PW #201: Middle Grade Magical Realism: DOPPELGÄNGER

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Jessica Vitalis/Amanda Hill/Cindy Baldwin
Mentee: Kit Rosewater
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 48,000


The vitiligo on Tami’s skin has always made her lonely. When her new classmates mistake her for their missing friend Renee, Tami’s strange connection to her doppelgänger grants instant popularity—along with access to Renee’s dark secret. If Tami sets things straight, she’ll lose her newfound friends. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose herself.


The blots on my skin are moving.

They inch down my arm, shimmy around my elbow, and creep up my shoulder.

Danger, they say.

Hush, I say back.

We step into the sizzling afternoon. Book in hand, I duck away from the sun, hiding underneath the canopy of our cottonwood tree. Its roots surge from the ground and ripple through the grass like ocean waves cresting on shore. I settle into the spot where the gnarled wood bends into a perfect reading chair.

Today’s book is The Princess Bride. I first heard it when I was little, when Dad read me all the classics. Together we slipped through the closet to Narnia and opened the brick wall behind the Leaky Cauldron. The best books are places, Dad says. Since I’m eleven now, I get to explore my favorite “places” whenever I want. Too bad Mom and Dad won’t count that as Geography.

My thumbs pin down the pages as the words pull me inside. I race along a ravine with the Man in Black, a disguised pirate who’s stolen Princess Buttercup. The high wind screams in my ears. The prince’s horsemen gallop behind us. I hold my breath and grin. Tonight, when the sun sinks into the horizon and the sidewalks fill with trick-or-treaters, I’ll hide my blots behind a mask and become the Man in Black.

A ray of tangerine sunlight peeks through the branches and pinches my skin. The blots shrink behind my sleeves.



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 *love* this voice. 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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  2. Hi Kit,
    This looks fantastic—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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  3. I’d love to have a look! Please send the full along for my review. A Word attachment is most preferable if possible. Thanks!

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  4. This voice is incredible! I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send it along to, along with the query letter and synopsis, and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks!

    Caitlin McDonald
    Donald Maass Literary Agency

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  5. 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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  6. Hi, Kit—I would love to see more of this. Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc or PDF to, and be sure to include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Please also include your query in the body of the email.

    Thank you!

    Melissa Nasson
    Rubin Pfeffer Content

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  7. Hi Kit!

    WOW – this sounds so good so far. I’d love to read more! Could you send the first 50 pages to Make sure to include Pitch Wars in the subject line!

    All the best,
    Brianne Johnson

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  8. I’d like to see more! Please send a query and the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to and please put “Pitch Wars – Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line. Thank you!

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  9. 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 full manuscript 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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  10. Dear Kit,

    What an captivating idea and opening! I’d love to see where it goes! Can you please send the full manuscript to with “query” and “pitchwars” somewhere in the subject line?

    Thank you so much!
    All my best,


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  11. Absolutely love the voice here and would definitely read on – pls send your query + first 3 chapters to me at joan at emliterary dot com!

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  12. 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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  13. Absolutely loved this opening! Please send me the complete manuscript and your query, to; include PITCH WARS in the subject line. Excited to see more!

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  14. Hi Kit–What a great start! Please send a full manuscript and a synopsis as Word doc attachments to I can’t wait to read!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

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  15. Wow this opening is GREAT! I’d love to keep reading. Please send the full manuscript attached as a Word document to with “Pitch Wars – Pete Knapp” in the subject. Looking forward to reading! – Pete Knapp

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  16. This sounds excellent! I’d love to keep reading. Please send me the full query (pasted in the email) and attach the 1st 3 chapters. Send to with the subject line “Pitch Wars: Doppleganger.” Thank you!

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  17. I’d love to read as well! Please feel free to send the query + full ms (as a word doc) to w/PitchWars in the subject line. Thank you!

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  18. I absolutely loved these opening pages and would love to 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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