PW #212: YA Contemporary: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished.

Mentor Name: Lori Goldstein and Chelsea Bobulski
Mentee Name: Kris Li
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 67,000


A love of baseball has bonded Marnie and Cody since the first grade. But when a 90-MPH pitch sidelines Cody and Marnie takes his place as pitcher in the playoffs, the curveballs—the team’s resentment, the rival pitcher’s support, and Cody’s true feelings—come at her instead of from her.


In my seventeen years of experience in this thing we call life, I have come to an understanding: there are three kinds of idiocy.

The first I like to call Mundane Idiocy. This is the kind of idiocy that happens when you, say, walk into a dark room thinking you can manage without the lights and then stub your toe real hard on the edge of a table or something. It happens to the best of us.

The second kind I call Voluntary Idiocy. Things like sticking your tongue on a frozen poll or prodding a beehive with a stick or eating fourteen brownies in one sitting would fall under this category.

And the last kind of idiocy is Cody Kinski.


So here I am in the bleachers of my high school baseball field on a cool May night—crickets chirping in the darkness beyond the bright stadium lights, the smell of French fries hitching a ride on the gentle breeze—and I’m on my feet, on the tips of my toes, waiting in vicarious anticipation like everyone else. Usually the excitement level at our baseball games never gets higher than the occasional collective anticlimactic gasp, but our team is far from what you’d call usual. And this particular game is miles away from typical.

It’s the bottom of the seventh—the last inning. There are two outs, two strikes, Kyle’s on first, Cody’s at bat. We’re down, five to four, and our chances of turning it around are borderline zero.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. Hi, I’d like to see 100 pages of this ms. Please email them to with Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line.

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  2. You had me at baseball! I would love to see the first 50 pages, sent as a Word attachment, to querycaitie(at)lizadawson(dot)com, with the words “#PitchWars request” in the subject and your query pasted in the body of the email!

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  3. Girl pitcher on a boys’ team? 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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  4. Your writing immediately stood out to me, and I’m very intrigued to keep reading! Please send the query and full ms to LBiagi at jvnla dot com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. I look forward to reading!

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  5. I’d like to read more of this. Please send the query, synopsis + the full manuscript to rachel(at)lperkinsagency(dot)com with “Pitch Wars: Title” in the subject line. Thanks!

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  6. Since I LOVE sports themes and the voice in your opening, I’d really like to see more. If you’re interested at all, please send the first 100 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: OUT OF LEFT FIELD”. Thanks so much, Julia

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  7. I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages attached as a word document to:



    Rena Rossner

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  8. A girl pitcher? Yes please! This is right up my alley! Please send a query (with #pitchwars in the title) as well as the first 100 pages to!

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  9. This sounds awesome! Please send the full ms as an attachment to query(at) and include “Pitch Wars Request for Jackie” in the subject line. Thank you!

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  10. Sounds great! Please send the first 25 pages, query and synopsis to chquery[at]mcintoshandotis[dot]com and put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.


    Christa Heschke
    McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

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  11. Hi Kris

    I’m keen to read this – could you send me the full MS as a Word doc and if possible, an expanded synopsis (ideally 500-700 words)? claire at rhaliterary dot com.

    Looking forward to reading more!

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