompsonliterary.com. Thanks!

  12. Hi Nikki,
    I can’t wait to read the rest of your manuscript. I really love the voice here. Please use this link to upload your pages: QueryManager.com/1353/PW2021
    Thanks, Joanna

  13. Maggie Cooper says:

    Hi, Nikki—

    You had me a P&P retelling, but a DJ Elizabeth (or Alizé! ) just takes it to the next level! I would love to see your query letter and a full manuscript—you can send me an email at mcooper@aevitascreative.com and mention Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    Very best,

  14. Sarah Landis says:

    I’m hooked! Could you email the full ms to slandis@sll.com? Excited to read more! Best, Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic

  15. Victoria Cappello says:

    I’d love to read more! If you’d like me to consider, please send the full manuscript as a word doc to victoria@thebentagency.com and put ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject. If another agent here at TBA also requests, that’s totally okay, we’d just be grateful if you would let us know if more than one of us has your work. Thank you!

  16. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Nikki! This pitch and the excerpt sounds so fun and I’d love to read more. If you’d like to query me, please include your query letter and upload your full manuscript to the link below. If you decide to query more than one agent at Rees, that’s totally fine, just let us know you did so in the query. Thanks and congrats on Pitch Wars and all your hard work!


  17. Paul Lucas says:

    Hi, I’m Paul Lucas’ colleague Allison Hunter. I’d love to read this! Please email me at ahunter@janklow.com.

  18. Jessica Errera says:

    Nikki–never will I ever tire of a P&P retelling! I would love to see your full manuscript and a synopsis (if you have) sent to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com and cannot wait to dive in further.

  19. Ameerah Holliday says:

    I’m already laughing! I’d love to see more! Please send a bio, query letter and your first 50 pages to Ameerah@SerendipityLit.com

  20. Chelsey Emmelhainz says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I would love to read the first 50 pages of NETHERFIELD MUST GO! To submit to me through Copps Literary Services, please use Query Manager and note “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line: QueryManager.com/ChelseyEmmelhainz/PitchWars
    If you receive multiple requests from the agency, please refer to our Teams page to choose which agent feels like the best fit for you and your work: https://www.coppsliterary.com/our-team.

    All best,

  21. Jennifer Unter says:

    Hi Nikki,
    We’d love to take a look! Please forward the opening 50 pages, as a Word attachment, along with your query pasted in the body of an email to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com.

  22. Melanie Castillo says:

    Hi Nikki, Congratulations on successfully completing PitchWars! I love how snappy the dialogue is here. I’d love to continue reading! If you’d like to share the full MS, please send the query in the body of an email with the full manuscript and synopsis attached as a Word document. The subject of the email should be “Pitch Wars Request: YOUR TITLE for Root Literary” sent to submissions@rootliterary.com. Although not all of Root Literary is participating in Pitch Wars, please feel free to query whomever feels like the best fit! We’re happy to coordinate internally. Best, Melanie

  23. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi NIkki,

    I would love to read your manuscript! Please send the whole thing to querytamar@contextlit.com and be sure to include “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.

    Looking forward,

  24. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Nikki, I would love to see more material about this project! If you would like to submit to me, please use the following link to send me your query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters/50 pages (whatever is longer): QueryManager.com/emlysaght/Pitchwars2020

  25. Gina Damasco says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I enjoyed your sample and pitch – I’d like to read more. Please send your query, synopsis, and the first 100 pages (Attention Gina Damasco) through our portal: https://www.serendipitylit.com/component/rsform/form/11-submission-fiction. Thanks!

  26. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Nikki,

    This sounds great and I’d love to keep reading. If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com and make sure to include “PW2020” in your subject line?

    Thank you!


  27. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Nikki,

    You have a great pitch! I am intrigued. I would love to see more.

    I hope you’ll consider submitting to me. You can send query, synopsis, and the first three chapters to QueryManager.com/JenniferHerrington/PitchWars2021

    Thanks! I hope to see your submission!


  28. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Nikki,

    This description of your work immediately had me hooked. I would love to read more!

    Would you please send your full manuscript, a synopsis of the project, and a short bio about what you do and any of your previous publications to Haley@CMALit.com? Each should be a separate attachment in Microsoft Word or PDF format. To ensure your email doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, please include “Pitch Wars” in your subject line.

    The two other agents at Creative Media Agency, Paige Wheeler and Shannon Snow, are participating in Pitch Wars with me. Should one of them also request your manuscript, we would appreciate it if you would choose the agent you’d most prefer to work with and only send them the requested materials. Should they pass on the project for any reason, and you find yourself still seeking an agent, then you are of course free to resubmit to another member of CMA.

    Thank you for taking the time to send me more of what you’ve written!

    Haley Casey

  29. Hi, Nikki. The voice! This excerpt had me smiling the whole way through. I adore rom-coms that are adding to larger conversations, and this manuscript promises to do just that. If you’re interested in submitting, please visit my QueryManager page at QueryManager.com/SavannahBrooks and be sure to put that this was a Pitch Wars request somewhere in the query. Thanks!