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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 #42: NO BIGGER STAGE (Contemporary)
Pete Fanning
Mentored by:
Joel Brigham
Book Title:
No Bigger Stage
Young Adult
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Physical Abuse


Myles Bennett hopes his punk band will be his ticket out of an abusive home, but a viral video of him and Mal, the band's lead singer, puts a spotlight on his deepest insecurities and breeds jealousy among the band. When the buzz lands them a spot at a major music festival, it should make all of Myles's dreams come true, but the stage may prove too big for him to save everything—and everyone—he loves.



Hank eases out of his truck, his lips lurking in his silvery goatee like a serpent coiled in the grass. He motions for me to get out of the car.

“Going somewhere, Myles?”

I close my eyes. Obviously, I’m not going anywhere. Not now, as he blocks me in with his bigass truck and acts like a sheriff pulling over a speeder. I wipe my hair back.

“We’ve got a show tonight.”

“A show, huh?”

He knows this already. The skate competition at the warehouse starts in 40 minutes, but the band still has to set up and run through soundcheck. Not that Hank cares. He’ll ask why anyone would want to hear us play such garbage because he only likes music with lyrics about hunting, fishing, or defending freedoms—none of which I’ve ever seen him do.

He studies the station wagon, drums and amps stacked neatly in the back. “You’re taking Nan’s car?”

“Yeah, I told you about—”

Hank holds up his hand, but I look away. I can’t quite face those sunken black pits that flank his nose.

“Maybe you did, but I specifically remember asking you to do some things around the house.” He makes a show of looking around. “Doesn’t look like any of that happened.”

My pocket buzzes—either Noah or Mal wondering where the hell I am.

3 responses to “PW2021 YA #42: NO BIGGER STAGE (Contemporary)”

  1. Ernie Chiara says:

    Hi Pete,

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.