PW #365: Young Adult Science Fiction (Own Voices): EARTH TO LIA

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Isabel Davis
Mentee Name: Christy Chao
Category: Young Adult Own Voices
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 75,000


Seventeen-year-old Dahlia Yang-Lee is catapulted back in time and must outsmart space pirate Callum Davis to reclaim the artifact that’ll send her home. Historically, Lia knows Cal’s story doesn’t end happily. With time working against her and Cal’s looming death, Lia must defy history to save the pirate she’s falling for before her chances of returning home vanish.


The gun clicks and I grin.

So much for acting like a professional.

The charcoal black pistol fits perfectly in my palm. Sleek. Dangerous. Classy. The complete opposite of the grinning intern wielding a microfiber polishing cloth.

The last cake of dirt comes off with a gentle swipe and crumbles into smaller fragments. I duck my head, pretending to search for a soft bristled cleaning brush before the security cameras catch me beaming at dirt. Again.

I zip my jumpsuit higher as I lose another battle with goosebumps. It’s always a brisk 20.5 degrees Celsius in lab – great for the artifacts, not so much for the warm blooded non robots who work at the Smithsonian. But I shouldn’t be complaining. This is still a comfortable step up from the -270 degree environment outside our space station.

My fingers uncurl reluctantly from the artifact when I set the gun down to enter Male_A077’s data into my glass tablet.

“I’ll bet he never imagined the contents of his pockets would be so thoroughly analyzed.”

I look up from my notes. My mentor, Sara, holds out a museum inventory tag. I attach the sticker to the pistol’s trigger.

“Makes me wonder what kind of impression I’d leave on a future scientist studying the 33rd century if they found the half eaten granola bar stashed in my bag.” Classy.

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. What a fantastic opening line. I’d be delighted to read. 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 in the body of the message. Looking forward to dipping in!

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  2. 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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  3. I love the voice here. I would love to see your manuscript in Word format, with your pitch pasted onto the first page. Please send to, with PITCH WARS in the subject line with your title.

    Thank you! I’m looking forward to it!

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