7 Here is the list of our 50 wonderful mentors for the 2020 WriteMentor programme. If you click on the mentors name in the table below, you should be taken to their blog post on their website which goes into more detail.* If you click on their Twitter Handle, it will take you there. Do follow our mentors, however do not send uninvited DMs. We will organise times on Twitter to interact with and chat to the mentors. *please note that not all authors have done this yet, so do be patient – the sub window is in April, and they will be done well in advance of this. We just wanted to give you an idea at this stage. ** please also note the table below doesn’t look great on mobile, so best to view on your computer.
Name Twitter Handle Full or Partial Age Group Genres What they’re looking for – 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 Gold @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 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 Close friendships A real world setting with an unexpected or magical twist Well-researched historical settings Loveable troublemakers Complicated villains Ghosts and witches Time-slip mischief 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 Northern places 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
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. I totally believe #ownvoices narratives tell their stories better, and would love to see #ownvoices outside contemporary writing: historical, mystery, thriller etc – and the same for LGBTQ+ – where the representation is part of an exciting or thought-provoking story. I want stories with high stakes, and emotional impact that will move me, but nothing slushily sentimental.
Eden Endfield @edenendfield 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.
George Jreije and Sabrina Prestes @ByGeorgeJreije @destaciax B. full manuscript YA SFF and Thrillers Something inventive, character driven, and with a strong voice. Diverse narratives are especially important to me, and having a strong message or social commentary is a plus.
Amy Beashel @BeashelWrites 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 Nicole Brake @Atomic_Pixie @NicoleAlana B. full manuscript – co-mentoring 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. 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.
Meagan Dallner @PowerMeagan A. submission package/partial MG Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Mystery, Historical, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Dystopian, or Humour If your story has STEM elements, I want it!  Any genre (prefer Upper MG). I definitely lean toward Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Mystery but also can’t wait to be surprised by submissions across the board.
GERARDO DELGADILLO @gero_delgadillo B. full manuscript YA Contemporary Fun YA contemporary with lots of heart
Heather Powell Jen Griswell @heatherlpowell @griswellj B. full manuscript – co-mentoring 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.
Deborah Maroulis @yaddathree B. full manuscript YA contemporary, romance, magical realism, historical A good story with well-crafted writing. I love humor, especially when it pairs with swoony romance and epic heartbreak. I tend to write darker contemporary, so don’t be afraid to send me something along those lines. Bonus if you can work in mythology.
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.
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 B. full manuscript 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.