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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.
YA #17: HOW TO RUN IN OUTER SPACE (Contemporary)
Lindsay Smith Zrull
Mentored by:
ST Sterlings
Book Title:
2018 Entries
Word Count:


ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK meets ALLEGEDLY. After her mother vanishes, Eliza is forced to live in a group home while her little brother is taken into foster care. Teenage runaways and juvie dropouts become her allies for getting him back. But earning their trust means revealing her past–something that may keep her brother away. Permanently.



My little brother’s hand shakes in mine as we follow the police officer through the dim halls of the Virginia Beach Department of Social Services. Tyler is small for his age though he thinks being ten means he’s a man now. I know better. As his older sister, I’m supposed to be fearless. I hold his hand tighter and walk with confidence that doesn’t run deep.

This whirlwind of a night has my head aching. I keep seeing shadows in the darkened cubicles of the Child Protective Services division as we walk past desks decorated with ferns and framed photographs of happy families. It’s eerie to be here in the dead of night. It feels like we’re burglars breaking in to steal state secrets.

When the police picked me up in the marshes, I took them back to Tyler and our grubby motel room. After they discovered we’d been living there, alone, they decided to make an “emergency extraction.” I stuffed clothes into my backpack as the motel manager fretted about payment, fluttering around the room looking for someone to hand over the cash owed for our stay. He pointed to the damage we left behind, a broken lamp in the corner, and blood on the carpet. But he wouldn’t find our mother hiding under the lumpy bed, or behind the torn shower curtain.

She’s missing.

14 responses to “YA #17: HOW TO RUN IN OUTER SPACE (Contemporary)”

  1. Kim Lionetti says:

    Sounds great! I’d love to take a look. Please upload the synopsis and full manuscript here: QueryMe.online/KimLionetti/PitchWars

  2. Isabelle Bleecker says:

    Hi Lindsay,
    Your pitch is great. I’d like to see more. Please send a query letter and the first 50 pages of your manuscript to me at Isabelle@Nordlysetagency.com

  3. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi! I’d love to take a look. Please email the ms. as a double-spaced .doc to medwards@stonesong.com. Thank you!

  4. Joanna MacKenzie says:

    Hi Lindsay,
    This is really powerful. I’d love to read more. Please follow the link to upload your manuscript: http://queryme.online/1353/PitchWars2019

  5. Peter Knapp says:

    This sounds wonderful – I would love an opportunity to consider! Can you please send the query letter (in the body of an email) and manuscript (attached as a Word doc) to queries@parkfine.com with “Pitch Wars submission – Pete Knapp” in the subject? Thank you!

    – Pete Knapp / Park & Fine Literary and Media

  6. Tess Callero says:

    Hi! I’d love to take a look at your work. This sounds so dark, twisty, and fun – and your last line definitely had me wanting to read more. If you’d like to share, you can send the first 50 pages attached as a word doc to tc@cbltd.com when you get a chance!

  7. Josh Getzler says:

    I like the voice and the immediate tension you’ve created. I want to find out what happens next! Please send query letter and first 50 (ish–wherever it breaks best) to jgetzler@hsgagency.com. Please include Pitchwars somewhere in the subject. Thanks!

  8. Marlo Berliner says:

    I’m intrigued, so I’d love to see more! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you’re welcome to try the next.

  9. Erin Harris says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    Erin Harris at Folio here. Loved your opening pages and the premise! Please send the first 50 pages to eharris@foliolit.com. Use “Pitch Wars Submission” in the subject line.

    Can’t wait!


  10. Jennifer Unter says:

    I’d love to read more. Please send the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to assistant@theunteragency.com. Thanks!

  11. Taylor Martindale Kean says:

    Dear Lindsay,
    Thank you for participating in Pitch Wars! I loved this pitch for HOW TO RUN IN OUTER SPACE, and definitely want to keep reading. Can you send me the full manuscript as a Word doc to fullcirclelit@gmail.com? In the subject line, please include: Attn: Taylor Martindale Kean – Pitch Wars, HOW TO RUN IN OUTER SPACE. Can’t wait to see more of your work!
    All best,
    Taylor Martindale Kean
    Full Circle Literary

  12. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com.

    My best,

  13. Hi Lindsay,

    After reading your pitch and excerpt, I would love to read more of this story! If you’re interested in submitting to me, please go to QueryMe.Online/SavannahBrooks and follow the instructions for how to do so. In the title space, please put “Pitch Wars: [your manuscript title]” so I can keep track of your submission. You can paste exactly what you submitted here in the corresponding categories. After you submit, you’ll receive and automated message saying I’ll be back in touch within six weeks, but I’ll be back in touch within two.

    If more than one JD Lit agent requests from you, please feel free to submit to the agent you think is the best fit, and we’ll exchange materials among ourselves.


  14. Allison Remcheck says:

    Dear Lindsay,

    I would love the chance to have a look at HOW TO RUN IN OUTERSPACE. Please feel free to send me the first three chapters via my inbox at this link:


    It would be great if you could use #pitchwars requested material for the subject.

    Thank you so much!


    Allison Remcheck