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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 #11: BEETLE KEEPER (Speculative, Black #OwnVoices)
Channelle Desamours
Mentored by:
Karen Bao
Book Title:
Young Adult
Speculative, Black #OwnVoices
Word Count:


As extraterrestrials deteriorate the personalities of her loved ones, sixteen-year-old Jurnee discovers she can use her mystical influence over beetles to restore them. The catch? It could cost her every memory she has.



If my father were an insect, he’d be a Pan-American big-headed tiger beetle. Tetracha carolina. He settles into his favorite armchair, the rolls of skin on the back of his bald head peeking at me from above the faux leather. This man, with his gleaming, colossal braincase, had the audacity to call me Bighead when I was little. It irritated the mess out of me back then. It’s wild how much I miss it now.

The sun casts a stream of golden light across his face. I close the curtains. He’ll thank me when he’s not reaching for eye drops first thing out of the trance. The thick artery in his neck pulsates in time with the second hand of the tiny clock on the end table. 2:06 p.m. Still one minute to go, but his expression is plastic and far away already. My brain hardly processes it as human.

Probably because it’s not.

The bell tower tolls, marking the start of peace hour all across town. I go to the basement and tend to my live beetle collection, but even they can’t mask the grimy sensation of my inhabitant stirring awake. I haven’t gotten used to it, and that’s a good thing. It means I’m still me. Daddy and pretty much everyone else around town aren’t so fortunate, but they wouldn’t tell it that way if you asked. For them, the rain that brought the inhabitants and triggered the stillness was like winning the freaking lotto on your birthday.

15 responses to “PW2021 YA #11: BEETLE KEEPER (Speculative, Black #OwnVoices)”

  1. Masha Gunic says:

    I would love to see this! Please send me your query and full manuscript to masha@azantianlitagency.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. If any other agents from ALA request this as well, please send to one of us at a time at your choice.

  2. I’d love to read this! Please send query letter and first 50 pages to jessica@dhliterary.com.

  3. Jessica Felleman says:

    Hi Channelle! What a great first page! I’m so curious to see more of this world and particularly this character. Her personality jumps off the page. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript. Please send it over as an attached word document file along with your full synopsis to: jessica@jenniferlyonsliteraryagency.com, and please include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line so I can make sure and read quickly. Thanks! – Jessica Felleman [she/her]

  4. Beth Phelan says:

    This seems really fascinating and creepy! Would love to read more.

    Please submit your query letter and the full manuscript at this link: QueryManager.com/querybeth/PitchWars. I’d appreciate it if you pasted your query letter as the first page of your manuscript (like a sort of cover sheet), so when I send it to my kindle, I’ll have both!

    If another agent at GZLA requests your work as well, feel free to submit to both of us, but let us know that the other has it too.

  5. Hannah Andrade says:

    Hi Channelle, this is so intriguing! You’ve left me dying to read more! 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!

  6. Amanda Orozco says:

    Hi Channelle!

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before; it sounds incredible and I’d love to see more! Please send the query and full ms to amanda@transatlanticagency.com with “Pitch Wars” somewhere in the subject line.

    Feel free to submit to other agents at the Transatlantic Agency if they also request; please just let me know so we can coordinate our responses.

    Many thanks and looking forward to reading more!
    Amanda Orozco

  7. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Hi Channelle,

    What a cool pitch! I’m definitely intrigued. Could you please send your 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!


  8. Andrea Somberg says:

    I enjoyed these opening pages and would love to take a look at the manuscript if you’d care to send it along! Word document to Andrea[at]harveyklinger.com would be great, with PitchWars Requested Manuscript in the subject line. Thanks! -Andrea Somberg/ Harvey Klinger Inc./ http://www.andreasomberg.com/ http://www.harveyklinger.com

  9. Marcy Posner says:

    Channelle—Can’t wait to read! 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.

  10. Allison Hellegers says:

    I’m fascinated! Would love to read more. You can send a query, full synopsis and 50 pages. Thanks! Good luck! Alli (at) stimolaliterarystudio (dot) com.

  11. Desiree Wilson says:

    Hi Chanelle! I’m hooked by your pitch and excerpt. Would you please send your query letter, synopsis, and full manuscript to me at desiree@thebentagency.com?

  12. Jen Nadol says:

    Hi Channelle,

    I’m intrigued and would like to read more! If you think we’d be a match, please forward the opening 50 pages as a Word attachment & query to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com


  13. Becca Langton says:

    Hi Chanelle
    Your excerpt is so compelling – I’m dying to read more! Please do query me through my email, becca@darleyanderson.com and include #Pitch Wars in the subject line.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  14. D. Ann Williams says:

    Hi Channelle,
    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! Your excerpt is intriguing, and I would love to read more. Please feel free to send me your query, full manuscript, and synopsis (if you have one) to QueryManager.com/DAnnWilliams/PitchWars2022

    Please let us know if you get multiple requests from ECLA agents, and we will coordinate internally if one (or more!) of us falls in love with your manuscript.

    Have a great showcase!
    D. Ann Williams (she/they), Associate Agent, Emerald City Literary Agency

  15. Chelsea Hensley says:

    Hi Channelle! This sounds intriguing I’d love to read more! If you’re interested, you can send the full manuscript, your query, and a complete synopsis to my Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/Chelseahensley/PitchWars2021