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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 #47: THE CAPITOL CODEBREAKERS (Historical / Women’s Fiction)
Gabrielle Barone
Mentored by:
Katherine Lim
Book Title:
Historical / Women's Fiction
Word Count:


IMITATION GAME x SHAMELESS. Washington, DC, 1957: Katheryn's the newest member of Project Artemis, a government network of women who decipher classified WWII codes to prevent an imminent war with Russia. Her independence is threatened when the group’s most frustrating cipher leads to her father, who went MIA in 1944. As her family and work lives crash together, she must race to untangle the connections…before her father’s old secrets destroy the whole project and what’s left of her family.



1957, Washington, D.C. 

The job hasn’t even started yet, and I’m already weighed down by secrets. Literally: the thing in my pocket is about as heavy as a brick. And still lighter than my dread.

It had seemed too good to be true when my secretarial teacher’s nephew had come to us, hunting for new blood to fill positions. Just outside DC, he said. Full time. You can have your own lives – you ladies want that, don’t you, before you get married?

Too good to be true – and I was too broke to say no. The Coopers had lots of things: children – there were five of us; chaos — a rambling house down a gravel road; and most recently, a large infestation of squirrels — but we didn’t have money, and we hadn’t since 1944. At least, unless my mother could regain her sanity and unearth some of her stash from wherever she was hiding it. Which was about as likely as the squirrels leaving on their own accord.

The mysterious metal albatross is coming with me to work—because a place all about secrets seems like just the place to find answers—and its leaden weight pulling me down is nearly enough to distract from all the nerves.


14 responses to “PW2021 Adult #47: THE CAPITOL CODEBREAKERS (Historical / Women’s Fiction)”

  1. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Gabrielle,
    Your opening excerpt immediately drew me into THE CAPITOL CODEBREAKERS, and you have a compelling premise. I’ve always been drawn to stories involving Cold War espionage. Please do send me the first 50 pages with a short synopsis (if one is available), and I look forward to reading further. My email is atuttle@dystel.com, and please note that this is a Pitch Wars request. Also, if you receive a request from more than one DGB agent, please approach the agent you feel might be the best fit and notify us of other requests in the agency. We’ll work it out on our end. I wish you success in Pitch Wars and with your writing and will hope to hear from you about THE CAPITOL CODEBREAKERS.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  2. Melissa Danaczko says:

    Hi Gabrielle, Intriguing pitch, and I’d love to read more: mdquery@skagency.com if you think we might be a good fit. –Melissa

  3. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Katherine,

    This sounds just terrific – I’ve been long fascinated by female codebreakers and I love that this is post-WWII. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript. Would you send along a query in the body of the e-mail, and the full manuscript attached as a Microsoft Word doc., with Pitch Wars in the subject line, to abishop@dystel.com?

    If you receive a request from more than one DGB agent, do approach the person you feel might be the best fit for your work and notify us of other requests in agency. We’ll work it out on our end! 🙂

    Thanks so much and looking forward to hopefully reading!



  4. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Always on the lookout for new great historical fiction! I would love to see the full manuscript. If you find us a match, please send query, synopsis, and pages to QueryManager.com/KaitlynJohnson/Contests

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Belcastro Literary Agency

  5. Laura Crockett says:

    Gosh, this sounds excellent. Could you send me the full manuscript in an attached Word doc, the query pitch in the body of the email, subj line containing “Pitch Wars,” to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com? I look forward to reading. –Laura Crockett

  6. Jen Nadol says:

    Hi Gabrielle,
    I really like your voice and writing and would love to see how the plot progresses. If you think we’d be a match, please send a query & first 50 pages to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com

  7. 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,

  8. Danielle Egan-Miller says:

    I would love to take a look at this! Please send your query with PITCH WARS in the subject line and a synopsis + the full manuscript attached to mail@browneandmiller.com – I and my team will confirm receipt and dive right in!

  9. Kristin Nelson says:

    Gabrielle, I’d love to read more of THE CAPITOL CODEBREAKERS. I love a good midcentury historical! Please copy/paste your pitch or query letter as the first page of the manuscript, and then follow this link to submit: QueryManager.com/1350/PW2022. No synopsis necessary; I hate knowing too much about the plot before I dive in. Looking forward to reading! -Kristin

  10. Johanna Castillo says:

    Hi Gabrielle,
    I would love to read your book! Would you please send the full manuscript attached as a Word doc to jcastillosubmissions@writershouse.com?
    Thanks so much,

  11. Hannah Andrade says:

    Hi Gabby! I’ve been waiting ages to see this! 🙂 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!

  12. Laura Bradford says:

    This is a fantastic hook…I love the time period and I think this sounds so juicy and fabulous! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com. Please put Pitch Wars in your subject line.

    Thank you!
    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***

  13. Jill Marsal says:

    Dear Gabrielle,

    This sounds interesting, and I would love to read your full manuscript. Please send it to Jill@Marsallyonliteraryagency.com

    Jill Marsal

  14. 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!