PW #118: Adult Apocalyptic Women’s Fiction: THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Kara Leigh Miller & Meredith Ireland
Mentee: Elissa Grossell Dickey
Title: Those We Left Behind
Category/Genre: Adult / Apocalyptic Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 75,000


With an asteroid on course to hit Earth, best friends Lilia and Magda journey across an apocalyptic Midwest toward one last shuttle launch. Lilia must find the courage to return to her family, and Magda must decide if revenge is worth dying for when THELMA AND LOUISE meets STATION ELEVEN.


I wasn’t planning to deceive him—not after eight years of marriage. Not on our last day on Earth. But like the asteroid we were trying to escape, the events were set in motion eons ago.

The mountainous shuttle loomed outside the terminal. Inside, the stench of citrus and soap hung thick in the air. Sam and I stood together, forming a protective barrier around our boy. Anthony was our heart, pumping life into these dark days.

I’d obsessively made list after list of what we would bring in our allotted one bag per person. How on Earth could our lives be crammed into three suitcases?

How on Earth. What would the new expression be? How on Mars.

“Your turn, Mommy.” Anthony tugged on my shirt.

I forced a smile, surveying our surroundings. I Spy, his favorite game, helped ease the restlessness during the excruciating wait. But what to pick? I spy something silver—the gun of the security guard who searched our bags. I spy something black—the sea of chairs around us, emptier with each passing moment. My stomach churned, wishing I’d had more than scorched coffee.

Sam squeezed my hand. “I’ve got one, bud. I spy something brown.”

His serious little face scoured the terminal, and my stomach began to settle.

“I know.” Anthony’s smile was dimpled and triumphant. “That girl’s hair.”

Sam laughed. “What girl?”

He pointed. “The one that’s looking at Mom.”

I turned and spotted her, shaking and curled up in a seat. Alone.

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. I’d love to see the full manuscript, query, and whatever kind of synopsis you have already put together.

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  2. I’d 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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