PW #216: YA Contemporary: ALL HAPPY FAMILIES

Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Marieke Nijkamp
Mentee Name: Erin Foster Hartley
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 61,000



Sixteen-year-old drag queen Alexander and his half-siblings travel to South America in search of their biological father—a movie star who auctioned his sperm before going into seclusion. But while Alexander hopes his video of the trip will make him internet-famous, his brother is hatching a sinister plan to make sure they never return home.


Mr. Gillespie has enormous pores and a weird cleft in his chin, but he’s the school’s only gay teacher and I can’t stop obsessing over him like he’s freaking Bradley Cooper—even now when I have bigger things to worry about.

Across the desk from us, Principal Grimes shifts in her seat. “I don’t think I’m being unreasonable, Alexander. Surely you understand that a teenage boy playing a transgender rock star in the school musical would raise more than a few eyebrows.”

“We’re not afraid to be provocative,” I say.

Grimes fingers the script in front of her and sighs like I just stomped on her chest. “There’s a fine line between provocative and vulgar. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is about six miles east of that line. I’m sorry, but that’s my final answer.”

“We still have plenty of other options,” Mr. Gillespie says. “Jesus Christ Superstar. Or Chicago, even.”

But I don’t want to play hippie disco Jesus or Richard Gere. I want to do drag. When I told him this last week, he said I was brave. So why is he being such a Judas now?

“Could I play Roxie Hart?” I ask.

They exchange a look. “What about Cats?” Grimes says. “You’d make a wonderful Mr. Mistoffelees.”

I stifle a shudder. “I’ll, uh… take that into consideration.”


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. Very curious to find out where this story goes from here! I would love to see more of this. Please send a query and the first 100 pages as a Word doc attachment to, and make sure to put “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line of the email. Thanks – I’m looking forward to reading on!

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  2. Looks interesting! I’d love to see the first 100 pages. Please email them to me as a .doc to, and include Pitch Wars in the subject line.

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  3. What a cool and unusual premise! I’d love to see the full ms please, as a PDF, sent to with Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line.

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  4. Wow, what a great voice here. I’d love to read more!


    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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  5. I’m curious to see where this goes — please send the full manuscript to with “Pete Knapp – PitchWars” in the subject. Thank you!

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  6. Yes, please! I’d love to have a look. I’m at Word attachments most preferably if possible!

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  7. Hi, Erin- I love the unique premise and humor here! Please send the first 100 pages to as a Word doc with Pitch Wars in the subject line, and I’ll be excited to read on. Thanks!

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

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  8. This sounds like an incredible story–what a fantastic voice and I love the sound of the journey your characters go on. 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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  9. I really like this and 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
    Looking forward to reading more.

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  10. Call me intrigued! 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 Erin

    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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