PW #343: Young Adult Contemporary: DAMAGE OVER TIME

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Phil Stamper
Mentee: Jenny Howe
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary 
Word Count: 76,500


For Caity Hopkins, slaying monsters as Caelyssa—a fearless Ranger in the multiplayer online game, Unholy Realms—is her only freedom from the anxiety that crushes her in real life. But Caelyssa’s daggers and arrows can’t help Caity choose between her lifelong crush, who unexpectedly kisses her, and the boy from Realms who has stolen her heart. To make that choice, Caity must step out from behind her keyboard and find her voice or risk losing them both.   


Alexis Redman: Just found a lime on my dog’s bed. No idea where it came from.

There might be a margarita buried in your couch, Caity typed into the comment box below Alexis’s post. 

Her computer mouse hovered above the SEND button as she read the words over. Then she shook her head and jabbed her finger at the keyboard, deleting them.

Ha! she wrote instead. And deleted that. 

After another second, she settled on lol, only to delete that as well.

By the time she hit LIKE, four other people had already commented, and every one of their responses, Caity realized, was far funnier than hers.

She scrolled through the rest of the main feed, her stomach clenching every time something new appeared. Words came so easily to everyone else. To her, though, thinking of something to say was like typing on a broken screen. Slow, painful, and she usually got it wrong.

Her computer dinged with a new update.  

Kyle Lucas: I’m bored. How can we fix this?

Caity shoved her thumbnail in her mouth and bit down so hard it cracked. Not that this stopped her from chewing on it. Really, it was amazing she had any nails left to speak of thanks to Kyle Lucas. 

Author: Nikki Roberti

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  1. I can already feel the pitch-perfect rollercoaster teen emotions. This seems fantastic. I’d be delighted to read. Please send the full manuscript as a Microsoft word document to brent[at]triadaus[dot][com] with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line and your query letter in the body of the message. Looking forward to reading!

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  2. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript. Please send it as a word attachment to querycaitie (at) lizadawson (dot) com with your query in the email, with the PitchWars request in the subject.

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  3. Hi Jenny,
    Your opening is so relatable—I’d love to read more! Please send a query, synopsis, and full manuscript (Word documents will suffice) to — and don’t forget to mention #PitchWars in your subject line. Thanks—looking forward to my read!
    Good luck,

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  4. I’m such a sucker for gamer books! Please send your first 50 pages as a Word document to Include Pitch Wars in the subject line of the email and paste your quest in the body.


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  5. Would love to see the full! Can you please send the full ms, along with the query + 10 pages pasted in the body of the email to, with subject line: PITCH WARS + Title.
    Thank you! 🙂

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  6. I’m interested in seeing more of this! Please send the query + the first 50 pages (as a word document) to rachel(at)lperkinsagency(dot)com with Pitch Wars: TITLE in the subject line. Thanks!

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  7. Hi! I’d love to take a closer look at your work. Please send your query letter in the body of an email and attach the first 50 pages as a word or pdf doc. You can reach me at lgarrison (at) thegernertco (dot) com. Thank you!

    ~Logan Garrison Savits
    The Gernert Company

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  8. I would love to see this! Please include the query and synopsis in the body of the email, attach the manuscript, and send to with Subject line “Pitch Wars Request: DAMAGE OVER TIME.” Thanks!

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  9. I love gamers! I’m intrigued!! Please feel free to send the first 30 pages along with query, synopsis and chapter summaries to nicole [at] goldenwheatliterary [dot] com.



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