PW #205: Middle Grade Mystery: THE ORDER OF BLACK HOLLOW LANE

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Julie C. Dao
Mentee Name: Julia Nobel
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Word Count: 56,000 words


When her mom dumps her at boarding school, Ginny figures things can’t get much worse. Then a secret society tries to steal her only link to her missing father: a box of strange medallions. Finding out why might unveil painful secrets…and make her their next target.


There were certain things Ginny’s mother didn’t need to know—like whether she’d clipped her toenails—but the box in Ginny’s nightstand was not one of them. That was why her fingers twitched when her mother came into her room.

“Are you ready, dear? The press will be here in a few—” Her mother gasped.

Ginny held her breath. She had put the box away, right? If her mom saw it, if she found out….

Suddenly her mother’s eyes filled with tears. “Oh, Ginny, that dress looks beautiful.”

Ginny breathed out and picked at the crunchy taffeta. She had to put the box out of her mind. She needed to focus today.

“It really seems to fit you like a glove. Don’t you just love these polka dots?”

It looked like the dress had come down with the measles. The sleeves puffed out like pink toadstools, and apparently ‘like a glove’ meant barely being able to walk.

“You’re the perfect image of my daughter. Well, almost.” Her eyes lingered on Ginny’s forehead. She picked up a monstrously large hat and wrenched it over the bandage covering Ginny’s three fresh stitches. “Good thing I bought this sweet chapeau. Why you insisted on playing that soccer game is beyond me. You knew we had a major event today.”

“I can’t just skip a match, Mom.” Ginny looked down. What was she supposed to say? Sorry I’m a good soccer player, Mom. I’ll try to suck more, that way I won’t get onto the good teams.

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. You had me at secret societies! I’d love to consider this as a full submission. Please send the manuscript to brent [at] triadaus [dot] com with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line, pasting your query in the body of the message. Can’t wait to dip in!

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  2. 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, with subject line: PITCH WARS + Title.

    Thank you!

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  3. 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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  4. I’d love to take a look! Please email the first 50 pp as a double-spaced .doc to Please put the title and PitchWars in the subject. Thank you!

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  5. I would love to see more of this! Please send a query (in the body of the email) plus the first 50 pages 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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  6. Hi Julia–Secret societies, mementos, danger, great voice, looks fantastic! Please send the manuscript and a synopsis as Word doc attachments to with Query and Pitch Wars in the subject line. Thanks!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

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