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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 #37: SUMMER AT CECE’S (#OwnVoices Sapphic Rom-Com)
Taylor Gates
Mentored by:
Susan Bishop Crispell
Book Title:
Young Adult
#OWNVOICES Sapphic Rom-Com
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Sibling Death, Grandparent Illness


When 16-year-old Marie's dad sends her to live with her Guy Fieri-obsessed aunt for the summer, her recipe for keeping to herself goes up in flames — just like everything she's baked since her twin brother's death. The last thing she expects is to fall for Riv.

Riv's trust issues could fuel an album's worth of songs. As her grandpa's health declines and the medical bills grow, her focus should be on beating her ex-BFF in the county fair talent show for the prize money. But Marie is a welcome distraction.

As Marie and Riv bond over music and baked goods, they'll both have to decide if love is worth the risk.




There are two kinds of people in this world: chocolate dessert people and fruit dessert people.

Eric was the former, going for rocky road ice cream and M&M cookies. I’m the latter, opting for peach cobbler and apple strudels.

Like a lot of twins, we were opposites in many ways. Eric: the athlete, loud and outgoing, always looking for a crowd. Me: the bookworm, quiet and solitary, preferring to hole up in the kitchen. But we complemented each other. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Chocolate and strawberry pie — our favorite compromise.

Every last day of school was the same. I’d make the celebratory pie, and he’d bring a group of his friends (who were, by extension, sort of my friends, too) over to eat it. That was our tradition for as long as I can remember.

But not this year. Not ever again.

Because eight months ago, I took my eyes off the road for two seconds — the most important and horrible of my life. And a car plowed into the side of ours, changing everything.

7 responses to “PW2021 YA #37: SUMMER AT CECE’S (#OwnVoices Sapphic Rom-Com)”

  1. Laura Crockett says:

    Sounds great! Please send the full manuscript in an attached Word doc, the body of the email containing the official pitch/query, subj line with “Pitch Wars,” to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com. Looking forward to reading. -Laura Crockett

  2. Sarah N. Fisk says:

    Susan said “county fair pie contest” on twitter and I came straight here! 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.

  3. Ameerah Holliday says:

    Hi, I’d love to see more! Please feel free to send your query and first 50 pages to Ameerah@serendipitylit.com

  4. 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.

  5. Dear Taylor,

    I’ve reviewed your pitch for SUMMER AT CECE’S 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

  6. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi Taylor!

    My assistant Daniele and I are so intrigued here (not to mention that you definitely made us both want chocolate)! We’d absolutely love to read this.

    Please send us your query, synopsis, and full manuscript via Query Manager at this link: QueryManager.com/christa_heschke/PitchWars2122

    Thank you!
    -Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis

  7. Dana Murphy says:

    Oh, I am such a sucker for a summer set novel! And I believe that any premise that ends in “but gay” is written personally for me. I would love to read more. Per our submission guidelines, please send a query and your first ten pages in the body of an email to submissions@thebookgroup.com — with my name, the books title, and “Pitch Wars” in the email’s subject line. I’ll be in touch as soon as I see it to request the full. (If you’d like to review our full submission guidelines, please visit: http://www.thebookgroup.com/submissionguidelines)

    I don’t believe any of my colleagues at The Book Group are participating in Pitch Wars this year, but if you do get requests from others — or if you’ve already submitted to someone else on our team — don’t worry! We happily accept simultaneous submissions. If you wouldn’t mind flagging this in your query letter, it’s helpful to know up front.

    Thank you! I hope I make the list of agents you chose to submit to but, either way, huge congratulations on your Pitch Wars participation this year.


    Dana Murphy