PW #358: Young Adult Contemporary, Own Voices: WE ARE NOT ALONE

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Tabitha Martin
Mentee: Lisa Moore Ramee
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Own Voices
Word Count: 69,000


THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW – When a sinkhole traps sixteen-year-old Nia and her classmates, they must fight to survive against hunger, paranoia, and the serial killer trapped with them.


The hardest part wasn’t sneaking out, it was stealing back in. That’s when you’d get busted. That’s when a stuck window or a squeaky floor would give you away.

Crickets chirped like car alarms and my head was spinning. No, the street was spinning. Black asphalt swished like a panther’s tail. Flicking from side to side. Flying up and slamming back down. I couldn’t find my balance.

A cold breeze swung down the driveway and I shivered in my t-shirt. I’d been in such a hurry to bail; I must’ve left my jacket in the car.

Our porch light was out, but a slice of the moon gave me just enough light to see. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but it was late, or early I guess. Not that it mattered. Missing my curfew wasn’t the issue.

The back edge of the house folded and moved to my left. Booze glasses. That’s what Liz called the watery, twisted view of the world after too many drinks. I dug my nails into my palms and tried to focus.

A shadow moved behind a tree. I froze. Someone was there.

I crept toward a row of bushes. The shadow moved with me and grew. The crickets went silent.

There was nowhere to hide.

I stumbled down the driveway. Every step I took, the shadow took one too, and got bigger.

My breathing was so loud it echoed.


It was a whisper, a plea.

I thought of the bogeyman and the Sedemore Slasher and zombies. If I didn’t turn. If I didn’t look, it couldn’t catch me.


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 a query (in the body of the email) plus the first 50 pages 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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  2. I’d like to see more. Please send 50 pages to with query, and please include “Pitch Wars – Stefanie Lieberman” in the subject line.

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  3. I’d love to read more of this! Can you please send me the full query (pasted in the email) and attach the 1st 3 chapters? Send to with the subject line “Pitch Wars: We Are Not Alone.” Thank you!

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  4. Ooh, I’m so intrigued by the premise and comp to The Breakfast Club–and I love your opening! I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send it + query + synopsis to LBiagi (at) jvnla (dot) com, with Pitch Wars in the subject line. Excited to read!

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  5. I’ll take a look at this. Send query + first 15 pages pasted in the body of your email to submissions at hollowayliteraryagency . com. Header should read: Query/Nikki/Title/Genre/Pitchwars. Thank you.

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