(All YA genres except high fantasy)
Welcome #WriteMentor hopefuls! I’m Laura Wareck and I’m so excited to participate in #WriteMentor as a mentor for the first time. Thank you for entrusting me with your book baby and I can’t wait to read all of your gorgeous and amazing words!
A little bit about me…
I LOVE writing contests. So much so that I participated in two of them – WriteMentor and RevPit. Even now, I scour Twitter reading entries and teasers for writing mentor programs. I know firsthand how career and life-changing these programs can be. In 2019 I was you! A contest hopeful who was lucky enough to be chosen as a mentee in WriteMentor and then later in RevPit. These programs helped me advance and improve so much as a writer and storyteller. The collaboration and friendship of two awesome mentors and a lot of hard work writing and revising eventually helped me land an amazing agent. Currently I’m on submission with what would be my debut YA mystery novel.
Let’s do this!
I’m open to pretty much any YA genre, except high fantasy. While I enjoy reading it, I don’t think I’m the best person to mentor it (think stories with dragons, elves, etc). I love romantic subplots but probably am not the best fit for books where romance is the entire focus of the story.
Here are just a few things I’m interested in:
- Mysteries and thrillers – if your story has twists, suspense and nail-biting moments that make me desperately try and figure out what happened or whodunit, please send my way! I love teen detectives, murder mysteries, non-murder mysteries, creepy settings, morally gray protagonists, etc.
- Politics and political activism – I am here for all of your good trouble making teen activists! I enjoy issue books or anything that will make me see the world differently.
- Passionate, unapologetic and even bad-ass protagonists who aren’t afraid to be ambitious and unlikeable.
- Dystopians and alternate histories, or dystopian alternate histories (Think YA versions of Man in the High Castle, Handmaid’s Tale, etc.)
- Give me all of your snark, wit and banter. I love dry humor in real life and even more in stories.
- Historical fiction/historical fiction mysteries
- Paranormal or speculative elements – anything with witches, magic, ghosts, special powers, hauntings, etc.
- Enemies/rivals to lovers
- Feminist themes
- Stories by marginalized authors / underrepresented voices
- stories that feature unique hobbies or passionate interests (sports, journalism, debate club, photography, etc.)
- Upper YA or a YA set in college
Some things I’m not the best fit for:
- Dead or suffering animals (Even now I can’t watch Homeward Bound or read Where the Red Fern Grows without bawling)
- Suicide as the main plot point
- Terminal illness
A few favorite reads include:
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
- The Inheritance Games
- The Cousins
- This is My America
- War and Speech
- Throwaway Girls
- Your Own Worst Enemy
- Dear Rachel Maddow
- Orphan Monster Spy
- Heretics Anonymous
- Little White Lies
- Iron Cast
What I’m looking for in a mentee:
- Excited and hardworking – I want a mentee who is enthusiastic and excited to participate in WriteMentor, who is serious about their craft and who wants to make their story the very best it can be. But I also know balance is important! The publishing industry is challenging and it’s crucial to savor and celebrate the wins – no matter how big or small. Writing is important, but so is taking the time for mental, physical and emotional health.
- Openness to revisions! I rewrote most of my entire manuscript TWICE during WriteMentor and did another two rounds of extensive revisions during RevPit. Some of the revisions were necessary to fix all the new problems I created. Revision (unfortunately) is not a linear line up to amazing. The dips, curves and struggles are so worth it in the end though! I will be here to bounce ideas off of and to talk through questions.
- A willingness to collaborate and brainstorm! Brainstorming is fun and some of my best ideas for stories and plot twists have come from brainstorming with my circle of writing friends.
My Mentoring Style:
My strengths are big picture edits and revisions that help authors achieve the best vision for their book. I’ll work with my mentee to make sure they can implement their vision of their story, not mine or someone else’s vision. Oftentimes editors, mentors and critique partners can pinpoint a problem, but ultimately it is up to the author to find the solution that works best for their story. That’s where the fun brainstorming can come in! I edit often for work and as a critique partner, and I’m both straightforward and positive. I believe it’s just as important that authors know what is working in their stories as what isn’t.
My style is very collaborative. I’ll work hard to help you enhance your craft, your story and to come up with creative solutions to issues related to plot, character, pacing, etc. I remember how excited (and nervous) I was to receive my first edit letter. My mentee will receive a manuscript edit letter from me that they can read and react too. After that letter, we will have a discussion and form a revision plan. In addition, I will review and provide feedback on my mentee’s query letter and synopsis prior to the agent showcase.
I’m open to a variety of communication styles and mechanisms. I’m up for email, zoom meetings, or even weekly check-ins – depending on the preference of my mentee.
In addition, I understand the pain and rejection that is a huge part of this industry we’ve all chosen 😀. I know what it feels like to email a query into the void, wait for a response to full requests, and the highs and lows of the frequent “no’s” and few amazing “yes’s”. I will be here to cheer you on and commiserate when necessary. I still keep in touch with my mentors and they are some of my biggest cheerleaders, and I would love to be able to do that for my mentee.
You’ve decided I’m The One (😀), now what?
I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with a mentee! The WriteMentor submission window is from April 15 and 16, 2021 and you will need a full manuscript to enter. To apply, send a query letter, the first chapter and a synopsis. Please visit WriteMentor for more information. And you can also hit me up on Twitter: @LauraMWareck.