PW #221: Middle Grade Paranormal Mystery: GHOSTBESTIES

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Kara Seal
Mentee: April Wall
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal Mystery
Word Count: 45,000


Winnie Birchwood lives for the dead. Sadly, her principal doesn’t, and demands Winnie’s ghost-hunting club prove spooks exist in thirty days or else be disbanded. Consumed with chasing ghosts, Winnie neglects her flesh-and-blood friends and realizes her biggest challenge just may be communicating with the living rather than the dead.


Nestled beneath the shadows of a dark September night sat our target. The old carousel beckoned to us, screaming to be investigated by two daring sixth-grade ghost hunters. Well, one daring and the other, my scaredy-cat BFF.

“Oh. My. Ghost! This is seriously spooktacular.” I pushed back a section of fence for the two of us to fit through. “Come on, Lillie.”

The fence was chained with a padlock and a big sign slapped on front:


Who cared about a dumb sign? I came for the danger.

“Will you come on already?” My arms shook keeping the hole open for Lillie. So far, she hadn’t budged one inch.

She shooed me forward. “You first, Winnie.”

“No problem.” I wiggled my way past the opening and pulled it back again for her.

She crawled on all fours keeping her head low. “Don’t worry. Your hair won’t get caught,” I assured her as she guarded her perfect puffy pigtails from the fence’s sharp edges.

I could never pull off that look. Whenever I tried pigtails, they dangled like limp spaghetti.

Moving slower than my baby cousin, she finally made it through. She stood up, checked her hair, and dusted herself off. “I’m going to get so grounded if I ruin these jeans. It’ll be the third pair this month.”

“Necessary consequence of being an awesome ghost hunter.”

“Yeah, right. I know you live for the dead and all, but we’re never going to find anything.”

“Not with that attitude.”

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 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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