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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 #28: SUNSHINE & ORANGES (Contemporary – Diverse Voices – LGBTQ+)
Hailie Kei
Mentored by:
Justine Pucella Winans
Book Title:
Young Adult
Contemporary - Diverse Voices - LGBTQ+
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Homophobia/biphobia, Bullying, Smoking, Alcohol, Swearing, Anxiety, Mention of Assault


Sixteen-year-old Japanese homestay student Naoki lands in L.A. with more emotional baggage than suitcases. Naoki is on a mission to reconnect with his estranged best friend, but finding one person in a city of millions is almost as difficult as finding the words to apologize. Navigating a complicated love triangle and acknowledging his bisexuality doesn’t make it easier. Amidst the turbulence of his new life, Naoki needs to build the courage to face his difficult past and make amends before he loses his last chance.



Turbulence: a noun. Definition: Violent unsteady movement, confusion, turmoil and my life right now. It perfectly describes my current physical and emotional state as the airplane makes a swooping wobbly break through the clouds above Los Angeles—one mile closer to what might be the biggest mistake of my life. 

The plane (and my heart) takes a steep plunge, and my English-Japanese Dictionary slides off the tray table, followed by my notebook. I reach for them with one hand and hold the armrest for dear life with the other. If I’d just waited two seconds after the in-flight announcement, it would’ve been obvious what “turbulence” means. I readjust my glasses and peer down at the monochrome city skyline below—a total contrast from the lush green mountains I left thousands of miles behind in Hokkaido. 

Did I really travel across the world for the chance to find one person in a city of four million people? Am I seriously doing a year-long high school homestay program just to give me that chance? 

I am completely out of my mind.

Even after two planes and sixteen grueling hours, only the first part of my journey is over. Landing is the start of another, and the closer I get, the more it’s clear that I can’t turn back.

10 responses to “PW2021 YA #28: SUNSHINE & ORANGES (Contemporary – Diverse Voices – LGBTQ+)”

  1. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Hailie,

    As someone who did an exchange year herself out of high school, I was immediately drawn to this pitch! I’d love to take a look, if you could send your query in the body of the e-mail and your full manuscript as a Microsoft Word attachment to abishop@dystel.com. Please put Pitch Wars in the subject line.

    If you receive a request from more than one DGB agent, please feel free to approach the person you feel might be the best fit and notify them of other requests in agency. We’ll work it out on our end. 🙂

    Thanks so much and hope to hear from you!


  2. Hi, Hailie. LOVE this premise! Your voice is fantastic too! Can you send me the full and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Paste your pitch in the body of the email and attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Send to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.
    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime
    Looking forward to reading more.

  3. Larissa Melo Pienkowski says:

    I’m really enjoying what I’m reading so far—this is absolutely up my alley! I’d love to see more, so if you’d like, please feel free to send me the first 50 pages at larissa@jillgrinbergliterary.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line.

  4. Mollie Glick says:

    Hi Hailie,
    This sounds great! I’d love to take a look. Please upload your material to booksubmissions.caa.com with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.
    Best wishes,

  5. Bridget Smith says:

    This sounds delightful, and I’d love to take a look! Please send me your query and first 50 pages at QueryManager.com/BridgetSmith/PitchWars2022. Can’t wait to read!

  6. Rena Rossner says:

    Hi there!

    I’d love to read the first 50 pages of this. Please send them attached as a word document along with your query pasted into the email to: rena@dhliterary.com


    Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

  7. 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!

  8. Tamara Kawar says:

    Dear Hailie,

    SUNSHINE & ORANGES sounds really great and I’d love to keep reading. If you’re interested in sending, could you please email the full manuscript to: tamara.kawar@icmpartners.com, and make sure to include “PW2021” in your subject line?

    Thank you!



  9. Allison Hellegers says:

    I’d love to read more! You can send me your query, full synopsis, and and first 50 pages to alli(at)stimolaliterarystudio(dot)com. Thanks, and good luck!

  10. 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.