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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 #43: MY TOUR OF GREAT AMERICAN TRAGEDIES (Contemporary, Bi MC, Neurodivergence)
Kat Gonso
Mentored by:
Jennifer Yu
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary, Bi MC, Neurodivergence
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Anxiety and Depression, Discussion of Binge Eating and Body Image


Elle will survive this summer teen tour the same way that she's survived most of high school. She’ll ignore everyone, build a photography portfolio for college, and hide her generalized anxiety disorder, including her obsession with Worst Possible Outcomes: icebreakers, bed bugs, myopic bus driver, lost meds, Mary Todd Lincoln’s ghost, anxiety attack on the National Mall.

What she doesn’t predict is making friends, or falling for the cute girl across the bus aisle. When her new friendships and artistic goals collide, Elle must choose between staying behind the camera or leaning into the vulnerability that comes with true friendship.



Logic tells me this dinner won’t kill me. Anxiety tells me otherwise. Anxiety tells me a lot of things.

Mom notices that I’ve been ripping at the skin around my fingernails and slaps my hand. “Elle, don’t pick.”

We wait for the pager to buzz surrounded by parents juggling toddlers and middle-aged couples hoping to reenergize their sex lives by consuming obscene amounts of artichoke dip, a known aphrodisiac. We’re at one of those Italian chain restaurants where they claim you’re family and then overcharge you for the ziti.

Dad’s girlfriend Heather Grace—Cleveland’s most beloved weather forecaster—strolls through the door, her local fame causing several heads to turn. Mom’s eyes bug out before she zips up her emotions, as is her custom. Mom and I will never win an award for our communication, but we enter a rare state of telepathy, a series of raised eyebrows and squints and shrugged shoulders that, if verbalized, would sound something like this:

Mom: Why didn’t you warn me?

Me: I didn’t know.

Mom: Of course, you did.

Me: White to eat pasta?

Mom: She only wears white.

Me: So weird.

Heather Grace apologizes for her tardiness. “There’s fog in the forecast.”

5 responses to “PW2021 YA #43: MY TOUR OF GREAT AMERICAN TRAGEDIES (Contemporary, Bi MC, Neurodivergence)”

  1. Sarah N. Fisk says:

    Anxiety tells me a lot of things, including that there are bed bugs when I know there aren’t! I just learned about bed-bug-sniffing beagles the other day and am obsessed! I would love to read more. Please submit the query, synopsis and first three chapters here: https://querymanager.com/query/sarahnfisk/PitchWars

    If multiple agents at Tobias request your materials, please submit to the one you think would be the best fit.

  2. Andrea Morrison says:

    Dear Kat,
    These sample pages, and Elle’s voice, grabbed me immediately. I also really enjoyed your Pitch Wars interview! This is such a wonderful pitch, and I’d love to read your manuscript if you’re interested in sharing it with me. I’m at andreasubmissions (at) writershouse.com. (We just ask that creators only submit to one Writers House agent at a time). In any case, wishing you all the best with your next steps in this process, and congrats on being at this stage!
    All best,
    Andrea Morrison

  3. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look! You can send the manuscript to me at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If more than one DGB agent requests, please feel free to choose whoever feels like the best fit! Just let us know who else requested, and we’ll work it out in house!

  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. Dear Kat,

    I’ve reviewed your pitch for MY TOUR OF GREAT AMERICAN TRAGEDIES and am intrigued by your excerpt. Please send your full manuscript in Word or PDF format to me at victoria@hgliterary.com and copy my reader at gabry@hgliterary.com. We look forward to reading your work.

    Thank you,
    Victoria Wells Arms