PW #115: Adult Women’s Fiction: THE ONES WE CHOOSE


Mentor: Karma Brown/Susan Bishop Crispell
Mentee: Julie Clark
Category/Genre: Adult / WF
Word Count: 94,000


When geneticist Paige Robson decided to use an anonymous sperm donor, she believed she was protecting her child from the abandonment she faced with her own father. But when her son’s donor suddenly shows up in their life, she must choose between giving her son the truth he craves and losing the people she loves most because of it.


If loneliness were a color, it would be the deep purple of my eight-year-old’s shirt as he makes solitary laps around the school track. From the quiet of my car, before opening the door and letting the playground sounds crash over me, I watch him. Wondering how I can fix this, or if my chance of doing that passed long ago.

With an ache of worry that seems to always chase me, I grab my purse and slam the car door shut, hurrying toward the picnic tables where other students are bent over board games.

“Hey Dr. Robson,” the woman in charge of the after-school program says, offering the sign-out book with a smile. It’s the third week of school and I should remember her name by now, but my brain is stuck in a three-word loop: Miles is lonely.

“Please, call me Paige.” I sign Miles out and she flips the book closed, looking toward the track. My eyes follow. Miles rounds the far corner, no bigger than a matchstick.

“We set up some games, hoping he’d be interested,” she says. “He was very sweet, explaining the periodic table as he played chess. But when the game was over, that was it for him.”

I try again to remember her name, this woman who cares enough about my child to help him make friends, to settle him into his new school. “Thanks for trying,” I say.


Author: Heather Cashman

With a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, the lab reports always lacked the fantastical element Heather's imagination demands. Hypotheses turned into taglines and novels, so she's going back to college for a Creative Writing degree. Her novels range from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Speculative Fiction, she dabbles in picture books, and is currently seeking representation. ~Member SCBWI

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  1. This sounds terrific. I’d be delighted to consider the full manuscript. Please send it as a Microsoft word document to brent [at] triadaus [dot] com with “Pitch Wars manuscript” as the subject line, including your query letter in the body of the message. I can’t wait to read!

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  2. I must read more! Could you send me the official query in the body of the email, the first 50 pages in an attached Word doc, with “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line to laura(at)triadaus(dot)com? Thank you!

    –Laura Crockett, TriadaUS Literary Agency

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  3. This voice is fantastic, and I could feel Miles’ loneliness from across the track. Please send the full manuscript (as well as a synopsis if you have one) to with “Pitch Wars: [YOUR TITLE]” as the subject line. Please also include your query in the body of the email. I look forward to reading!

    -Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS

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  4. I’d love to read this! Please send me the whole ms. You left me wanting more!!
    I represent Karma and I see some similarities here for sure…compelling voice, great premise and so far, very well told.
    Just email to me directly with a query and state Pitch wars in the subject heading.
    Carolyn Forde, Westwood Creative Artists

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  5. Intriguing work, Heather! I would love to take a look at this. Please send the query and the full ms as a Word doc to amyc(at)kimberleycameron(dot)com and include #pitchwars in the subject line of the email. Looking forward to reading!

    Amy Cloughley, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc.

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    • Oops, so sorry Julie! In my excitement I misunderstood the format and mistakenly thought Heather was the author of the work! Apologies!

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  6. You had me at the first line! Could you please send the query in the body of the email and the first 50 pages attached as a Word doc to queryjennifer[at]lizadawson[dot]com? Thanks!

    – Jennifer Johnson-Blalock, Liza Dawson Associates

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  7. I would love to see more of this! Please send a query (in the body of the email) plus the full manuscript as a Word doc attachment to, and make sure to put “Pitch Wars Request” and the title in the subject line.

    Looking forward to reading!

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

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  9. I’d love to read more! Will you please send the full (Word doc attachment strongly preferred) to query [at] handspunlit [dot] com? Thanks so much! I look forward to the read.

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  10. I love the concept of this novel. Please send me an email with the Ms as a word doc? Thank you!

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  11. This is great — I’d love to take a look — can you send a query letter and the full manuscript attached as a Word doc to Please put “PitchWars – Pete Knapp” in the subject. Thank you!

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  12. I love this! Please send it as a Microsoft word document with “Pitch Wars manuscript” in the subject line, including your query letter in the first page of the document. Suzie at newleafliterary dot com.

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  13. I’d like to see more! Please send a query and the first ten pages in the body of the email to and please put “Pitch Wars – Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line. Thank you!

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  14. Intriguing concept–I’d love to see more! Please send the first 50 pages + query + synopsis to LBiagi(at)jvnla(dot)com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. The pages as an attachment would be ideal. Looking forward to reading!

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  15. I’d absolutely love take a look at the full manuscript. Please feel free to send it along as a word document to andrea [at] with “PitchWars Requested Manuscript” in the subject line. Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading.
    Andrea Somberg
    Harvey Klinger Inc.

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  16. I can’t wait to read this manuscript! Please send to trydzinski [at] with #pitchwars in the subject line. Thank you! Tamar

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