Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kate Brauning
Mentee Name: Ashley D. MacKenzie
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 82,000


The senior trip to Europe isn’t helping Hayley find her passion or fix her friendship with Lexi, so Hayley risks expulsion and ditches the tour for a magnetic boy from Amsterdam who wants her to pick a way of life instead of a career.


It’s not that I have anything against smoking pot. I just don’t think you have to go to Amsterdam to do it.

But here I am, standing in an under-ventilated coffee shop that smells like my ex-boyfriend’s truck, watching Lexi consult a menu of weed like there might be an actual wrong decision when it comes to ordering a pre-rolled joint in an Amsterdam pot shop.

Lexi snaps the menu onto the counter. “What kind should I get, Hayley? You know more about this stuff than I do.”

Right. Sure I do.

“The only way I know anything at all about weed is because of Tyler,” I say. “And, really, my crap taste in guys doesn’t make me some kind of expert in buying drugs.”

Lexi sighs and slips her thumbnail between her teeth, leaning over the menu. I plunk my purse onto the counter and slide my phone from its pocket. “We have three hours until she needs to seem completely sober,” I tell the dreadlocked girl behind the counter, and the clerk nods like I’ve just said something exceptionally wise.

Dreadlocks opens a display case of pre-rolled joints and Lexi slips a card from her wallet. I’m so over seeing that card. London, Paris, Amsterdam, all perfectly preserved on Mr. Kim’s Visa bill. She taps the card on the counter while she waits.

“Aren’t you worried that your dad’s going to see a charge from this place?” I ask. Tap. Tap. Tap. That card hammers tiny nails into the back of my neck.


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. Such a fun, rebellious spirit in those first two lines. I’d love to read this. Please send the full manuscript as a Microsoft word doc, along with your query letter (pasted in the body of the message), to brent (at) Put “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line.

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  2. Just from your excerpt, I love Hayley already. Please send over the first 100 pages as an attached doc to Please put in your subject line Pitch Wars Request. I can’t wait to check it out!

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  3. Ashley!! How fun to find your entry here–I’d love to see what you’ve done with it since our Lit Reactor class.


    Please send the full as an attached word document, with the pitch you used here pasted into the first page. Send it to


    Mandy Hubbard
    Emerald City Literary Agency
    (Formerly D4EO Literary)

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  4. 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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  5. I’d like to see more! Please send a query + the full MS to leon@lperkinsagency (with Pitch Wars in the subject line), along with a one-sentence description of your book.Comment

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  6. I’d like to read more! Please send the first 100 pages in Word format and a query letter to, and include “Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line of the email. Thanks!

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  7. I’m so into this! 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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  8. Definitely up my alley! I’ve been looking for an international road trip novel:) 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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