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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 YA #34: BE-MORE: A BALTIMORE STORY (Contemporary – Black #OwnVoices)
Darian Cash
Mentored by:
Cimone Watson and Charity Alyse
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary (Black #ownvoices)
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Violence, Death, Loss of a Parent


After DEON’S mother dies in an accident, he looks for help in the one place she taught him to avoid: gangs. Family bills are paid with dirty money. But it leads to an even higher debt. Deon’s payment: participate in a bank robbery. With a gun in his hand, Deon must decide if it’s too late to do the right thing and Be More, even if it may cost his life.



The screams. They hurt my ears.

I stand at the center of it all with people scattered on all sides, stampeding around me. I try to stay calm, taking a deep breath, in and out, but it’s trapped against my lips, smothered in the black cloth that covers my face. Underneath the veil, the pocket of air grows warmer with each breath. But my trembling fingers are like ice.

I don’t know what to do. So I keep still, since every small movement I make is met with louder screams. And more colliding bodies.
Everywhere I turn, there’s that look of horror – wide eyes and twisted grimaces – and then the cries.

They’re all scared of me. Actually, they’re scared of the gun in my hands. But they don’t know that the cold metal bites against my grip. Any second now, this gun could slip from my sweaty palms and smack onto the ground.

“Shut up! Get down!” A firm voice cuts through the chaos. He goes by the name Bull. And he walks like one, stomping toward me. The mass of people scrambles when he comes near, like roaches from the light.

Bull wears a black mask similar to mine. But his mask is painted with a red devil’s grin, showing sharp and sinister teeth. I’m sure it matches whatever wicked smile that Bull hides beneath it.

11 responses to “PW2021 YA #34: BE-MORE: A BALTIMORE STORY (Contemporary – Black #OwnVoices)”

  1. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hi Darian,

    Wow! I am really digging this premise and excerpt, and I’d love to see what comes next for Deon. If you’re up to sharing this with me, please send your query letter, 1-2 page synopsis, and your full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars. If someone else from my agency requests, please send it to only one of us, but let us know of our colleague’s interest, and we will share if it’s not the right fit.



  2. Shannon Hassan says:

    Hi Darian, I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript (and pitch) to me at shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks for the chance! -Shannon Hassan

  3. Kristin Nelson says:

    What an opening scene! I’d love to read more! Please copy/paste your pitch or query letter to the first page of your manuscript before using this link to submit: QueryManager.com/1350/PW2022

    If you have any trouble with the link, please email query@nelsonagency.com and we will assist you.

  4. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi Darian,

    This sounds great! If you’d like to query me at QueryManager.com/ErnieChiara and include your first 20 pages with Pitch Wars in the referral box, I would love to check it out!

    Thanks so much, and best of luck!

    Ernie Chiara,
    Fuse Literary

  5. Shannon Snow says:


    Your pitch and pages were very exciting and I would love to see more! If you would like to submit to me, please send the first three chapters, short bio and synopsis in Word format to shannon@cmalit.com. I look forward to hearing from you! Good luck in the Pitch Wars!

    Shannon Snow
    CMA, Inc. Literary Agent

  6. 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.

  7. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi Darian,

    Impressive opening. I would love to read your manuscript. Please send to querytamar@contextlit.com, making sure to write Pitch Wars Request in the subject line.

    Thank you!


  8. Molly Ker Hawn says:

    I’d like to read this! Please send the full manuscript to me at hawnqueries@thebentagency.com and put ‘Pitchwars’ in the subject line. Thank you!

  9. Kaitlyn Sanchez says:

    I’d be delighted to consider this. Please see submission guidelines here: https://www.contextlit.com/submissions under Kaitlyn Sanchez, and please put PITCH WARS REQUEST and your genre and title in the subject line of the email. Thanks for sharing your work!

  10. Paige Wheeler says:

    Thanks for sharing your work at Pitch Wars. I’d love to read more! Please send the first 100 pages and synopsis to me at paige@cmalit.com. Please use “Requested Material from Pitch Wars” in your subject heading. Thanks so much.

  11. Becca Langton says:

    Hi Darian,

    I’d love to read more – this feels like such a compelling story. Please do query me through my email, becca@darleyanderson.com and include #Pitch Wars in the subject line. Darley Anderson is a well established global agency and I am so pleased to be building a US focussed list in a team that includes a Film and TV agent and a well experienced international rights team.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!