Write Mentor 2019
I’m overjoyed to be a mentor for Write Mentor 2020!
Having survived an incredible debut year I'm back as a mentor in 2020 to spur other budding writers on to clutching their first deal. My debut came out in January 2019 and I had the most amazing year, and I'd love to see someone else benefit from all the stuff I learnt. I wish I’d heard about WriteMentor on my journey to submitting Whiteout – as someone who has no formal creative writing training (and barely finished school!), the experience would have been invaluable. I’m looking forward to developing other new writers, and helping them towards breaking into the publishing world.
What I’m offering
I’m offering to support a mentee with a submission package of a query, three chapters and synopsis. I’ll use tracked changes and comments to give feedback, as well as providing detailed written feedback. I’m happy to reread my mentee’s manuscript and offer additional feedback after edits. I’m so excited to see what gets sent in my direction!
I’ve always written, since as far back as I can remember, although it was only recently that I gathered the courage to send any of my creations away. Polly Nolan at Greenhouse Literary took me under her wing, brokered my deal with Stripes, and set me off on this incredible journey. Whiteout is in bookshops now (the most surreal experience!) and I’ve lots of exciting events and appearances this year, plus working on a second book – it has been the best experience ever!
And I’d love others to experience it too.
What I’m looking for:
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, having grown up on a diet of King, Herbert, and Laymon, and I’d love to see some YA horror. For me, whether its fantasy, horror, sci fi, or dystopian fiction, the key is that I really care about the characters, right from the off.
Other stuff that might influence mentees:
I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones (I might cry when it ends!) and I loved Buffy back in the 90’s, The Dark Knight trilogy, early The Walking Dead, and I don’t always go for a happy ending! I loved Stig Larson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, and do veer towards darker themes and characters. Musically I’m forever stuck in the period of nineties Grunge, but I love a bit of rock. I’ve surfed since I was little, and love being outside, travelling, preferably by the sea or somewhere cold and snowy. And obviously I love to take a book with me wherever I go!
I’ll try and make my feedback style as detailed and honest as I can. My agent is an amazing editor, and she's also very honest, and as hard as it is to hear bad stuff I’m a big believer that honesty is the best way, and sometimes you have to pull things apart to make them the best they can be! But I'll also give plenty of praise and share things I'm really excited about, and champion your work until we get it ready to where it needs to be. I’m happy to tailor my feedback to elements a mentee would like to focus on, and will also advise on voice, characterisation, plot and other things that come up.
Thank you so much for reading my post! I’m excited to help someone on their journey towards publication and hope that you might like to work with me.
If you have any questions, feel free to find me on Twitter (@gabrieldylanYA) or comment below.