PW #218: Middle Grade Light Science Fiction/Humor: MISHAPS OF A SIXTH GRADE SCIENTIST

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Allison Ziegler
Mentee: Chrystal Carver
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Light Science Fiction/Humor
Word Count: 40,000


Eliana’s sixth grade to-do list includes winning the science fair, defeating her nemesis, and resurrecting her pet turtle. Perfecting the formula for a home-grown zombie should cover all three. But when her best friend goes rogue and drinks her zombie juice, she’ll have to find a cure before he transforms their school of geniuses into a horde of the undead.


The metal signs secured to the chain link fence read HIGH VOLTAGE. Tucker was right. The sub-station was the perfect place to test my turbo charged turtle robot for the science fair. All we needed to do was jump start its internal battery and duct tape his fin back on and he’d be ready to launch.

Easy-peasy. Science for the win.

I puckered my lips in an upward motion and blew a brown frizzy curl off my sweat-beaded forehead. The sun hadn’t shown itself in days, and of course it picked the one day that we needed to walk through a gravel yard to blast its rays. The heat rebounded off the gravel in waves, making me feel like a bacon wrapped sausage cooking over coals.

“Were you able to attach the rockets last night?” Tucker asked. He glanced over his shoulder like he expected an angry mob of power station workers to ambush us. It was Sunday and it wasn’t like anyone would care that we were at the power station. The signs surrounding the station said ‘high voltage’, not ‘keep out or you’ll die’. How much damage can two six-graders do to a power station anyways?

“I wrapped the boosters around the robot’s torso with packaging tape.”

I didn’t have much of a choice. My dad refused to let me have real tools, and super glue wasn’t as super as it could be.


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. This concept is so fun! 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. I’d love to take a look at the first 50 pages of this manuscript. Please send them to rena (at) thedeborahharrisagency (dot) com with your query pasted in the email and the first 50 pages attached as a word document.


    – Rena Rossner
    The Deborah Harris Agency

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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 sounds great! 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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  5. Okay, this is an awesome premise. And I’m a sucker for mad science! I’d love to see where this goes! Please email your full manuscript to me as a Word attachment to, along with your query and a synopsis (if available) with “Pitch Wars: MISHAPS OF A SIXTH GRADE SCIENTIST” in the subject of your email. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing more!

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  6. “Science for the win” – you’ve won my heart. Please send the full manuscript as a Word doc with the title in the subject line to amy (at) aplusbworks (dot) com. Thanks!

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  7. Hiya – I’d love to read more. Could you send the query and a full to JennL at AndreaBrownLit dot com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line?

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  8. Hi Chrystal–This sounds great! Please send the manuscript and a synopsis as Word doc attachments to with Pitch Wars and Query + title in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

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