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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 YA #20: ERNEST BYRD: TYPICAL BOY (Contemporary Rom-Com – Trans #OwnVoices)
Page Powars
Mentored by:
Amelia Diane Coombs and Sophie Gonzales
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Contemporary Rom-Com (Trans #OwnVoices)
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Gender Dysphoria


Ernest will do anything to prove his true gender to his classmates, and his plan is simple: join his new school’s illustrious Borrow a Boyfriend club, where members rent themselves out to their classmates for dates. After all, the club has “boy” right there in the title. But in order to become a member, Ernest has to show off his boyfriend skills and romance the club’s prickish president. Not a problem. It’s not like they’re going to fall in love or anything.



The last thing I expected to see during my first day at Wickminster High was FA LA LA LA FUCK THIS SCHOOL spelled along the snow in festive holiday lights.

Crowds of my future classmates were gathered excitedly around the green and red flickering profanity. Three teachers desperately gesticulated at them to keep walking, but no one listened. Instead, they lingered, pointing and taking pictures.

When Mom and Dad asked what my new high school was like during our weekly pizza night, this would not be mentioned.

As I passed by the laughter and whispers, I pulled my puffer jacket hood higher over my head, just in case someone felt like the new kid was more interesting than the flashing f-word. Once I was through the entrance doors, the counseling and main offices were right in front of me. My heart rate picked up. Game time.

I gripped the straps of my backpack tighter and kept up my turtle impersonation until the main office doors shut behind me. The school secretary pressed a phone between his ear and shoulder as he typed rapidly on a laptop, sweat beading above his brow. On the countertop, there was a nameplate that had Sonny written on it in cursive.

Fa la la la what now?” Sonny was in a bad mood.

21 responses to “PW2020 YA #20: ERNEST BYRD: TYPICAL BOY (Contemporary Rom-Com – Trans #OwnVoices)”

  1. Tara Gilbert says:

    OMG! This is like the Ouran Host Club I’ve always wanted! I’d love to see the full! Please use this link to send in the materials. QueryManager.com/TaraGilbert/PitchEvent

  2. Shannon Snow says:

    Hi Page!

    Your story definitely caught my eye. I would love to take a look. Please send the complete manuscript, synopsis and a short bio to shannon@cmalit.com. Please put “Requested Materials-Pitch Wars” in the subject line so it will be sure to stand out in my inbox.

    If more than one person requests materials from my agency (Creative Media Agency, Inc., or CMA) just pick one of us. If it doesn’t work for that person, we will share it around.

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing your story very much! Best of success with Pitch Wars!!


  3. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Page,

    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

  4. Victoria Wells Arms says:

    Dear Page,
    My assistant Chanelle and I would love to see your full manuscript! You can send to us (MS word is great) at victoria@hgliterary.com and chanelle@hgliterary.com. Can’t wait to read it–thanks!!
    Victoria Wells Arms

  5. Melanie Castillo says:

    Hi Page, Congratulations on completing PitchWars! 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

  6. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Page, this is such a great pitch, and such a fun excerpt. I would love to read! Could you please send the query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you! 

  7. Hi, Page! I’m really drawn into this story already, and your voice is great! 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. Please go here: QueryManager.com/QueryLynnetteNovak/Pitch_Wars_2020_Requested_Only to submit to me. Attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). 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.

  8. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Page,

    This sounds amazing! My college actually did a charity auction similar to this set up and I would love to read this story because many a match was made at Hendrix because of that event. I think you book is going to be a delightful read! Please upload at QueryManager.com/natascha/PitchWars. And if another Tobias Literary Agent requests, please know you can submit to multiple parties for this event, and we will discuss in house if multiple agents are interested.

    Thank you and can’t wait to see this!

    Natascha Morris
    The Tobias Literary Agency

  9. Alexandra Levick says:

    Hi Page,

    The humor in this sample was such a delight! I’d love to take a closer look at this! If I seem like a good fit for your body of work, please send your query letter and the first 75 pages of your manuscript (attached as a word document) to me at alevick(@)writershouse(.)com. I would appreciate it if you could note in the subject line that your message is a Pitch Wars request.

    More information about me is available here: https://www.alexandralevick.com/
    More information about Writers House is available here: http://www.writershouse.com/home

    Additionally, if more than one agent from Writers House requests your work, please note you may only submit to one of us at any given time.

    Thanks very much!

    | Alexandra Levick | She/Her | Writers House

  10. Rebecca Podos says:

    I love this pitch! I’d be thrilled to see the full manuscript at rebecca@reesagency.com, if you’d like to send!


  11. Em Lysaght says:

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

  12. Kristin Nelson says:

    The opening was so unexpected after the pitch. I love when that happens. Would love to take a look at the full manuscript. Here is my Pitch Wars QM link if you’d like to send my way.

  13. Laura Bradford says:

    Love it! What a fun hook! Please email me the full manuscript + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put Pitch Wars in the subject line and paste the pitch into your email. Thank you!

    Laura Bradford

    *If more than one agent from the Bradford Literary Agency has requested this, go ahead and send it to those agents and just let us know

  14. Rebecca Eskildsen says:

    Hi! I would love to see this story in my inbox. If you would like to submit your manuscript to me, please send a query letter and the first 50 pages to reskildsen@writershouse.com. Please include “Pitch Wars” and your title in the subject line, and please only submit to one agent at Writers House at a time. Thank you!

  15. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds great! I’d love to read more. Please send a query in the body of the email to queries@parkfine.com with “Pete Knapp – Pitch Wars: ERNEST BYRD: TYPICAL BOY (YA)” in the subject line. Please attach the manuscript as a Word document, and include a short synopsis (either in the beginning of the same document as the manuscript or as a separate attachment). Thank you, and I’m looking forward to considering.

    Pete Knapp // Park & Fine Literary and Media

  16. Lee OBrien says:

    This sounds so good–I would love to see the rest!

    To query me, you can send the query and full MS to lee.queries@irenegoodman.com with the words “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If another agent at Irene Goodman requests your manuscript, please submit to just one agent at a time. If they pass, you are welcome to resubmit to another.

  17. Zabé Ellor says:

    Wow! I’m so excited to see more of this–it sounds phenomenal!

    Please could you send the query and first fifty pages to me, as an attachment, at zrellor.books@gmail.com? Please paste your query on the first page of your attached sample pages, and also in the body of the email, and include PITCH WARS in the subject line. If more than one JDLA agent requests, feel free to first submit to the one you think is the best fit.

  18. Dana Murphy says:

    Hey there – I would love to read more of this! Please follow querying instructions here: http://www.thebookgroup.com/submissionguidelines — and include both my name and “Pitch Wars” in the emails subject line. Thanks!

  19. Chloe Seager says:

    Dear Page,

    I love this idea (and I can’t wait to find out more about how ‘Borrow a Boyfriend’ club works!) Please email the synopsis and first three chapters to childrens@madeleinemilburn.com, including ‘Pitch Wars submission’ somewhere in the subject line.

    All best,

  20. Roseanne Wells says:

    AAHHHH!!! Page!! That pitch has me hooked! And the opening line! There’s so much about this that I love: the premise, the voice, the humor. I’d love to read this. Please send the full manuscript and a synopsis as doc or docx attachments to queryroseanne@gmail.com with Query: #Pitchwars and the title in the subject line. I can’t wait to read!



  21. Tori Sharp says:

    I’d love to read more of this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to tori.jdlit@gmail.com and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.