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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.
PW2021 Adult #14: HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW (Mystery)
Leigh Paulk
Mentored by:
Carolyne Topdjian
Book Title:
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Misogyny, Mentions of Prostitution, Casual Drug Use


Sassy college grad Allison is stuck serving booze at L.A.’s glitziest strip club during the ’90s recession. After Hollywood heartthrob Heston Stahl stiffs her on his huge bar tab, she crashes his mansion to settle the check. But she stumbles on Heston’s corpse, and becomes lead villain for police, paparazzi, his stalker—and a target for his killer … unless she solves the crime. HUSTLERS meets VERONICA MARS.



Hollywood, 1992

Describe your relevant experience. I trace the words in pencil. Ponder how I’ll distinguish myself on the application to waitress at a topless bar. My usual credentials aren’t going to cut much ice. Graduated with honors. Student council. Co-captain of the swim team. But I’ve never set foot in a strip club before today. Never seen a lap dance. Never worn a thong as an outer garment.

My eyes search the lobby, as if I’ll find answers embedded in its polished mahogany paneling. The walls offer only framed posters of strippers, styled like burlesque advertisements. The young woman behind the hostess desk smiles encouragingly. With her sleek bobbed hair and black cocktail dress, I could envision her at Spago if not for the sound of Van Halen vibrating the red-leather upholstered double-doors behind her. I shift in the cushions of the claret-colored couch. Try to focus on the application laying on the glass-topped table.

What is my relevant experience?  Well, back in Austin, I served booze at a campus dive bar as a high school junior. I scored that gig with a fake ID and a stolen name. My father, the Honorable Timothy Patrick of the 98th District Court, learned about that bit of teenaged defiance when police swept the bar for underage drinkers and discovered me pouring shots.

Probably best not to bring up my childhood misdemeanor. Even here.

16 responses to “PW2021 Adult #14: HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW (Mystery)”

  1. Melanie Figueroa says:

    Hi Leigh,

    Congrats on completing Pitch Wars! I’d love to take a look at HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW. You can query me directly using this link: QueryManager.com/melaniefigueroa/pitchwars


  2. Hi Leigh,

    I’m actively building my list of mystery/thrillers at the moment, and this project sounds excellent! I’d love to see more of it. If you’re interested in submitting, visit my Pitch Wars event QueryManager page (QueryManager.com/SavannahBrooks/Pitch_Wars_2022). It’ll ask for your first 20 pages.

    I look forward to reading more!


  3. Penelope Burns says:

    I would love to see more of this! If you’d like, can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  4. Chris Bucci says:

    Hi Leigh, I look forward to reading. Please send the full to my email cbucci@aevitascreative.com Chris

  5. Marcy Posner says:

    Hi Leigh—

    Love this premise and so taken with your voice. Please send your full manuscript as an attachment with your query letter in the email body to marcy@foliolit.com. Make sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line so I can find it easily!

    If you happen to receive requests from my other colleagues, please select the agent you are most interested in working with and send materials only to them.

  6. Jill Marr says:

    I love the ’90s and Veronica Mars. Plus your voice feels very fresh–so this should be fun!
    Please send your first 50 pages in Word (with the subject YOUR TITLE: #PW2021 Showcase) to jill@dijkstraagency.com.
    I’m looking forward to reading more!

  7. Kimberly Brower says:

    Hi Leigh,

    We’ve read your pitch with interest. Could you please send the full manuscript and synopsis to queries@browerliterary.com, with the subject line PITCH WARS 2022?

    Thank you!
    Kimberly and Joy

  8. I’d love to see this! Please send the first 50 pages to jessica@dhliterary.com, with #pitchwars in the subject line.

  9. Sophie Cudd says:

    Hi Sarah, I’m interested in reading your manuscript. Please send it along to mking.assistant@wmeagency.com!

  10. Caitlin Mahony says:

    Dear Leigh,

    This sounds great. I would love to read the material. Please send it to me at cma@wmeagency.com. Thank you!

    Just to note: only one WME agent can consider your manuscript at time (we work very closely together). So if you get requests from more than one of us, just let me know.

    Hope you’re enjoying pitch wars.

    my best,

  11. Allison Hellegers says:

    Oh wow, definitely one I’d like to read now. Sounds so very fun! You can e-mail a query, a full synopsis, and the first 50 pages to alli@sls-submissions.com? Thanks, and good luck!

  12. Carlisle Webber says:

    I’d like to see this manuscript! Please submit it along with a query letter here: QueryManager.com/Carlisle/PitchWars2022

    If more than one agent from Fuse Literary requests your work, please choose one of us to submit to.

    Good luck, and I look forward to reading your work.

  13. Dani Segelbaum says:

    I would love to read! Please send your query and first 50 pages to dani@carolmannagency.com.

  14. Laura Bradford says:

    The voice is so good and I just love Veronica Mars. This sounds so fun! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    Looking forward to it!
    Laura Bradford

    ***If you receive a request from more than one agent at Bradford Literary Agency, you are welcome to send to all agents who made the request, but just let us know when you send the material***

  15. Hannah Andrade says:

    Hi Leigh! I already adore the voice and tone of this story! Can you please send the first 100 pages of this to me on my QueryManager (https://QueryManager.com/hannahandrade)? And don’t forget to put PitchWars in the subject line along with your project. I can’t wait to read it!

  16. “I’d like to see more— please send query letter, full manuscript, author bio, and synopsis to EWRquery@mcintoshandotis.com. Please attach all materials as Word documents, and include “Pitch Wars” in subject line. Thanks!”