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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 #13: YOU BET YOUR HEART (#OwnVoices Black Rom-Com – Contemporary)
Danielle Parker
Mentored by:
J.Elle and Emily Golden
Book Title:
YOU BET YOUR HEART #ownvoices Black Rom-Com
2020 Entries
Word Count:


THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR meets TO ALL THE BOYS in this YA #ownvoices Black enemies to lovers rom-com, where two brilliant ex-best friends tied for valedictorian agree to a series of bets to determine who will take the title.



I’ve been summoned.

Every student at Skyline High school knows the principal’s calling card—the infamous, light green, wallet-sized, piece of paper.

So when Marcus Scott, who has declared himself the Hermes of school messengers, busts into my 6th period AP Language class like he’s walking onto a Broadway stage, I don’t pay him any mind. It’s not until he leaves and my teacher, Ms. G, slides the flimsy summons across my desk that I realize what’s happening. All the eyes in the room shift their focus to me and my insides go all squirmy. I know what they’re thinking because I’m thinking it, too.

What the hell is this about?

I’ve been called to the principal all of once and it was because my perfect attendance certificates needed to be picked up. Without making too much of a fuss, I shoulder my bag, tuck my pencils in my pocket in color-coded order because… who doesn’t do that? Then, I gather my things and go. Quickly. Trying not to overanalyze the word ‘now’ that is circled three times in black ink.

Inside the main office, Mrs. Brown greets me with an award-winning smile. “There’s our number one girl,” she calls from behind the front counter. “Sasha, sweetie, it’s so nice to see you. Whatcha doing? Picking up another award?” She’s always bubbling over with enthusiasm and everyone on campus is always happy to see her. I swear, if every school in America had a Mrs. Brown, student productivity would increase by like, a lot. People would just be…better.

56 responses to “PW2020 YA #13: YOU BET YOUR HEART (#OwnVoices Black Rom-Com – Contemporary)”

  1. Mary C. Moore says:

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

  2. Jennifer Weis says:

    Hi. I would love to read your full novel and hope you will send it to me: jenniferweis@rossyoon.

  3. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I love these comps and the sample has me hungry for more, I’d love to see the full manuscript. Should you decide to submit, here’s the link: QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2020

    Speilburg Literary

  4. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Wow! I love the voice already!

    I’m Jem, an agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Your pitch and excerpt are amazing! I’d love to take a look. If you’re open to me considering your novel, please send me a query, a one to two-page synopsis, and the full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars.

  5. Tara Gilbert says:

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

  6. Shannon Snow says:

    Hi Danielle,

    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!!


  7. Joanna Moult says:

    Oh this sounds great! I would love to read more. The pitch is compelling and I think the voice is intriguing. Please send me the full manuscript (or however much you are willing to share) and a synopsis as word doc attachments to submissions@skylark-literary.com, with [PitchWars Joanna] in the subject line. If my colleague, Amber requests your manuscript as well – feel free to send it to us both or just to your favourite!

  8. Andrea Cascardi says:

    Dear Danielle,

    As soon as I saw the words “#ownvoices Black enemies to lovers rom-com” my heart started beating a little faster and I devoured the opening. I’m totally intrigued by the character even after only spending a few paragraphs in her company. I’d love to read the full manuscript and hope to see it in my in-box!

    As there are several Transatlantic agents participating in Pitch Wars, we ask that you submit to one at a time. We’re a terrific, collegial agency but of course I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll pick me in case more than one of us is interested! To get to know the agency, and me, a little better, check out our website http://www.transatlanticagency.com.

    Thank you and all best,
    Andrea Cascardi
    Senior Literary Agent

  9. Molly Ker Hawn says:

    I’d like to read this! Can you send it to hawnqueries [at] thebentagency.com, with PITCHWARS: YOU BET YOUR HEART in the subject line? And if you’re submitting to multiple Bent Agency agents (which is totally fine), please let me know, either when you send the ms. or in a follow-up email. Thanks so much!

  10. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars, Danielle! 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

  11. Jenny Bent says:

    Hi! I’d like to see the full on this please. Please send to pitchwars@thebentagency.com with “pitchwars” in the subject line. It’s fine to submit to other agents at the Bent Agency if they also request, just please let us know so we can coordinate responses.

  12. This sounds amazing, and I’d love to read more! Please kindly send the full manuscript and a synopsis as word doc attachments to hilaryquery at ktliterary.com with ‘Pitchwars Requested Material’ in the subject field. I can’t wait to dive in!
    Hilary Harwell, Literary Agent
    KT Literary LLC

  13. Megan Manzano says:

    Yes please! Not only is this a great opening but you’re giving me an enemies to lovers romcom???!!!

    If you decide to query me, please send your query, synopsis, and first 50 pages to the following: QueryManager.com/MeganManzano/PitchWars

    If anyone else at D4EO requests your work, choose the best agent for you!

  14. 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!

  15. Natascha Morris says:

    Hello Danielle,

    This sounds amazing! I need a romcom that will bring me all the squee joy! I can’t wait to read the full here. 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

  16. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Danielle, this is such a fabulous pitch and excerpt, and I would really 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! 

  17. Emily Forney says:

    Hi Danielle. Oh my, this book is EVERYTHING. I would really love to read it. If you’re willing, you can send the full manuscript to my email (eforney@bookendsliterary.com) with the subject as PitchWars and your title. I really hope to check it out!

  18. Penny Moore says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I love the sound of this, and it’s exactly the type of YA I’d love to read! When you’re ready, please submit your full manuscript here: QueryManager.com/LiteraryPenny/PitchWars2021.

    Thanks. Looking forward to reading!

    All the best,
    Penny Moore
    Aevitas Creative Management

  19. Samantha Wekstein says:

    Hi Danielle! I LOVE enemies to lovers. I’d like to read more! If you’re interested, please send your first 50 pages to samantha@thompsonliterary.com. Thank you!

  20. Victoria Wells Arms says:

    HI Danielle! 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

  21. Hi, Danielle! This sounds incredible, and I love your voice! 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.

  22. Samantha Fabien says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! You must be thrilled.

    I am constantly looking for YA rom-coms that feature BIPOC characters at the center. I love that this already sparks joy with two Black leads competing for valedictorian. I also couldn’t help to see all of J.Elle’s praise for your work on social media. I’d love to request the full manuscript so I can continue reading!

    If you’d like to share, please send 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: YOU BET YOUR HEART 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,

  23. Suzie Townsend says:

    H! I’d love to see this! What a great last line. Please send the manuscript with the query pasted into the first page to Suzie(at)newleafliterary(dot)com. Put REQUESTED-PITCH WARS in the subject line.

  24. Allison Hellegers says:

    I love the sound of this, and the writing is sharp. If you are interested in submitting to me, I would be happy to review the full manuscript. You can submit via our website, https://www.stimolaliterarystudio.com/Submissions, but do put PITCH WARS above the query. Thanks! -Allison Hellegers

  25. Alexandra Levick says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Oh my goodness, this pitch! And the voice you’ve already created in just these first few paragraphs! 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

  26. Hi, Danielle. I adore this high-stakes premise. I could feel the tension ramping up just from this excerpt, 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!

  27. Jennifer Unter says:

    Hi Danielle,
    We’d love to read! Please forward the opening 50 pages, as a Word attachment, to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com, including your query in the body of the email. Thanks!

  28. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Danielle! This sounds fantastic! I’d love to request the first 50 pages, which you can submit here: https://querymanager.com/query/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2021

    Looking forward to reading more!

    Alex Weiss
    Azantian Literary Agency

  29. Tara Gonzalez says:

    Hi Danielle! I would love to keep reading YOU BET YOUR HEART. 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

  30. Caitlin White says:

    I’d love to read the full! If you send your query and first pages to me on QueryManager at this link, I will request the full right away: https://querymanager.com/query/caitlinwhite

    Please put “Pitch Wars” in the “referred by” space. I represent projects at Emerald City Literary Agency alongside Mandy Hubbard and Linda Epstein. You can check me out on Twitter @caitforestell

  31. Renae Moore says:

    Please send your query, synopsis, and first two chapters of your book using the following link: QueryManager.com/renae/PitchWars
    Please feel free to apply to more than one agent at Tobias simultaneously. We will handle multiple submissions on our end.

  32. Amy Giuffrida says:

    I absolutely LOVE everything about this! Not only does it have one of my favorite tropes–enemies to lovers–but the voice in the sample is amazing. This story is exactly what I’m looking for in a YA rom-com. Please send me your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to me here: QueryManager.com/AmyGiuffrida/PitchWars

    I can’t wait to read!

  33. Alex Rice says:

    Danielle, would love to see more! Please send me your query and first 100 pages to alex.rice@caa.com. Please let me know if you are sending to more than one agent at CAA. All my best, Alex

  34. Kari Erickson says:

    Hi Danielle, 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!

  35. Alyssa Eisner Henkin says:

    Interested in seeing the full manuscript ahenkin@birchpathliterary.com

    Alyssa Henkin

  36. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Danielle, 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

  37. Dorian Maffei says:

    I love how fun this is! I am thrilled to request the full manuscript. 🙂 You can send the query and manuscript through my online submission form: QueryManager.com/dorianmaffei/Request.

    If more than one agent from KC&A has requested your work, please mention this in your submission. Thank you!

  38. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear Danielle, what an amazing story! I love your voice and would love to read more. Could you please send through the first 50 pages of your MS for our consideration? My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com Can’t wait, and I hope you are doing as well as possible at this uncertain time! All best, Anya; Peony Literary Agency

  39. Laurel Symonds says:

    Love this pitch! I’m really intrigued by what I’ve seen so far and I’d like to read more! Please send the first 25 pages to symondsqueries@thebentagency.com and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If more than one agent from The Bent Agency requests, you’re invited to send to all of us. Just let us know—thanks!

  40. Kristin Nelson says:

    You had me at Rom Com. I’d love to take a look. Here is my Pitch Wars QM link if you’d like to send my way.



  41. Ameerah Holliday says:

    I’m intrigued! Please send your query. bio and first 50 pages to Ameerah@serendipitylit.com

  42. 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: YOU BET YOUR HEART (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 reading.

    Pete Knapp // Park & Fine Literary and Media

  43. Ashley Blake says:

    Hi Danielle! This sounds right up my alley and I love the voice! 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. I look forward to reading.


  44. Karly Caserza says:

    YES. PLEASE. Please send me your first 15 pages to my QM. QueryMe.online/Karly

  45. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Danielle,

    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,

  46. Laura Bradford says:

    Awesome hook here! Enemies-to-lovers is my catnip! 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

  47. 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!

  48. Rebecca Sherman says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I would love to see what’s next for Sasha (and meet the other potential valedictorian/her ex-best friend). Please email me with your query, synopsis (optional), and the first 50 pages of You Bet Your Heart at rebeccasubmissions@writershouse.com. Please put Pitch Wars Requested- [Title] as your subject line. If you receive requests from more than one Writers House agent, you must chose one agent to receive your material.

    All my best,

  49. Chloe Seager says:

    Dear Danielle,

    I adore enemies to lovers stories and I’ve been searching for the perfect rom com to add to my list since forever! I would love to read this. Please email the synopsis and first three chapters to childrens@madeleinemilburn.com, including ‘Pitch Wars submission’ somewhere in the subject line.

    All best,

  50. Danielle Burby says:

    This project sounds like exactly what I’m craving now! I would definitely like to read this one. Please send me the full manuscript through Query Manager http://querymanager.com/1352/PW2021. I can’t wait to take a look!
    -Danielle Burby

  51. Paige Wheeler says:

    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars. 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 

  52. Chelsea Eberly says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Ex-BFFs fighting for valedictorian and falling for each other sounds right up my alley, and the voice in your opening is wonderful. I’d love to read your full manuscript if you think we’d be a good fit. Here’s the link to my Query Manager form:


    Looking forward to reading your work, and good luck with Pitch Wars!

    Chelsea Eberly

  53. 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

  54. Erin Harris says:

    I would love to consider this manuscript! Please send as a Word Doc to eharris@foliolit.com. Many thanks, and looking forward.

  55. Lee OBrien says:

    This sounds so fun–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.

  56. Christa Heschke says:

    Everything about this sounds SO good! I am a sucker for enemies to lovers. 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