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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 #05: MONSTERS BY MIDNIGHT (Paranormal Rom-Com)
Kaylynn Nelson
Mentored by:
Sarvenaz Tash
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Paranormal Rom-Com
Word Count:



When Gabrielle accepts a summer job as a janitor, she never expects her new role to involve wrangling monsters on the Jersey Shore. Now all she has to do is solve a few murders, wipe her own record clean, and—uh—not fall in love with the emo gargoyle she's tasked to kill. Piece of (funnel) cake for a Jersey girl, right?



Gabrielle Abrams should have been in prison, wearing an orange jumpsuit instead of a navy one. The dusty blue custodial uniform reeked of body odor and bleach, but it was the only one Cleaning ‘N’ Stuff had left to offer. She cuffed the bottom of the pant legs and rolled the oversized sleeves to her elbows. It was a look all right. A statement that fell somewhere between a scarecrow and a poor man’s version of Rosie the Riveter. If it weren’t for the court verdict, she would have quit the second she’d been tossed the nauseating jumpsuit. But a job was a job, and Gabrielle needed two things: money and something to keep her out of trouble.

And what better way to accomplish both than working nights as a janitor?

Gabrielle plunged her mop into the yellow bucket, breaking the murky film crusting the surface of the water. Ammonia and lemon spiked the air as she swabbed it over the grimy, littered floors of Brynne Chandler High. She was only three weeks in and already had enough of this job. The late hours, the physical labor that made her back sore. And then there was the stickiness. Every school was sticky. Like a pancake house, only without the syrup excuse.

“What a time to be alive,” she muttered, bending over to pick up another missing person flyer.

12 responses to “PW2020 YA #05: MONSTERS BY MIDNIGHT (Paranormal Rom-Com)”

  1. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d love to take a look. Kindly send the manuscript along to me at jmccarthy at Dystel dot com. A Word attachment is most preferable if possible. If more than one DGB agent requests, please feel free to send to the agent of your choice and just let us know who else at the agency requested. Thanks so much, and happy Pitch Wars!

  2. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Kaylynn,

    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

  3. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi Kaylynn,

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

    Looking forward,

  4. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Kaylynn, this sounds so delightful! I’d love to read more. If you’d like to query me, include your query letter and upload your full manuscript using the link below. If you 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 all your hard work with pitch wars!


  5. Maggie Kane says:

    Hi Kaylynn,

    I would love to read the full of MONSTERS BY MIDNIGHT! Please send it as a Word Document to maggie.queries@irenegoodman.com. 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! Thank you!


  6. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Kaylynn,

    This looks great! I’d love to take a look. Please email the ms as a double-spaced doc to medwards at stonesong dot com with PitchWars in the subject.


  7. Devon Halliday says:

    I want to meet this emo gargoyle! Would love to read. You can send the query and full manuscript to querydevon@transatlanticagency.com with Pitch Wars in the subject. If you get multiple queries from Transatlantic agents, please send to one of us at a time.

  8. Laura Bradford says:

    LOVE this! I worked one summer in Antarctica as a janitor so I now feel qualified to handle manuscripts with characters in the custodial arts, LOL. Great vibe here and I’d love to see more! 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

  9. Hi Kaylynn!

    How fun! You snagged me with “piece of (funnel) cake”! Plus I love your comps. Total win-win! I’d love to see the full. Could you please submit it via QueryManager.com/JenniferWills/PitchWars2020? I’d also love to take a peek at your query letter and synopsis, if you have one.

    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer Wills
    The Seymour Agency

  10. Jolene Haley says:

    Hi Kaylynn! Jolene from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency here. This is such a fun premise and I love the voice and humor in your sample. You’ve grabbed my interest and I would love to see more.

    If you’d like to send it to me, please send your query, synopsis, and full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF to jolene @ marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Please make sure the subject is Pitch Wars Request: Manuscript Title.

    If you receive another request from our agency, feel free to review the agents on our agency website and choose one of us to submit to: https://www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com.

  11. Janine Kamouh says:

    You had this Jersey girl at “piece of funnel cake”. I’m still convinced I saw a vampire on the Seaside Boardwalk when I was a teenager, so I cannot wait to read this. It sounds like a total blast.

    Please email the full MS as a word attachment along with a query and bio to jkam@wmeagency.com. Please include Pitch Wars in the subject line! Thank you!!

  12. Christa Heschke says:

    This sounds so fun! I LOVE both of your comps and anything with monsters! Please send the full manuscript, synopsis and query to chquery@mcintoshandotis.com with Pitch Wars request and the title of the manuscript in the subject line. –Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis