Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


39. HOW TO MAKE A HEARTBEAT – Young Adult Contemporary with a Speculative Twist

Monday, 3 November 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Mónica Bustamante Wagner

Mentee Name: Susan Gray Foster


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary with a Speculative Twist

Word Count: 80,000


When his childhood-crush-now-prom-date dies in an accident, Daniel brings her back to life with a genius experiment. So what if her kiss tastes like blood? She’s alive! Except now she’s pale, cold, decaying. Finding a solution will mean defying everything he knows, but if Daniel can’t, he’ll lose her forever.


The shuffle of a footstep makes me look up from my microscope. I blink. “Grace.” Half my brain is still thinking about stem cells as I scramble to my feet. Everything on my workbench rattles.

Grace gives me a shy smile. “Hey, Daniel.”

I stare. She’s squinting in the sunlight just outside our open garage, fiddling with the handle of Henry’s leash while he sniffs the cholla cactus at the edge of our driveway. If I shut the garage door right now, it would land on her foot—payback for some of the misery she caused me during our middle school years. It’s tempting.

I exhale. “What are you doing here?”

Her eyes go wide and she starts backing away. Crap, she’s going to back right into the cholla.

“Stop.” I maneuver out from behind my workbench.

She hesitates, watching me. “Sorry. I was… just… walking Henry…” She’s wearing an oversized T-shirt and loose jeans that make her look even tinier than she is. With the blur in my eyes from the microscope, I could almost believe we’re still, like, ten—back when we used to hang out all the time—not seniors about to graduate.

I can’t seem to form a single coherent thought. “It’s okay. I was just, uh, looking at urine.”

“Urine?” Grace’s nose crinkles.

I’m suddenly sweating even though it’s only April, nowhere near hot by Phoenix standards. “Um, yeah, you know, pee.”

Henry lifts his leg on the cactus, as if to illustrate.

Filed: Pitch Wars

  • Jessica Sinsheimer says:

    Yes please! I’d like to see query (in the body of the email) with synopsis and full manuscript attached as Word documents. Please send those to Esubmissions at SarahJaneFreymann dot com. Thanks! 🙂

  • Stefanie Lieberman says:

    More, please! Please send the query, synopsis and first ten pages to submissions(at)janklow(dot)com. In the subject line of your email, please type: For Stefanie Lieberman – PITCH WARS REQUEST

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2021

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.