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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 #45: JUST ADD ME (Contemporary #OwnVoices)
Jessica Parra
Mentored by:
Hoda Agharazi
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Contemporary (#OwnVoices)
Word Count:



Rubi Ramos long ago abandoned her dreams of becoming a baker to focus on getting into Alma University per her parents’ wishes. But when Bake Off – a county-wide competition – comes to Orange County, she secretly signs up for one last baking hurrah. As she rises to Bake Off’s crème of the crop, old dreams reignite. Rubi must decide which she’s willing to sacrifice: her parents’ dreams, or her own.



If my parents hadn’t been running late that morning, I would’ve broken my mother’s ban on home baking. Leaning into the counter, I chewed through the bolillo’s crusty shell. The soft middle made me sigh. Licking the Nutella coated crumbs from the corners of my lips, my gaze went straight to the oven.

If hazelnut tasted this good slathered inside a bolillo, I wanted to know how it’d taste between flakey croissant layers. How it’d taste in the sugar paste topping a concha.

The moka pot brewing Cuban coffee gave a high-pitched whistle. A warning I was treading into dangerous territory.

“Rubi, el café,” my mother called from the laundry room.

“On it,” I yelled back through the last mouthful of bread. I turned the stove off. The blue flames vanished. The baking ideas didn’t. They never did.

I craned my neck toward the hallway. Still clear.

Darting across the kitchen, I grabbed a binder from the messenger bag slung on the back of the chair and pulled the pencil from the middle of my curls, wrangled high into a top-knot.

Hazelnut croissants, I jotted in the margins of the Law and Debate binder. And hazelnut conchas.

Underneath the word concha, I drew a lopsided circle, stripped its insides like the seashell the Hispanic sweetbread was named after.

23 responses to “PW2020 YA #45: JUST ADD ME (Contemporary #OwnVoices)”

  1. Jennifer Weis says:

    I would love to read your novel! Hope you will send it to me: jenniferweis@rossyoon.com
    All best,

  2. Mary C. Moore says:

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

  3. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’m craving Nutella right about now and might have to buy a jar to eat by the spoonful if you decide to send this my way! I loved the sample and would love to read more. You can submit the full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2020

    Speilburg Literary

  4. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars, Jessica! 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

  5. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Great pitch! I’m intrigued, and I would love to see more. Please submit your query, synopsis, and first three chapters to QueryManager.com/JenniferHerrington/PitchWars2021.

    I hope to see you material!


  6. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Jessica,

    You made me hungry with this just this sample, so I’m already hooked. 🙂 I’d love the chance to read your full manuscript – will you send it along as a Microsoft Word attachment to abishop@dystel.com, along with your pitch in the body of the e-mail?

    And, just to note: our agency policy this year is If more than one DGB agent has responded, you should choose who you want to submit to first and let that agent know who else at the agency requested. And we’ll work it out amongst ourselves. 🙂

    Looking so forward!



  7. Hannah VanVels says:

    Jessica, this pitch is *chef’s kiss*. Your comps are amazing. I regularly binge GBBO, and I’d love to take a peek at this! This story sounds amazing. If more than one agent from Belcastro Agency likes your pitch, please submit to the one that you feel is the best fit.


    Good luck!
    Hannah VanVels

  8. Sarah Landis says:

    I’d love to read this one! Please email the full ms to slandis@sll.com. Thanks! Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic

  9. Victoria Wells Arms says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I’d be so delighted to read your manuscript! I used to be a cook, so always am on the lookout for food-based stories. You can email a full MS word document to me at victoria@hgliterary.com and cc my assistant Chanelle at chanelle@hgliterary.com also please. Looking forward to reading it!
    Very best,
    Victoria Wells Arms

  10. Erica Bauman says:

    Hi Jessica,

    This sounds so good, and your food descriptions are already making me hungry! I’d love the chance to read the full manuscript. Could you please send along with your query letter to ebauman@aevitascreative.com (and put Pitch Wars somewhere in the subject line)? Looking forward!

    All best,

  11. Kari Erickson says:

    Hi Jessica, I’m a big GBBO fan and your descriptions of food have me hungry already! I’d love to read more of this! Please upload your full manuscript, synopsis, and query letter here: QueryManager.com/KariErickson/PitchWars
    Thank you for considering me!

  12. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Jessica, this is such a fun pitch and sample! I would definitely love to read more. 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! 

  13. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Jessica! I am the biggest fan of baking competitions and adore your writing already. I’d love to request the full manuscript, which you can submit here: https://querymanager.com/query/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2021

    Looking forward to reading more!

    Alex Weiss
    Azantian Literary Agency

  14. Alyssa Eisner Henkin says:

    Interested in seeing the full manuscript. Thanks!

    Alyssa Henkin

  15. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Jessica! I would love to keep reading JUST ADD ME. If you could send me a query with the full manuscript attached to tara@emliterary.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line, that would be fantastic.

    Tara Gonzalez – Associate Agent at Erin Murphy Literary Agency

  16. Michaela Whatnall says:

    This sounds wonderful, and I would love to read more! Please send your query and the first 50 pages as a Word doc attachment to mwhatnall@dystel.com. I’m looking forward to reading!

    Please note that if more than one agent from Dystel, Goderich & Bourret has requested your work, we ask that you choose which of us you’d like to submit to first, and let that agent know who else from our agency made a request. Thanks very much!

  17. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear Jessica, this sounds like exactly the kind of dream baking competition we could all use in our lives! Thank you so much for writing it. I would love to read more of your words and consider them for representation. Could you please email me the first 50 pages? My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com I hope you are doing as well as possible at this uncertain time! All best, Anya, Peony Literary Agency

  18. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hiya Jessica! It’s Jem again. Congrats on Pitch Wars!! If you’re still open to me considering JUST ADD ME, please send me a query, a one to two-page synopsis, and the full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars.

  19. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there! I’d love to take a closer look at the first 50 pages! Please send them attached as a word document to: rena (at) dhliterary (dot) com


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  20. Alexandra Levick says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I love GBBO and am already so excited by the sound of this! I’d love to take a closer look! 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

  21. Cindy Uh says:

    Love this pitch and Rubi’s voice. Please send the first 100 pages as an attachment to cindy.uh@caa.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If you are submitting to more than one agent at CAA, if you could just make note of it, that would be great.
    Looking forward to reading!
    Cindy Uh

  22. Paige Wheeler says:

    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars. I got hungry just reading this! I appreciate your interest in having me represent your work. I found your project intriguing and would very much like to see the first three chapters of the manuscript. Please email me at paige@cmalit.com the following attachments in Microsoft Word format (not PDF):
    1. the first three chapters,
    2. a synopsis of your project,
    3. a short bio including any previous publications.
    To expedite the review process, please use “requested material-pitch wars” as the subject heading of your email.
    As a professional courtesy, please let me know if any other agents are considering your work. Also, if you do get an offer, please contact me so that I may be able to review and respond accordingly.

    I look forward to reading your work!
    Kind regards,
     Paige Wheeler 

  23. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Jessica! Your comps and this excerpt have hooked me! I’d love to see more, so if you’d like to query me, please include your query letter and upload your full manuscript using the link below. If you query more than one agent at Rees, that’s fine, just let us know you did so in the query. Thanks and I look forward to reading. Congrats on all your hard work!