Here is the list of our 50 wonderful mentors for the 2020 WriteMentor programme.
|Name||Twitter Handle||Full or Partial||Age Group||Genres||Short mentor ‘wishlist’ of what you’d like people to send you – full blog post linked on mentor name|
|Donna David||@DonnaMDavid||B. full manuscript||Picture books||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Funny, character led, quirky, original, unusual.|
|Skylaar Amann||@skylaara||B. full manuscript||Picture books||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I am pretty open as picture book genres are kind of fuzzy. I particularly love nature and science inspired stories, animals, humor, magic, and general weirdness. As an illustrator, I’m always open to working with an author/illustrator too.|
|Jon Cox||@joncox17||B. full manuscript||Picture books||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’d prefer to see relatively ‘finished’ texts, though am happy to offer feedback on ideas too. I’d be happy to help work on up to three stories.|
|Catherine Emmett||@Emmett_cath||B. full manuscript||Picture books||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||With PBs I feel that the most important element is to have a USP to catch the eye of an agent or publisher. I’d love to work with someone who isn’t too focussed on just one text, someone who understands that sometimes your first ideas perhaps aren’t original enough and that the key is to finding that brilliant new idea. I feel I could best help writers looking to focus on rhyming texts.|
|Carolyn Ward||@Viking_Ma||B. full manuscript||Chapter books, MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||This year I am looking for hooky, amazing stories that are either CB or MG, in any genre. I know how tough publishing is, so the book(s) I pick for full editing support have got to be different and fresh, with a strong voices. We have three full months to work together, so rawness is not going to put me off. If you want an experienced mentor that is blunt yet adorable, make 2020 your year, and sub to me.|
|Helen Harvey||@hellionharvey||B. full manuscript||Chapter books, MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I have a soft spot for witches, mysteries, video games and genre-defying tales, but more than anything, I want to mentor a book with a strong voice and a real insight into what it’s like to be a child or young person.|
|Emma Finlayson-Palmer||@FinlaysonPalmer||B. full manuscript||Chapter books, MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Everything! I want all the stories! Seriously though, I don’t know what I want until I see it and I’m always blown away by the variety that is sent to me. Some of my favourite stories are things like the Oliver Moon series, the Worst Witch, Amelia Fang, anything by Neil Gaiman, Ready. Player. One, and many, many more.|
|Jonathan Eyers||@EyersJonathan||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Action/Adventure||I have eclectic tastes so would love to be grabbed by something completely unexpected, but would also particularly like to hear from writers working on any of the following:|
– a high concept science fiction or fantasy story (real-world or otherwise) with an original and irresistible hook;
– a historical adventure set in a period we haven’t really seen before, or which shines a new light on a period we think we know all about;
– a contemporary story that tackles injustice, big or small;
– a mystery featuring a sparkling, engaging young detective (or duo, or team).
|Hannah Kates||@HannahKates1||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism||Send me your dark, spooky, creepies, and crawlies. As a horror and dark fantasy author, I want your murderers, twisted fairy tales, and non-sparkly vampires. I’m always looking for beautiful writing and strong voice. If you’ve got either of those (any genre), send them my way. I want stories that keep me up at night—gut-punches that leave me with a one-liner like Carmilla in CASTLEVANIA (S2e6). I’d take a standout YA, but I tend to gravitate toward MG and upper-MG. I eagerly welcome STEM, #ownvoice, and LGBTQ+ entries.|
|Hannah||@HGold_Author||A. submission package/partial||MG||Action/Adventure||To add to the above – anything with animals too! Initially I’d love to see an outline and a letter from the author telling me about their history to this point and what they feel they need help on.|
|Ellie Lock||@ellielockx||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Just send me your book baby, we can discuss the rest later.|
|Alex English||alexthepink||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Historical, Mystery, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’d love to see younger middle-grade with plenty of action, a touch of humour and maybe a fantastical or historical flavour, like THE LAND OF ROAR, THE GIRL WHO STOLE AN ELEPHANT or THE POLAR BEAR EXPLORERS CLUB.|
|Lisette Auton||@lisette_auton||A. submission package/partial||MG||Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Magical Realism, Action/Adventure||Sorry being silly, in terms of style/genre? If so:|
Something character driven with heart. Magical realism/adventure twist. Thrilling plot but character led. Rollicking adventure. Friendship. A book to change the world and hearts, one reader at a time. Lyrical, beautiful writing.In terms of help wanted:
I’d love to see the absolute best you can make it, and maybe know areas you’d love to make it sing even more. To have areas to focus on. To build an awesome submission package, to be willing to work together at whatever pace you need.
|Jenni Spangler||@jennispangler1||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Things I love in a story:|
A very active protagonist – I love to feel like they’re pushing the story along, rather than things just happening to them
A real world setting with an unexpected or magical twist
Well-researched historical settings
Ghosts and witches
I’d love to see a middle grade with a fun mix of investigation and adventure – something that makes me feel like I felt as a kid watching X Files and Dr Who
Big laughs (though not a big fan of toilet humour)
A happy ending, or at least a hopeful one
Kids with disabilities as the hero – not necessarily in a story about their disability
A really distinct narrator voiceI don’t expect any story to have all of those but if you think your book has three or four things from my wishlist I probably want to read it!
|Mandy Rabin||@mandyrabin||B. full manuscript||MG||Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Humour/Funny, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’m looking for potential rather than perfection – a novel for 9-12 year-olds with great heart, a great voice or great wit, combined with an original idea.|
|Joan Haig||joan_md_haig||B. full manuscript||MG||Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Magical Realism, Action/Adventure||Real-world settings, sprinkles of magic, contemporary or historical, animal characters, a plot twist/surprise/mystery|
|Sophie Kirtley||@KirtleySophie||A. submission package/partial||MG||Historical, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’d love an adventuresome historical story with protagonists who make me whoop with joy and villains who make me tremble in terror.|
|Lindsay Galvin||@lindsaygalvin||A. submission package/partial||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Upper MG preferred. Any new twists on historical, environmental themes, found family, animals, emotional connection, imaginative settings…sweep me away!|
|Lu Hersey||@LuWrites||A. submission package/partial||MG||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Action/Adventure||I’d like people to send their first three chapters and a synopsis. This is what agents look at (mostly) so I want to help someone make their submission really stand out.|
|A.J. Sass||@matokah||B. full manuscript||MG, YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel||This year, I’m fairly flexible on what I’d like to mentor in terms of age category and genre. What I really want to see more than anything are stories that highlight marginalized characters and their experiences. This could be in a futuristic or fantasy setting, or something more contemporary. It could be an eery ghost story, queer vampires, or contemporary middle or high school kids just living their lives. It definitely doesn’t have to be an issues book (although I adore those too), but I would love to see POC, queer, disabled/neurodiverse, or religious minority perspectives across genres, ideally written by #ownvoices writers. (NB, I do not expect anyone to reveal anything about their identities they’re not comfortable sharing.)|
|Lydia Massiah||@lydia_massiah||A. submission package/partial||MG, YA||Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||My wish-list|
Historical, Thriller, Adventure, Mystery, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel…
YA or Teen – the upper end of the MG market suits me best – about 12+What I’m looking for is an original and engaging concept! Yes, of course good writing is important, but a really hooky idea, which draws me straight into your story is what I really want to read.
Genre-crossing narratives are brilliant especially something with a little magic and mystery in the mix, but I like my stories believable, even if they’re fantastical, in well-realised, amazing settings. I like exciting plots with adventure and thrill, which might have historical settings or contemporary ones, which play with dual narratives, or interesting timelines. Obviously I want a character who draws me in, but I like complexity: heroes who have serious flaws and make mistakes, and antagonists who could be heroes. (I really dislike stereotypical villains.) I like stories which are thought-provoking, which make me re-examine the way I see the world, or show me unique insights into unfamiliar lives and places.
|Eden Endfield||edenendfield.com||A. submission package/partial||MG, YA||Contemporary, Mystery||A contemporary YA or a MG mystery but open minded|
|Jodi Herlick||@JodiHerlick||B. full manuscript||MG, YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||The biggest selling point for me is a strong voice, whether it be lyrical or funny and engaging. Regardless of genre, I’m looking for an emotional connection to the story and the characters. I love a story that draws me in and makes me laugh and cry. I’m a sucker for happy endings and stories that always have a thread of hope even in the midst of darkness.|
|Marisa Noelle||MarisaNoelle77||A. submission package/partial||MG, YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’m not so great with high fantasy, although I’m willing to give it a shot, but there are a couple of other mentors that might be a better fit for that. I want all the urban fantasy, all the Greek mythology, all the dystopian, all the vampires and werewolves and witches and zombies and fairies and dragons and griffons and unicorns and any other magical creatures. Horror! Bring me all the murder and the ghosts and the creepy settings. Make me jump, scare me into nightmares – I dare you! Fairy tales & re-tellings – make ’em dark and creepy! I’m so there!|
|Olivia Levez||@livilev||B. full manuscript||MG, YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Strong voice, anything with a Black Mirror vibe,|
|Tasha Harrison||@TashaHarrison_||B. full manuscript||MG, YA||Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’m pretty much open to anything, but if it’s got heart and humour in it too (regardless of genre) then all the better!|
|Julie Marney Leigh||@jules_leigh||A. submission package/partial||MG, YA||Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’m looking for a striking concept that hooks me in immediately. If it’s coupled with a strong voice and interesting characters that grab me and make me have to read more, then that’s even better.|
|Kereen Getten||Kezywrites||A. submission package/partial||MG, YA||Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Magical Realism, Action/Adventure||I am looking for character driven stories. Characters that you can relate to who live ordinary lives but do extraordinary things. They don’t have to be likeable they just need to be relatable. Particularly looking for underrepresented writers with stories we don’t see enough of.|
|Amy Beashelemail@example.com||B. full manuscript||YA||Contemporary, Romance||Contemporary YA. I love a strong romance (eg the soon to be published The Falling In Love Montage) and social issues (eg And the Stars Were Burning Brightly). I LOVE lyrical writing, language that will excite or move me.|
|Melissa Welliver||@melliver||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I write speculative fiction, so I will devour anything sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian or with a touch of magical realism! I also did a history degree so anything historical or contemporary would suit me too. I have eclectic taste!|
|Anna Britton||@BrittonBookGeek||A. submission package/partial||YA||Contemporary, Romance, Humour/Funny, Magical Realism||My stories are all very much character driven, so I would love to see protagonists (and antagonists!) who are beautifully fleshed out and explored. I love something a bit gritty, so don’t be afraid of throwing big issues at me. In particular, I would love to work on a story with neurodiverse characters and/or young people living with mental illness.|
|Sarah Daniels||@SarahDan_Writes||B. full manuscript||YA||Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Crime, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I love dystopia, near-future sci fi, alternate history, ghost stories. I love when writers mess with genre. I love retellings.|
|Gabriel Dylan||gabrieldylanYA||A. submission package/partial||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||
I love YA fiction, I find the pace and concepts really exciting, and I’d like to mentor someone who writes for this audience. I specialise in horror, fantasy thrillers, and I love anything with a dark, contemporary twist and believable characters.
Probably best to answer this by listing some of my favourite YA novels! I love Neal Schusterman’s writing, such as Scythe, Thunderhead, and Unwind, and I’d be keen to see any dystopian YA. Similarly, I really enjoyed Sally Green’s Half Bad trilogy, so any magical fantasy with a dark feel would be great. I’ve also recently enjoyed Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy, so anything in the sci fi genre would be great. I’m a HUGE horror fan too so if the next YA Stephen King or CJ Tudor is out there send it my way!
|Kristin Jacques||@Krazydiamond07||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I would love authors to send me their weird and wondrous tales. I am open to pretty much anything that falls under the speculative umbrella, but the stranger the better. Give me your new horizons. Give me your bizarre creatures. Give me twisted visions. Absolutely open to LGBTQ storylines, complicated family bonds, and morally defunct protagonists.|
|Destinee Schriner||@winkchii||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance||I love everything romance, so bring it my way! I adore HEAs or I’ll settle for happily ever for now. I’m a sucker for a fantasy that keeps me guessing. Unfortunately, I am not the right person for high fantasy. You’ve got me if you have a swoony fantasy romance. My ultimate would be a queer fantasy romance. As bisexual, I would adore to have all the queer romance, contemporary or fantasy. But no matter what you send me make sure it has romance! Did I mention I love romance? I did? Great, haha.|
|Kathryn Kettle||klkettle||A. submission package/partial||YA||Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||Compelling stories that push and challenge perspectives, expectations and play with genre, style and form in ways that surprise. Stories which ask questions and come from strange places and hold up a mirror to our world.|
|Claire Winn||@Atomic_Pixie||B. full manuscript – co-mentoring (w/ Nicole Brake)||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Thriller, Dystopian, Paranormal, Action/Adventure||Nicole and I would love to critique character-driven science fiction and fantasy with fresh world-building and exciting plot twists, or a unique and fast-paced contemporary. We both love powerful female leads with agency and flaws. I’m personally a fan of diverse ensemble casts, high-chemistry romance (as a supplement to the main plot), cyberpunk, assassins, high-seas adventure, virtual reality, court intrigue, snarky banter, ancient mysteries, and dark fantasy. Stories featuring LGBTQ+ characters and #OwnVoices representation are encouraged! Stories that AREN’T for me include excessive horror/gore, anything based on the Cold War era or WWI/WWII, or weak/passive protagonists.|
|Nicole Brake||@NicoleAlana||B. full manuscript – co-mentoring with Claire Winn||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Historical, Dystopian, Paranormal, Action/Adventure||Claire and I are both fans of character-driven stories with world building that feels fresh and exciting. I would love to see a submission that blends a compelling fantasy with a romance I won’t forget. I can’t get enough of complex female characters who drive stories forward with their agency (bonus points for witty dialogue). Some of my interest include (but aren’t limited to): new takes on magic, adventure stories that are packed with plot twists, atmospheric settings, mystery, compelling villains & antiheroes, and if it could be comp’d to Guillermo Del Toro I will absolutely be begging for more.|
|GERARDO DELGADILLO||@gero_delgadillo||B. full manuscript||YA||Contemporary||Fun YA contemporary with lots of heart|
|Heather Powell||@heatherlpowell||B. full manuscript – co-mentoring with Jennifer Griswell||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||My co-mentor and I are open to lots of subgenres in YA, but would prefer that every manuscript we receive have either a little or a lot of romance somewhere between the pages.|
|Jen Griswell||@griswellj||B. full manuscript – co-mentoring with Heather Powell||YA||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Humour/Funny, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||My co-metor and I are open to lots of subgenres in Young Adult, especially if there’s a touch of romance 🙂|
|Louisa Reid||@louisareid||B. full manuscript||YA||Contemporary||Contemporary novels; page turners; verse novels; social realism|
|Alice Broadway||@alicecrumbs||A. submission package/partial||YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Paranormal, Magical Realism||I love creepy worlds, great characters and lyrical writing. Always interested in an intriguing or unusual concept.|
|Brandy Woods Snow||@brandy_snow||B. full manuscript||YA||Contemporary, Romance||Swoony YA romance that give me all the feels; single POV and dual POV are okay by me; emotional contemporary that’s not afraid to deal with hard issues with levity, gut-wrenching feels, and maybe even a touch of humor. Immersive settings that pull me into the story. Extra points if the Southern US or a beach is involved. Witty, quick-witted banter a plus.|
|Jennifer Bromham||@JennyBromham||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, Dystopian, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel||Whilst I’m drawn to books containing a twist of magic, myth or the paranormal, the main thing I look for is heart: journeys of self-discovery, friendship/romance, courage and, above all, hope.|
|Anna Mainwaring||@Anna_Mainwaring||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Thriller, Paranormal||I’d love to see a fresh fantasy with great characters, plot and dialogue or contemporary with a strong voice.|
|KC Karr||kacimari||B. full manuscript||YA||Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopian, Paranormal, Magical Realism, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure||I’m pretty open to genres this year. I want something that will make me laugh or cry, with an unforgettable voice that I can’t put down. Give me diverse casts and places I’ve never been before. I want a manuscript (and a writer) that isn’t afraid to take risks.|
|Lee VanBrakle||@LVanBrakle||A. submission package/partial||YA||Contemporary||I want to see all the YA contemporary manuscripts. The more diverse the better. Projects that are ownvoices are especially wanted.|
|Kimberly Wisnewski||@kimothywish||B. full manuscript||YA||Contemporary, Dystopian, Humour/Funny, Magical Realism||I love anything with heart, humor, and a voice that captures me and won’t let go. I’m fine with tough topics, as long as they’re handled with care and aren’t used solely as plot devices. Books told in unique formats are my jam, particularly multi-POV, asynchronous timelines, mixed-media formats, unreliable narrators… In particular, I’d love something with a fresh insight, something that captures that excitement of teenagers’ first experiences with growing up. I love lyrical writing that stops me in my tracks and makes me wish I’d written that line myself.|
I’m not the best fit for high fantasy or sci-fi, but I’m good with magical and/or speculative elements.
|Cynthia Murphy||@onetiredwriter||A. submission package/partial||YA||Thriller, Horror, Paranormal||I would love to read somehting so frighteningly well-written that I am scared to go to sleep…something that makes me look over my shoulder on a dark night or triple check the doors before I go to bed. I’d love to find something darkly magical, witchy, or teen-thrillery. Recent favourites have been the Stripes Red Eye series (FROZEN CHARLOTTE, THE HUNTING) and anything by Sue Wallman or Karen McManus.|