As a published author, successful mentor, long-time member of critique groups, and with an MFA in Creative Writing, I’ve read literally tens of thousands of manuscript pages and learned how to:
- See the big picture
- Spot issues in plot or character arc, especially the emotional development of the MC
- Articulate why elements need work
- Brainstorm how to improve the manuscript
Books I’ve worked on have received starred reviews, been on many Best Of lists, and even a couple Newbery Award prediction lists! My own books also have received starred reviews as well as: named an Indies Introduce New Voice and a Kids Indie Next pick; nominated for Readers Choice state lists in LA and MN; and included in several Best Of lists.
I’m a very interactive editor and prefer to discuss your idea or manuscript via online chat or phone. I follow up with emailed notes, but I first like to talk about things IRL to be sure we’re on the same page, the changes I suggest make sense, and are in line with your vision for your book. My goal is to draw out the very best of what you want for your book.
My experience primarily is with middle grade and young adult fiction, kidlit memoir, and graphic novels though I do read adult fiction in romance, thriller, and sci-fi.
I’m excited for you and your journey as a writer, and I would love to help you take steps ahead to reach the next level. Happy writing!
- Indies Introduce New Voices (American Booksellers Association)
- Kids Indie Next List (American Booksellers Association)
- Blue Ribbon winner as a Best Book of 2014 (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
- Starred reviews from Booklist and BCCB
- Louisiana Young Readers Choice nominee, 2020-2021
- Minnesota Youth Reading Awards nominee, 2021-2022
- MFA, UNC Wilmington
- Certificate in Applied Mythology, Pacifica Graduate Institute
- School of Rocks: Minerals, Fossils, Meteorites With Yinan Wang, Atlas Obscura
- Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma, National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
- Close Encounters: Tracing the History of UFOs With Greg Eghigian, Atlas Obscura
- Working with the Fear of Rejection, NICABM
- Working with a Client’s Emotional Triggers, NICABM
- The Trauma of Racism, NICABM
In 2013, upon the sale of my debut novel, I began working with ABRAMS/Amulet, publisher of my follow-up novel as well. During this time I also taught numerous workshops on plotting one's novel, coached authors in developing projects and planning revisions, and extended my manuscript services to a wide variety of genres for assessment and editing.
As part of the Great Smokies Writing Program, I co-teach a 5- and 10-week workshop, Heart of the Story: Writing for Children and Young Adults. In this course, we review the fundamentals of good storytelling and workshop student pages.
Writing in the Margins
Writing in the Margins was a mentoring opportunity organized by Justina Ireland to support writers of color and others from marginalized communities. I worked with two mentees, one of whom has two novels published that we worked on during our time together.
Pitch Wars was a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns chose one writer each to spend three months revising their manuscript. It ended with an Agent Showcase, where agents read a pitch/first page and requested to read more. I mentored eight writers, with several published and forthcoming novels as a result.
SCBWI Carolinas hosted a four-month mentoring program which focused on developing fundamentals of writing and storytelling. I worked with six writers in four years, in a system of monthly packets due, including reading and writing assignments.
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