Hello pals! Please read the following in your best summer blockbuster voice.
This summer, I will embark on a journey far beyond any I’ve attempted. I will undertake a quest for the perfect companion and together we will go boldly where we have never gone before. I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I will be taking part in #WriteMentor 2019, helping a pre-agented writer through the weird and wonderful process of getting their book ready for querying. Maybe you are that writer! Hello, you. Have you done something different to your hair? It looks fantastic.
Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to work with me for four months, polishing up your story, unearthing its gems, finding its heart.
What I’m looking for…
I’m looking to mentor writers who are working on either a Young Adult or a Middle Grade book. I’m happy to look at books of any genre, which I know isn’t especially helpful when you’re trying to decide whether your book will be a good fit for me. So, in an endeavour to be helpful, here are a few things that I love, across any genre:
- Stories that combine big adventures with small, beautiful moments.
- Characters who feel familiar, but who still have the power to surprise me.
- Complicated, loveable villains.
- Prickly heroes.
- Real world magic.
- Literally anything involving a big, old house.
- Girls supporting girls.
- Fun twists on classic ideas.
- A good dash of darkness, despite being a massive wimp.
- Strong voice/style.
- Books that make me laugh.
- Books that make me cry.
- Books that make me do both of the above.
This isn’t a shopping list, and I’m not expecting your book to check off all of these things. Although, if it does, we are probably mentoring soulmates and you should get in touch. I’m very greedy when it comes to books. I’d love to read yours.
I’m looking for someone who is ready to put in the work on their story. That means that you already have a draft we can start working on, no matter how rough, and that you are open to being flexible and considering feedback.
What I’m bringing to the table…
You can read all about my journey to signing with my agent here.
If you’d rather have the Cliff’s Notes:
I’ve been writing novels for around four years. In 2016, I was shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel award for my YA paranormal romance, the Waiting Room. This led to me signing with my agent, Sophie, at MBA. The Waiting Room went through an extensive redrafting process, which involved smashing up the entire third act and putting it back together in an infinitely better way that I would never have seen if it weren’t for my brilliant agent and mentor. We went out on submission with the Waiting Room and got lots of lovely feedback, but ultimately no bites. Them’s the breaks. I’m now working on the second draft of a Middle Grade adventure novel.
Other than my experience, I promise to bring bagloads of enthusiasm and all the creativity I can gather. Also snacks, if you are in my vicinity. Probably no snacks if you are not. I promise to love your book with all of my little heart.
Writing is bloody hard, pals, and it’s bloody scary. I promise never to forget that. I’ll be helping you to make your story as brilliant as it possibly can be. I promise to be unflinchingly honest and as helpful as I can, but I also promise that your story stays yours. I will make suggestions and offer advice but you get final say, always.
I’m looking for someone who is ready to put in the work that their story demands. Four months is both a long time and a devastatingly short time. There will probably be times when it gets hard. I’ve been there, I know how terrifying it is to open yourself and your story up to someone else. But I could never have imagined how much fun it is to write alongside someone, how utterly magic it feels when they start to see what you see, how your emails increasingly fill with capital letters and exclamation marks as your book begins to emerge. I can’t promise it won’t be weird and scary and difficult at times. But I can promise you that we’ll do it together and that we’ll have fun.