PW #206: Middle Grade Contemporary: OLD-FASHIONED NEWFANGLED GIRLS

Manuscript status: Finished

Mentor Name: Joy McCullough
Mentee Name: Faith Hough
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 55,000


When their best friend Clara moves to Argentina, sisters Georgie and Penny hope working together to buy the horse the three amigas always wanted will salvage their own friendship—and maybe bring Clara back. Unfortunately, Georgie’s obsession with old-fashioned living clashes with Penny’s taste for technology, turning their mission into all-out war.


The one advantage to having five little sisters, Georgie Coleman thought, was that you never ran out of funny stories to tell your best friend, even when you wrote her a letter every other day. If Connie and Cherry hadn’t accidentally dyed the cat’s hair magenta that morning, for example, her current epistle would be a meager seven pages. As it was, she had just hit lucky page thirteen.

A tap, tap, tap against her bedroom window jolted Georgie from her work. Ink splattered from the nib of her quill pen and speckled her paper with cerulean blue.

“Blast!” said Georgie, sopping up ink with an already stained handkerchief. This was the third bottle Mama had ordered for her in a month. If she didn’t stop spilling, she’d be forced to go back to ballpoints for her correspondence. Or worse: e-mail.

Georgie threw open the diamond-paned window to find a chicken standing on the sloped roof beneath the gable. Its sleek, golden head tilted inquiringly to the side, wattle swaying.

“Daffodil dearest, I’m rather busy,” Georgie said. “I’m trying to write a letter to Clara before the mailman comes.”

Daffodil scratched at the roof tile.

“You’d better be quiet,” Georgie warned. “If Mama finds out I’ve been going on the roof, she might forbid me. There’d be no more midday cereal snacks for you.”

The chicken pecked at the windowsill insistently.

“I suppose I can’t refuse the world’s only tree-climbing Buff Orpington,” Georgie sighed.

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 absolutely love the voice here—it’s right in line with the middle grade that I’ve been reading and loving recently. I’d be so delighted to consider this as a full manuscript submission. Please send as a Microsoft word doc with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line, with your query letter pasted in the body of the message to brent [at] triadaus [dot] com. Eager to dip in!

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  2. This is lovely! 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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  3. I’d love to take a look at this full manuscript! Please send the query pasted in the email and the manuscript attached in word to rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com


    – Rena Rossner

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. Got such a kick out of this! Please send the complete manuscript and query to me at:; please include PITCH WARS in the subject. Can’t wait to read!

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  8. Delightful! I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send as a Word document with the title as the subject line to amy (at) aplusbworks (dot) com.

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  9. This 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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  10. Hi Faith–What terrific voice, and I can’t wait to meet Penny! Please send me the full 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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