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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.
Emily Marano
Mentored by:
Laurie Dennison
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Word Count:


To escape her con-artist parents, their pet vulture, and a stack of unpaid bills, Clover makes a deal: she'll run one last scam, and her parents will sign her college financial aid form.

Deceiving teen misfits should be easy, but she doesn't expect to fall for one of her suckers. And she definitely doesn't count on his mom being a cop.




A neighbor left roadkill in our yard for Pistachio, so I step over the rotting remains of an opossum to get to my front door. After a long week at school and an even longer shift at the Gap, all I want is to curl up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Inside, candles litter every surface, from the coffee table to the decorative bumblebee shelf. The Mum’s psychedelic tapestry cordons off one corner of the room. Her voice bellows out, and I picture her staring into a $3 crystal ball.

“I see it. Your path. There’s a rustic gentleman with a pop of grey at his temple. He’s well-off, quite well-off, actually.”

I roll my eyes at my little brother Sage, who hops around with a hacky sack. We both know what’s coming next. The pause. The ominous vision. The probable curse. The Mum’s voice gets grave. I silently mouth the words with her.

“Oh dear, no. This isn’t good.”

Sage flips his hacky sack over his shoulder and laughs. His eyes widen, and he slaps a hand over his mouth.

I shake my head. He shouldn’t have to worry about being quiet.

Sage pulls the cash box from the armoire, and my face burns hot.

I step in front of him. “Give it to me.”

It may be too late for me, but I won’t them ruin my eight-year-old brother.

7 responses to “PW2020 YA #01: SOMETHING MORE THAN NOTHING (Contemporary)”

  1. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Emily,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled.

    I have to say that you had me at con-artist parents! I’d love to request the full manuscript and continue reading.

    If you’d like to share it, please sent the query in the body of an email, with the full manuscript and synopsis attached as a Word doc.

    The subject of the email should be “Pitch Wars Request: SOMETHING MORE THAN NOTHING for Root Literary” sent to submissions@rootliterary.com.

    Although not all of Root Literary is participating in Pitch Wars, please feel free to query whoever feels like the best fit! We’re happy to coordinate internally.

    All the best,

  2. Shannon Hassan says:

    Dear Emily, I’d love to read more. Please send a query letter + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks for the chance. Best, Shannon

  3. Kari Erickson says:

    Hi Emily, 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!

  4. Hi Emily,

    I love the premise of this, and you had me hooked from the first line of the excerpt. I’d love to see Hi, Hetal! I’m loving this so far! Could I take a peek at the first fifty pages or so, via QueryManager.com/JenniferWills/PitchWars2020? I’d also love to see a query letter and a synopsis if you have one.

    Thanks so much!
    Jennifer Wills
    The Seymour Agency

  5. I would love to see this! Please send your query, the full MS, and a synopsis (if you have one!) to jessica@dhliterary.com. Looking forward to reading!

  6. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Emily,

    I’d love to see this! If you’re interested, can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with PitchWars in the subject line? Thank you!

    All best,

  7. Analieze Cervantes says:

    Hi! I would love to read more 🙂 Please paste your query, synopsis, and upload the first 15 pages of your manuscript, here QueryManager.com/AnaliezeCervantes/PitchWars