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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 #39: HASHTAG WITNESS (Contemporary/Based on a True Story)
Melissa Miles
Mentored by:
Bethany Mangle
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary/Based on a True Story
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Mentions of murder, abduction, death penalty; bullying; sexual violence


As a small-town preacher’s kid, Mindy suffocates under the weight of intrusive church members' constant judgments—which only escalates after she’s subpoenaed as a defense witness for a neighbor accused of killing teenage girls. 

Sucked into the vortex of his high-profile trial, Mindy is targeted by viral hashtags, bullies, and swarming media. She retreats into the safety of her dreamy new boyfriend, fantasizing about a full-life reboot with him after graduation. But with her eyes pinned on the killer she knows, Mindy isn’t ready for the beautiful betrayer lurking at her back.




Mom would apparently rather die than admit it, but the murders near our place at Lake Murphy had her rattled. Even so, the first morning of summer vacation, we were packing for three weeks of camping out in our unairconditioned double-wide trailer on a secluded cove. So much chaos radiated off Mom, I imagined her roped off with yellow crime-scene tape—warning us to stay back.

A text from Whitney pinged my phone. Please tell me y’all aren’t still going to the lake?

Ugh. Not again.

My best friends, Whitney and Sanjay had spent most of lunch yesterday nagging me to stick around until the police caught the guy. Like my parents ever asked my opinion. 

I sighed. 

They’d never understand. How could they? Short of burning down the office or getting arrested, no one at their parents’ jobs gave a rat’s ass what they did. Much less felt entitled to take a public stance on it. 

My family lived under a microscope—with bright lights glaring down to expose every flaw. That’s what we needed to escape from. 

The lake was the only place it could happen. And my parents were willing to bet my life on it.

5 responses to “PW2021 YA #39: HASHTAG WITNESS (Contemporary/Based on a True Story)”

  1. Jen Nadol says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I’m intrigued and would love to read more! If you think we’d be a match, please send a query & first 50 pages as a Word attachment to jen.nadol@theunteragency.com

  2. Kristin Nelson says:

    Intrigued by the fact this is based on a true story. 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.

  3. Laura Bradford says:

    This sounds so juicy! Please send me the full manuscript and synopsis (as attachments) at laura@bradfordlit.com and 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***

  4. 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!

  5. Becca Langton says:

    Hi Melissa

    I loved THE SERPENT KING and would really like to read more of your 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!