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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 #15: STARRSTRUCK (Contemporary, #OwnVoices)
Tia Tashiro Vierling
Mentored by:
Auriane Desombre and Susan Lee
Book Title:
2020 Entries
Contemporary, #OwnVoices
Word Count:


AMERICA’S GOT TALENT meets YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN. When Steph and her dance partner Xavier are misconstrued as a couple during their StarrStruck audition, they find themselves in a fake-dating scheme to bolster their chance at winning. But closeted Xavier already has a boyfriend, and Steph soon falls for her high school rival: Mónica, StarrStruck soprano and fan favorite in the competition. As the finale approaches and the secret relationship flourishes, Steph must choose between her budding feelings and her chance at fame and fortune – or she risks losing both.



Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Collectively, Xavier and I have spilled all three of those things in our time at Red Ribbon Dance Studio. It sits in the midst of Seattle, nestled into the bustle of the city. It’s a squat gray brick of a structure with ivy crawling up one of its exterior walls that no one in their right mind would call pretty. As my art teacher from freshman year might say, the studio looks like someone chewed up the concept of Bauhaus architecture and spat this out instead.

The building, which as aforementioned is ugly as hell, holds a gem at its heart. Red Ribbon is, functionally, our home away from home.

The moment I push open the glass door that fronts the studio, I pause and inhale as deeply as I can. Thoughts of the end of August slip out of my head as I enter; they are replaced by the scent of sawdust and the feeling that the air in here is lighter.

14 responses to “PW2020 YA #15: STARRSTRUCK (Contemporary, #OwnVoices)”

  1. Jennifer Weis says:

    I like your writing sample a lot and would love to consider the full manuscript.
    Hope you will send it to me: jenniferweis@rossyoon.com
    I have published YA as executive editor at St. Martin’s Press, including The House of Night series by PC Cast.

  2. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi Tia,

    Confession: the movie GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN is one of my all-time faves, and something about this pitch brought it to mind. I enjoyed the sample and would love to see more. Please send the full manuscript to QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2020

    Speilburg Literary

  3. Tara Gilbert says:

    I’d love to see the first three chapters! Please use this link to send in the materials. QueryManager.com/TaraGilbert/PitchEvent

  4. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Tia, this pitch and the excerpt have me hooked! I love the voice and would really like 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 end up querying more than one agent at Rees, that’s totally fine, just let us know you did so in your query. Thanks and congrats on all your hard work with Pitch Wars!


  5. Haley Casey says:

    Dear Tia,

    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

  6. 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!

  7. Hannah Schofield says:

    Dear Tia,

    I love your voice, and this is SO up my alley! I’d love to rad the whole manuscript. If you’d like to submit to me please send me a query letter, the full manuscript, and a synopsis to hannahsubmissions@lbabooks.com, including ‘Pitch Wars’ in the subject line. Thank you!

    All the best,

  8. Hi, Tia. Truly, who doesn’t love fake dating?? I adore this high-drama premise, and I’d love to read on. If you’re interested, please submit a query at QueryManager.com/SavannahBrooks and be sure to mention that this was a Pitch Wars request. I look forward to seeing more!

  9. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Tia,

    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.


  10. Michaela Whatnall says:

    Oh, this sounds like so much fun! 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!

  11. Jackie Williams says:

    Hi Tia,

    I’d love to see more! Please send the query in the body of an email with the full MS attached to jackie.williams@knightagency.net. Please mention Pitch Wars in the subject line!

  12. Jennifer Mattson says:

    I love dance, as both practitioner and audience member, so this is right up my alley! Please consider submitting the full to me via this QM link: QueryManager.com/JenniferMattson/PitchWars20_21.

    If another agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency also requests, please choose just one of us, to avoid internal confusion. Thanks, and please take care!

  13. Christa Heschke says:

    This sounds like a lot of fun! A dance competition and a fake dating scheme? Yes, please! 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

  14. Kari Sutherland says:

    Hi Tia,

    This sounds really adorable and I love your voice. I’d really like to read more. Please send the full via this form: QueryManager.com/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form/PitchWars. If more than one Bradford Literary agent requests it, you can send to multiple of us, just let us know so we can coordinate. Many thanks! Kari