PW #235: Middle Grade Fantasy: THE WITCH CATCHER

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kate Foster
Mentee Name: Melanie Dixon
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Word Count: 43000


When thirteen-year-old Evie accidentally smashes a bottle from Mom’s secret cabinet, Mom’s demands for music practice become the least of her troubles. Ferocious storms, fires, falling trees—and now Mom’s sick. Called by a malevolent force she doesn’t understand, Evie must put Dad’s science aside and become a witch catcher to save her family.


I know you’re here

I can feel you getting closer

I’ve been calling you and now

At last

You can hear me

Evie lay on the landing halfway up the stairs, basking in the early evening sunshine. Music floated down from the studio. She stretched, pushing her maths homework away. At Dad’s place maths seemed so much easier. But he’d be home in a month, and she’d be back to staying with him every other week, watching movies, stargazing. But a whole month, without Dad…

She closed her eyes, resting her head on the soft carpet.

The music swirled through her mind. She knew the piece well. Her fingers twitched on invisible keys. Apparently she was a natural on the flute; she could be amazing if only she practiced more. That was all Mum seemed to care about.

Find me

Rolling onto her back, Evie walked her feet up the wall as high as she could and wriggled her toes behind the long, purple curtain, into the corner where the two walls met. Her big toe brushed against something cold and hard. She stood and peered behind the curtain. There it was. A metal catch fixed to the wall.

Come in

Come to me

She paused. Another familiar piece of music. It stopped and started as Mum’s student struggled with the fast notes.

Evie’s fingers hesitated on the catch, then, without thinking, she flipped it open. The wall shuddered to one side, opening, just a crack.



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 Comment

  1. I would love to see more of this. Please send the first 50 pages 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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