Pitchwars Badge (Square MG)Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Jessica Vitalis / Rebecca Wells
Mentee Name: Amanda Hill
Category: MG
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 35,000 


Every night, Kate writes a letter to her father and stores it in a shoebox. But hope doesn’t belong in a shoebox. So Kate concocts a plan using her grandma’s rules for Everyday Magic. If it works, she’ll shake her dad out of his depression and bring him home. If not, he’ll be gone forever. THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. meets LOVE, AUBREY.


Dear Dad, 

Tomorrow’s my birthday. 

Mom says not to get my hopes up about you coming. That you need a break from her and me and everything. But I don’t think you meant a break from birthdays. You’ll come to mine, right? 

Grammy will be here. Maybe when you see her you’ll remember how much you love her, your sadness will burn up like morning fog, and you’ll come home. That’s what I’m hoping.

Love, Kate

P.S. Please bring everything to make my ice cream cake. It’s not a real birthday without it.

P.P.S. It’s not a real birthday without you, either.

There’s something about birthday air that feels like ending and beginning, surprise and tradition, going away and coming home all at the same time. It blows through my screen and ruffles my hair with the smell of the almond orchard and the promise of a present, a visitor.


I press my forehead against the cool window. There’s only one car sitting in the gravel driveway, but it’s still early, and he’s never liked mornings much.

“Hey, birthday girl!” calls Mom. “Aren’t you ready yet?”

I close the blinds with a crash so the sun and heat can’t sneak their way inside. “Coming!”

When I run into the kitchen, Mom’s standing at the counter with pen and paper. She shoves a box of cereal my way. “Happy birthday. Load up on some sugar.”

Author: Nikki Roberti

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  1. I’d like to see this. Please send the manuscript with a query letter (MS Word preferred, PDF okay) to carlie @ with the subject PITCH WARS REQUEST: Title of Work

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  2. I’d love to take a look! Please send the full manuscript and a one-page synopsis as an attachment to with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line and the query in the body.

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  3. This sounds poignant and lovely, and I already love the sensory quality of the voice–almond-scented birthday air! Could I see the full ms as a PDF, please, sent to with Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line, and the query in the body of the email please? Thanks!

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  4. This sounds really, really charming, and I would love to see more. If you’re interested at all, please send the first 50 pages (as a .doc) along with your query letter and a short synopsis (pasted in the body of the email) to submissions(at)jaw-litagent(dot)com with the subject line “Pitch Wars request: THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC”. Thanks so much, Julia

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  5. I’d love to take a look! Please send the first 25 pages, a query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com. Please put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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  6. I’d love to read more. Please send me the query and full manuscript in a word document with the pitch on page 1. Include #pitchwars in the subject heading. furyqueries(at)thebentagency(dot)com

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  7. I’m intrigued by this voice and the fantastic premise. I’d love to read more. Please send the query and full ms as a .doc or .docx file to LBiagi at jvnla dot com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I look forward to reading!

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  8. Hi, Amanda- I love this opening, and I’d like to read further! Please send the first 50 pages to as a Word doc, and be sure to put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

    Melissa Nasson, Esq.
    Associate Agent
    Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC

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