This year, we’re co-mentoring! We live and breathe the contemporary YA world. We were signed to agents from contest entries (after receiving multiple offers), and know how to polish an entry so it shines like a diamond among the slush. For the last 3+ years, we’ve had our eye on the YA publishing market to know what types of manuscripts agents are looking for and what is selling to publishers. We will work hard to make your entry stand out in the agent round!
A writer who is ready to take the next step in their career. Someone who has passion and drive, who isn’t afraid to kill their darlings, and is ready to revise (maybe even heavily) to nab the agent of their dreams. Young Adult fiction only.
We’ll be working collaboratively, but here are some of our personal interests and favorites:
-High concept premises*
-Strong friendships or family relationships
-Diverse characters and diverse authors (see the We Need Diverse Books site )
-Unique settings or time periods
-Upending tropes (make a common premise fresh)
-Characters who are skilled at or passionate — sports, arts, sciences, etc. Teens who have their own interests and goals, even if the goals are thwarted (and they should be = conflict!)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – the sweeter side of YA that’s fresh, funny, and heartwarming
Just One Day by Gayle Forman – beautiful writing, self discovery, rich locale, deep family issues
Past Perfect by Leila Sales – forbidden romance set at waring historical re-enactment camps!
Deception So Deadly: Run to You by Clara Kensie – fast paced YA suspense
Tiny Pretty Things by Sonia Charaipotya and Dhonielle Clayton – multi-POV, high-stakes ballet academy with a diverse character cast
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma – complicated sister relationship, gorgeous writing, magical realism
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – world travel, art meets fantasy, escapist adventure
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – survivalist to the core. Gripping pacing.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – on-the-run girls disguised as cowboys on the historic Oregon trail!
Every Day by David Levithan – inventive and inspiring
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – This book has everything: deserted pageant contestants, wicked satire, on-fire feminism. Volcano lairs, Lady Bird Hope, taxidermied sidekicks.
– Heart-wrenching contemporaries with high stakes
– Real teens dealing with real issues
– Unconventional families (especially blue collar)
– Diverse characters
– Twisty turny psycho thrillers
Books I’m a fan of:
Anything by Sara Zarr, especially How to Save a Life and Story of a Girl
A.S. King’s Reality Boy and Please Ignore Vera Dietz
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
On the paranormal side, vampires and witches aren’t quite my thing, but I’m a huge fan of Maggie Steifvater’s The Raven Cycle series.
Anything that blends folklore, mythology, faerie tales with modern themes.
Our editing style:
The focus will be developmental. This means big picture edits–plot, character development, pacing. While we may comment on word choice, grammar, or specific details, this isn’t meant to be a line edit. Most of all, we want to help a writer craft their best story using their voice. It’s not about us imposing our writer voice on someone else. We want to help your entry stand out in not only the contest and agent round, but among published stories.
If the Linky below does not work, here’s the full mentor bio blog list.