Write Mentor 2022
Step into my office. *opens cyberdoor*
You wrote a book.
That’s cool – hooray you!
Let’s make it better.
I was in your shoes back in 2017 when I entered Pitch Wars. Being a mentee can be intense, exhausting, and even frustrating, but it is the best thing I have ever done for my writing. Not only did I have a great mentor, but the community I met through Pitch Wars consists of my best writing friends to this day. If you’re serious about your writing, a mentorship is a great place to grow. With that said, let’s get down to business:
Is your story a good fit for me?
No stories where the dog dies at the end. Why are writers always killing dogs? Dear authors: STOP THE CARNAGE.
I write contemporary YA and MG, so I would probably be best at mentoring contemporary stories. While I hugely respect fantasy writers, I am not great at worldbuilding. You’re better off with another mentor.
My agent and I are both passionate about mental health representations in YA. If you have a book that portrays mental illness in a way that challenges stereotypes and brings authentic representation to the table, please send.
Family dynamics are fascinating and such a huge part of why people grow up to be the way they are. Show me a family that doesn’t fit any of the tropes I’ve seen before.
I love books that make me laugh out loud. Think Suzanne Selfors, R.A. Spratt, Meg Cabot.
If books can also make me cry, that’s even better. But I don’t like crying without laughing in the book somewhere. Authors who do that well are John Green and Whitney Taylor.
One of my friend’s books was so exciting that it made me late for my husband’s birthday dinner. Here’s an idea: if you make me late for someone’s birthday dinner because I can’t put your book down, I’ll just automatically pick you.
Am I a good fit for you?
While I can't guarantee you'll get an agent through this competition, I will tell you that my last two mentees are now agented for the books we worked on together. I'd love to go three for three - let's make that happen!
My experience with Pitch Wars gave me a good idea of what this type of mentorship program requires. I will help you every step of the way, from the “YIPPEE!” moment of being chosen to the “I can’t do this” of being in the middle of revisions. I’ll also be there to bite my nails with you during the agent round and to cheer again when you sign an agent (whether that happens soon after the agent round or not). I’ve been there, and I’ve felt it. In the sagely words of teenagers everywhere: I gotchu.
Speaking of teenagers, I have a degree in English education and teach as my day job. While this competition is a higher caliber than my classroom, I do have experience with meeting writers where they are, figuring out their strengths, and using their strengths to help overcome their weaknesses. That would be my plan of attack with your manuscript as well.
I have been in critique groups for a long time, and I have written multiple manuscripts for various levels of publishing. My debut into traditional publishing is currently slated for publication this fall (yay!). I have also done freelance work for magazines and written for publication in journals and newspapers. I’ve won prizes in multiple writing competitions. Writing is a huge part of my life, whether I like it or not. I’ve tried to give up and have been unsuccessful – it’s like writing is a part of my DNA. If that’s you, we could be a good team.
My editing style can be described as “sugar coated but not chocolate covered.” It does you no good for me to simply sit here and gush about how great you are. If that was all I did, I’d be a fan and not a mentor. What good is unsubstantive fluff?
I will tell you why your piece is working so well, that way you can continue with the things that are going great. I’ll be as specific as possible so you know exactly what’s fabulous. I may fangirl at some of your words, and IF THERE ARE CAPS INVOLVED IT’S BECAUSE I JUST LOVE IT THAT MUCH.
However, I will also tell you what’s not working and why. I would like to work with someone who can handle that and who can look at critique with an open mind. Your work is your own and you can do what you wish, but I would love to work with someone who is willing to operate under the same philosophy I used during Pitch Wars: "My mentor is here to help me, and I’m here to get better. I’m going to at least try everything she tells me, and I can always change it back later." Every time my Pitch Wars mentor asked me to change something I thought was questionable, I kept my originals in a separate folder.
Do you want to know what percent of my backed-up pieces made it into my final manuscript?
Even the times where I thought, “My mentor is for sure wrong on this one, but uggghhhh I’ll give it a try,” she ended up being right. While I can’t promise to be as smart as my Pitch Wars mentor (I know I'm not), I promise to do my best. I’ll work as hard as I can for you, so I do want someone who will at least give new advice a try. If it’s not working for your piece, feel free to abandon it.
I am offering a full-manuscript critique with multiple read-throughs. I plan to first give you an edit letter looking at larger-scale revisions, and I’ll do feedback with in-line comments when we get down to the nitty gritty. I’m also prepared to help you with your query package.
I’m excited to see your submissions! Thanks for visiting my page, and good luck!