I'm excited to announce I'll be mentoring for Author Mentor Match Round 7! 🎉
For the very first time, AMM will be accepting adult entries! Yay! This is my first time mentoring and I'm so excited for the chance to find a talented, hardworking mentee who's ready to polish their manuscript for submission.
I'm accepting submissions for adult science fiction and select fantasy. You can view my wishlist below, or over on the official website along with all the other amazing mentor profiles!
J.S. Dewes is an author, cinematographer, and video editor with a degree in film production from Columbia College Chicago. She cut her narrative teeth writing scripts for award-winning feature films and shorts which have screened at festivals and conventions all across the United States. A creative a heart, she enjoys video games, drawing, photography, graphic design, Pinterest, and all things visual.
MY PUBLISHING BACKGROUND
A few years ago I started writing fan fiction and fell madly in love, and that experience encouraged me to try original work. I shelved that first book (as one does), but I'd learned a ton, and the second turned out much better! I started querying agents with it in mid-2017, signed with my agent in early 2018, and sold that book and its (unwritten) sequel in late 2018.
Most of my writing experience comes from screenwriting and collaborative storytelling via filmmaking, both in college and my own personal projects, and as a freelance film and video professional. I’ve been an active member of an online writing community since I started writing, and I currently work with critique partners in all stages: many are querying, two have signed with agents, and one has sold.
WHY I WANT TO BE A MENTOR
I want to be a mentor because I want to give back to a community that I think can be so important for writers in the early stages of their careers. I’m very much an introvert, so the thought of having to attend a local writers’ group to meet people in the industry terrified me. I was thrilled to discover there was such a vast and supportive community online! Though I’ve never been a mentee, I learned so much the last couple years from the mentors and other industry professionals on Twitter, and by participating in the community events surrounding pitch and mentor contests. I’m thrilled to be given the chance to help someone else in their publishing journey.
I will provide:
Freestyle in chat:
I’d love to start with a quick chat (via email or Discord) to get to know one another, ask any preliminary questions, and talk about our goals for the mentorship. We’d also talk about our respective schedules and set some deadlines that work for both of us.
After that, I’d send a developmental edit letter, and schedule a follow-up chat a few days after to discuss any questions you have about my notes before you get started.
Once those are done, I’d do a final read-through including any inline edit suggestions.
Depending on the needs of the manuscript, I may also include additional edit notes to clean up any fallout from the first round of edits.
I’d be happy to hop on a chat or email throughout if you're struggling with a specific part. My favorite activity with critique partners is brainstorming fixes for plot holes, character issues, stakes, etc.
As a final step, I weirdly love working on queries? So I’d be happy to help you prepare any submission materials, including workshopping your query letter and synopsis, and talking out any questions you have about the querying process.
When it comes to technical strengths, dialogue is my strongest ability. (Writing it. Not saying it out loud to real humans.) I’m also good with character motivation, structural issues, identifying (and solving!) plot holes or weak narrative threads/logic, strengthening conflict/stakes, and making fake science sound real.
I’m organized, critical without being harsh, and my experience in film has honed my ability to collaborate creatively, so I thrive in these kinds of partnerships!
MY IDEAL MENTEE
My ideal mentee is someone who’s open to change, but confident in the story they’re trying to tell. They understand the value of great critique partners and beta readers, and have already workshopped the manuscript into something they’re proud of. They’re able to take criticism, and are hungry to improve their story and take the next steps on their publication journey.
WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR
I’m looking for adult science fiction and select fantasy that’s character-focused and full of heart—either of the uplifting or soul-crushing varieties (or both)—with high stakes and tons of adventure.
SCIENCE FICTION 🚀
space, adventure, military, accessible hard sci-fi, heists, cyberpunk, biopunk, space western, non-Earth settings
military, sword and sorcery, science fantasy if it’s military-focused (e.g. Warhammer 40k)
sci-fi or fantasy or any other weird sub-genre it might fall into, I want to see it all!
Things I'd love to see:
Character-focused with tons of voice
Strong platonic friendships (especially M/F)
Siblings who are BFFs
Characters older than 40
Ride-or-die squad/crew/friendship dynamics
Military or militaristic organizations
Soul-crushingly sympathetic villains
Villains who are actually right tho?
Extinct alien races lurking in the worldbuilding
Ancient alien tech
Cartography/maps of any kind
Mysteriously abandoned facilities
Rogues/assassins/spies with secret hearts of gold
Gruff old soldiers with secret hearts of gold
P L E A S E send if any of the following could be comps:
Rendezvous with Rama
Any of the following with “in space” added to the end:
The Last Kingdom
A disaster movie
(anything at all, honestly)
DO NOT SEND ME:
Contemporary/Earth-bound sci-fi (Earth origin is okay)
Romance as the main plot (subplots 1000% okay)
Paranormal (a random sci-fi ghost or something is fine, I’m talking werewolves, vampires, etc.)
More than two POVs (more are okay if they’re not main characters, their word count is short, and/or their POVs only exist for stylistic purposes)