PW #236: Middle Grade Horror: DEVASURA

Manuscript Status: Two weeks delivery

Mentor: Patrice Caldwell
Mentee: Zareena Nazimudeen
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Horror
Word Count: 49,000


Stranger Things meets Singaporean mythology when twelve-year-old Zhen Yu, with the help of his best friend, his younger sister, and fickle and friendly spirits, must defeat an ancient creature before it possesses his soul and makes his loved ones’ worst fears come true. Perfect for fans of Mary Downing Hahn and Doll Bones by Holly Black.


Zhen Yu wanted to slam the front door on his papa’s face. Instead, he closed it gently. The last thing he wanted was for his sister to wake up. To coax Su Ling to sleep he’d spent an hour singing “Let It Go”— an hour he didn’t want to endure ever again.

He strode past the BMW parked in the driveway, resisting the urge to punch the huge hulk of metal. The gate creaked in protest as he yanked it open.

Zhen Yu kicked an abandoned Coke can down the empty road. At 2 AM on a weekday, his neighborhood was a dead town. If only Harun wasn’t sick and could’ve snuck out as usual and joined him. If only his papa got help for his depression, if only his Nainai was still alive, if only his mama hadn’t left them… There were too many “if onlys” in his life.

He turned a corner and stopped dead in his tracks. Piles of burnt hell notes, oranges with joss sticks protruding from them, and bowls of rice littered the field in front of him. Tall, thin red candles poked out of the ground, glowing like beacons for wandering spirits.

How could he forget this was the Hungry Ghost month? The gates of the underworld were wide open.


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 LOVE this! Please send the full manuscript as a Microsoft word document to brent [at] triadaus [dot] com with “Pitch Wars request” in the subject line and your query letter pasted in the body of the message. Eager to dig in.

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  2. I love this! Please send it as a Microsoft word document with “Pitch Wars manuscript” in the subject line, including your query letter in the first page of the document. Suzie at newleafliterary dot com.

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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
    The Deborah Harris Agency

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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. Ohhh, a Stranger Things comp! I’d love to read the full of this if you would please send as a Word attachment. You can email me directly at carrie(at)prospectagency(dot)com. If you would put PITCH WARS in the subject and the query in the body of the email that would be great. Excited to read more!!

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  6. I’d love to take a look at the full manuscript. Please send it as a word attachment to querycaitie (at) lizadawson (dot) com with your query in the email, with the PitchWars request in the subject.


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  7. Hi Zareena, I’d love to see this! Please email it as a double-spaced .doc to Please include the title + PitchWars in the subject. Thank you!

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  8. I would love to keep reading! 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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  9. I’d like to see more! Please send a query and the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to and please put “Pitch Wars – Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line. Thank you!

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  10. What a great concept! I’d love to read more. Please send the first 50 pages (as an attachment) + query + synopsis to LBiagi (at) jvnla (dot) com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!

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  11. I would love to see more of this! Please send a query (in the body of the email) plus the full manuscript 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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  12. Very intrigued. Would love to see the complete. Please send the full manuscript (as a Word attachment) and query (in body of email) to Please put Pitch Wars Request in the subject line. Thank you.

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  13. How I love spooky middle grade! 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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  14. I’d love to see a full of this! Please send the full manuscript and a query via email to strothmanagency (at ) gmail (. ) com as an attached word document (.doc) with REQUESTED PITCH WARS in the subject line.

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  15. I enjoyed these opening pages and would love take a look at the full manuscript! Please feel free to send it along as a word document to andrea [at] with “PitchWars Requested Manuscript” in the subject line. Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading.
    Andrea Somberg
    Harvey Klinger Inc.

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