Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: G.K. Byrne
Mentee: Elliot Smith
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Word Count: 57,000


Twins, Ark and Swanette, are descendants of the Salem witches. While they admit to causing their share of magical calamities, being chased by the king’s witch hunters seems like an overreaction. When dragons join the hunt, the twins must ally with Abigail Adams, Boston’s Witch-In-Chief, to save the patriots, and themselves. MAGYK meets the American Revolution in this secret history of Paul Revere’s ride.


At dusk I’ll burn at the stake. I don’t like to brag, but I’m a prodigy at it. This will be my third time. It’s made me something of a celebrity around New England. While burning witches and wizards has always attracted large crowds, I think I’ve taken the spectacle to a new level.

Lured by my reputation, the villagers have packed the town square despite the short notice. Every person nearby must have come to find out if I can truly survive being burned alive.

Thank goodness. If everyone is watching me, no one is searching for my family.

My relief shrivels with the arrival of the Committee for Public Safety. The members call themselves deacons, but my family has another name for them: witch hunters. Their procession snakes through the crowd, torches lifted high in the looming darkness.

As they approach, I rattle my chains. “Wait. Wait.”

“Too late, guttersnipe,” says a torchbearer. “Third time’s the charm.”

I shiver. There’s no way to know how many lives I have left, but even if I’ve run out, I have to distract them until my sister signals. “Please, I only seek a small mercy.”

The torchbearer checks his pocket watch. “If it will shut you up.”

Choosing my words with care, I look to the expectant crowd. “Excuse me. Did any of you bring marshmallows? I’m afraid I might starve to death.”

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. 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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  2. Hi Elliot–I love twin stories, and the bit of humor at the end is great. 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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