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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 #06: WHEN THE SKY IS DEEPEST BLUE (#OwnVoices Contemporary)
Clare Osongco
Mentored by:
Zoulfa Katouh and Molly X. Chang
Book Title:
Young Adult
#OwnVoices Contemporary
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
On-page depictions of child abuse (verbal, slapping), racism, depression, sexual harassment; off-page mentions of death of a parent, domestic violence


Seventeen-year-old Deedee’s relationship with her strict Filipino single mom changes when she investigates the past her mom never talks about — with the help of the boy who’s teaching her how to drive in secret. 

Family dynamics of YOLK x Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license.”



Mom slams the fridge shut and tosses the wrapped boneless chicken breast on the counter. 

You can’t even do one thing for me,” she says through gritted teeth. She wrenches off her pearl earrings, like she does when she’s had a long day and they’re bothering her. “I asked for skinless and boneless!”

I want to run but I’m surrounded by a hundred trip wires, all the things that might provoke her to say something that leaves a mark.

“It’s like God is punishing me.” She blinks back tears, swipes under her eyes. “Leaving me stuck with you!” 

We haven’t been to church since my dad died, but she’ll probably keep saying that for the rest of her life.

“Did Suzy drive you? Were you too busy having fun to pay attention?”

I wish I could just drive away right now. I close my eyes and I’m back in Suzy’s car, laughing and taking a photo out the window. I want to have that feeling all the time, the lightness of going somewhere, open-ended, noise and movement, and not so much time to think.

Mom slaps her earrings down on the kitchen table with a clack. My eyes snap back open.

“You spend too much time with Suzy. With that low-class family.” She sighs like all the air going out of a tire. I get this feeling again like there’s something else in the room with us, but I couldn’t say what.

11 responses to “PW2021 YA #06: WHEN THE SKY IS DEEPEST BLUE (#OwnVoices Contemporary)”

  1. 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!

  2. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Dear Clare,

    This sounds like such a powerful story (and I love your comps!). I’d be delighted 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!


  3. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I’d love to read more. Please send your query + full manuscript + synopsis to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren Spieller

  4. Mandy Hubbard says:

    I would love to read more of this! Please send your full my way, as an attached document, to Mandy @ emerald city literary dot com.

    Looking forward to reading!

  5. Allison Hellegers says:

    The writing here is raw and beautiful and I want to read more. If you’d like to submit to me, You can send a query, full synopsis and 50 pages. Thanks! Good luck! Alli (at) stimolaliterarystudio (dot) com.

  6. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Clare,

    Wow! This sounds fabulous! I would love to see more if you were comfortable sharing. Please submit your query, synopsis, and the full manuscript to: QueryManager.com/JenniferHerrington/PitchWars2022.

    I hope to see your submission!

    Jennifer Herrington
    Associate Agent
    Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

  7. Claire Draper says:

    I’d like to read the full manuscript. Can you send it and a query letter to claire@thebentagency.com. If you are submitting to multiple agents at our agency that’s more than okay, just let us know in your email. Thanks!

  8. Kari Sutherland says:

    Deedee’s family dynamics are tricky for sure and I would love to read more of her journey, as your voice is very engaging. If you think we’d be a good match, please send the full to me using the submission form: QueryManager.com/Kari_Sutherland_Query_Form/PitchWars.

    Warm wishes,

  9. 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.

  10. Dear Clare,

    I’ve reviewed your pitch for WHEN THE SKY IS DEEPEST BLUE 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

  11. Christa Heschke says:

    Hi Clare!

    My assistant Daniele and I were hooked all the way from your killer title. What a beautiful excerpt and premise!

    We would 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