#WriteMentor Spark ⚡️ Mentors

AJ Sass – MG/YA

Contemporary, OwnVoices (specifically gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, and neurodiversity), LGBTQIA+,
Speculative, Romance, Horror/Ghost, Sci-Fi, Historical

AJ Sass is a fiction-writing figure skater, inclined toward adventures of a traveling nature. He is autistic, non-binary, and keen on exploring how gender identity and neurodiversity impact character narratives.

An avid figure skater, AJ is a U.S. Figure Skating double gold medalist in Moves and Free Skate, a silver medalist in Ice Dance, and a member of the 2018 national bronze medalist Masters synchronized skating team, IceSymmetrics.

AJ grew up in the Midwest, came of age in the South, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his boyfriend and two cats who act like dogs.

AJ is represented by Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. and was a mentee in the 2018 #WriteMentor programme.

Twitter: matokah

Instagram: matokah

Facebook: AuthorAJ

Website: sassinsf.com

AM Dassu – MG/YA

Contemporary, Historical, OwnVoices

A M Dassu is a magistrate and a freelance writer. Her first piece for The Huffington Post, for whom she was a featured writer, was published on the front-page, alongside Barack Obama and Lenny Henry. She is the Deputy Editor for Words & Pictures, the magazine for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, British Isles.

A M Dassu’s previous work experience includes project management, marketing and editorial work at Reader’s Digest. In January 2017, she won the international We Need Diverse Books YA mentorship award. She knows from experience how valuable support from someone in publishing can be and how it can help a writer to submit their work with more confidence.

A M Dassu writes contemporary upper middle grade novels and likes nothing better than the thrill of completing a first draft. She has edited and critiqued full manuscripts for multi-published MG & YA children’s writers and also numerous query packages for unagented writers.

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency Inc. You can find her on Twitter @a_reflective and Instagram @a.m.dassu

Carolyn Ward – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, STEM, LGBTQIA+, OwnVoices, Speculative, Crime/Mystery, Funny/Humorous

Carolyn Ward writes MG and is represented by Chloe Seager of Northbank Talent. Living near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, Carolyn has an English degree and works in retail.

She became a mentor in Write Mentor’s first year, working closely with three talented writers and enjoying every second. She went on to develop her editing skills and now freelances for Bamboo Editing.

Three years ago she co-founded a local writing group based in a community pub and is also on YouTube as half of the Word Witches writer support duo. Between the MG edits she writes flash fiction and can be found all over the internet and on LingoBites foreign language app.

In her spare time she runs a telephone reading group for lonely older people with the charity Independent Age.

For more look on Twitter for: @Viking_Ma, @bambooediting, @WitchesWord and @CarolynWardWriter on FB.

Search ‘Introducing Word Witches’ on YouTube.

To find out more about being a telephone volunteer check out the website IndependentAge.org

Chio Zoe – YA

Fantasy, Romance

Chio Zoe is a Young Adult Fantasy writer. Her debut novel To Cross a Blade amd Dagger placed her as a finalist in the Breakthrough Novel Awards. She is currently working on book 2 scheduled to be released in 2019. Chio studied Architecture and Fashion Design, yet has always loved writing. When she isn’t working on her debut series, she writes short stories on her website (chioojukwu.com).

Emma Finlayson-Palmer – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, LGBTQIA+, Speculative (Dystopian/Futuristic/Cli-Fi/Time-Travel etc), Crime/Mystery, Funny/Humorous

I’ve been writing for many years, with my first item published on CeeFax at the age of 8. Over the years I’ve had poems, flash fiction and short stories published in a variety of magazines, anthologies and online.

I mainly write MG and chapter books, but have written YA, with a love of Fantasy, humour, thrillers and contemporary fiction.

I am agented by Laura West of the David Higham agency, and I offer an editing and mentoring service via Wonder Writers. I run #ukteenchat, a writing chat on Twitter that primarily focuses on fiction that falls in that middle section between MG and YA, but it also crosses over into the two.

I’m a member of SCBWI and belong to numerous writing groups as I love the company and support network offered by other writers.

Emma Read – MG/YA

Contemporary, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, STEM, Speculative (Dystopian/Futuristic/Cli-Fi/Time-Travel etc), Funny/Humorous

Emma Read is the author of Milton the Mighty (Chicken House), which was shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award. She is represented by Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton.

She is keen to mentor writers of similarly young MG fiction, particularly funny stories, however she is also a YA and upper MG writer with experience in critiquing both those age groups.

Emma has completed courses in editing and polishing submission packages and was a mentor for the inaugural #WriteMentor programme.

Emma Smith Barton – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Historical, OwnVoices (specifically BAME and Mental Health), Funny/Humorous

Emma is the author of YA novel The Million Pieces of Neena Gill (July 2019, Penguin Random House). She is represented by Jo Unwin.

She has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Warwick University and a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University.

Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Mslexia and The Bristol Short Story Prize 2016.

Jodi Herlick – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Thriller/Action/Adventure, OwnVoices, Speculative, Crime/Mystery, Funny/Humorous

Jodi Herlick is a young adult fantasy author in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has an MFA in creative writing and has taught fiction writing and grammar to a variety of age groups, including kids, teens, and college students.

Her goal as a mentor is to provide feedback that is balanced, thorough, and actionable.

She is represented by Nicole Payne of Golden Wheat Literary.

Julie Marney Leigh – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, STEM, LGBTQIA+, OwnVoices, Speculative, Crime/Mystery, Funny/Humorous

Julie Marney Leigh writes contemporary novels for teens about fun, friendship and feminism. She grew up in Lancashire, and now lives in Scotland where she gained a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and fell in love with the city.

She lectured in English at the university for many years, as well as being a Director of the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School. More recently, she is an alumna of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course with Catherine Johnson.

She is represented by Chloe Seager at Northbank Talent Management.

Follow @jules_leigh for updates.

Kathryn Clark – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, Speculative

Kathryn has worked in a wallpaper shop and a call-centre; as an aromatherapist and a researcher. All that time she made up stories in her head, and one day she began to write them down. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published online, in writing magazines and anthologies.

She regularly edits, critiques and proofreads for fellow YA and MG writers, in a variety of genres. She is a writing mentor with #WriteMentor and Manuscription Magazine, and is a reader for a couple of writing competitions.

Kathryn has a degree in English Studies, and an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University. She was one of three co-editors of the 2016 course anthology. Works-in-progress include her second YA novel and a Middle Grade fantasy. She is represented by Gillie Russell at Aitken Alexander.

Website: www.kathrynclarkwriter.co.uk

Twitter: @KClarkwriter

Lindsay Galvin – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, STEM, LGBTQIA+, OwnVoices, Speculative, Crime/Mystery

Lindsay was lucky enough to be raised in a house of stories, music, and love of the sea. She left part of her heart underwater after living and working in Thailand where she spent hundreds of blissful hours scuba diving. Forced now to surface for breath, she lives in sight of the chillier Sussex sea with her husband and two sons. When she is not writing, she can be found reading, swimming or practicing yoga. She has a degree in English Language and Literature, is fascinated by psychology and the natural world, and teaches Science. Lindsay hadn’t written creatively since childhood until the idea for her debut novel The Secret Deep splashed into her mind, and now she’s hooked.

Lydia Massiah – MG/YA

Fantasy, Contemporary, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, Speculative (Dystopian/Futuristic/Cli-Fi/Time-Travel etc), Crime/Mystery

I studied English at Exeter College, Oxford, and afterwards trained to be an English teacher — with Philip Pullman as one of my tutors! For many years I taught at secondary level, though more recently I worked in a middle school. 

In 2016 I completed a Curtis Brown Writing for Children course online, but it was when I was selected as a Mentee for WriteMentor in 2018 that my luck changed. 

Now I’m fortunate enough to be represented by the super Jo Williamson, from Antony Harwood. My Teen novel is due to be published in February 2020. 

I write about everything I love: adventure, mystery and wonder, with threads of ancient history and folklore thrown in. Since 2017, I have also been running a SCBWI South West critique group for MG and YA writers. 

Twitter: @lydia_massiah

Marisa Noelle – YA

Fantasy, Horror/Ghost, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, STEM, OwnVoices (specifically Anxiety, OCD, depression), Speculative (Dystopian/Futuristic/Cli-Fi/Time-Travel etc), Crime/Mystery, Funny/Humorous

Marisa Noelle always has a story or two screaming to get out, but it wasn’t until she completed a few courses, including the acclaimed Curtis Brown Writing for Children, that she nabbed an agent here or there and her books began to get noticed.

Her debut, a YA sci-fi, comes out with WritePlan publishing late next summer. She has been long and short listed in a handful of competitions and was proud to be part of the UK WriteMentor program in its inception year.

She lives in the UK with her husband and three sons.

M. Dalto – YA


M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her bestselling debut novel, Two Thousand Years, was a 2016 Watty Award winner on Wattpad.com. She continues to volunteer her time as both a Wattpad Ambassador and a #WriteMentor mentor, where she hopes to engage, assist, and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

Twitter: @MDalto421
Instagram: @author.mdalto

Michelle Kenney – YA


Michelle is a firm believer in magic, and that ancient doorways to other worlds can still be found if we look hard enough. She is also a hopeless scribbleaholic and, when left to her own devices, likes nothing better than to dream up new fantasy worlds in the back of a dog-eared notebook. Doctors say they’re unlikely to find a cure any time soon.

In between scribbling, Michelle love reading, running, attempting to play gypsy-folk music and treasure-hunting on deserted beaches with her young dreamers-in-training.

Michelle holds a LLB (hons) degree, an APD in Public Relations and is an Accredited Practitioner with the CIPR (with whom she’s won awards for Magazine & PR work). But she is definitely happiest, curled up against a rainy window, with her nose in a book. 

Michelle is represented by Chloe Seager of Northbank Talent Management, and loves chatting all things book-related at https://www.facebook.com/BookofFireMK
Twitter: @mkenneypr and Instagram: @michken01. 

Book of Fire is the first in a new YALit Trilogy by HarperCollins HQ Digital. City of Dust, Book 2 is to be published 2nd October 2018 (digital) and 13th December 2018 (paperback). Watch this space for news of the final book coming 2019…

NM Browne – MG/YA

Fantasy, Thriller/Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Historical, Speculative, Funny/Humorous

Nicky Browne (N M Browne) has had a varied career. After a BA in Theology and Philosophy at New College, Oxford she completed a PGCE at King’s College, Cambridge, and taught briefly before taking an MBA from Manchester Business School. She worked for Shell International oil company in marketing for a few years, before beginning a career break from business which never got fixed. She published eight books for young children with Bloomsbury as Nicola Matthews, then nine novels for young adults as N M Browne, a tenth is due out this year with Kristell Ink. She has been long listed for the Carnegie twice as well as for other regional awards, but is yet to win. She has taught Creative Writing at Kingston, Manchester Metropolitan and Middlesex universities, the Arvon Foundation, The British Council and is currently working for Oxford University continuing education. She recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing.

Simon James Green – YA

Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Funny/Humorous

Simon is the author of YA novels Noah Can’t Even and Noah Could Never, both published by Scholastic, and optioned for TV by Urban Myth Films. His short story, Penguins, is part of the forthcoming Proud Book anthology from Stripes. Simon is also a screenwriter, with credits including Rules of Love for the BBC. He is represented by Skylark Literary.