Emily Skrutskie is six feet tall. She is the author of THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US and THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS. Her third book, HULLMETAL GIRLS, will be published by Delacorte in July of 2018. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.
I wrote my first book when I was fifteen, finished a second when I was nineteen, but it was the third book that I wrote when I was twenty that turned out to be the one. I originally planned to enter Pitch Wars and then query it, but ended up connecting with my editor at Flux during WriteOnCon 2014. When he offered publication of the duology, I dropped out of Pitch Wars and queried every agent who had read my previous manuscript. Four of them offered within a week, and I signed with my current agent, Thao Le, who has negotiated all of my deals since. I have been on submission twice, the first time resulting in the sale of HULLMETAL GIRLS. The second time is ongoing.
I was mentored in Pitch Wars, but had to drop out during the editing period because I got my deal. I work with three critique partners who are all published authors with major deals.
I want to mentor because it’s become increasingly clear to me how stacked the market is against YA science fiction. I want to push back against the isolation I feel as a sci-fi author and help more people come up in the genre.
I’m looking for a YA sci-fi mentee who needs help punching up their storytelling!
I love space opera, but I worry a little about plots that could be any YA Fantasy plot… BUT IN SPACE. I’m not really your girl for sci-fi romance, and if you have any alien elements, prepare to have your astrobiology rigorously questioned.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
When I review a manuscript, my typical style is to drop in comments as I read for the first time, then gather all of my broader thoughts into an edit letter once I’ve finished reading. After I deliver that, I talk with the critiquee about any questions they might have or anything they want to explore in more detail.
I’d love to mentor someone with a distinctive voice who feels like their structure and pacing needs work, like they need their worldbuilding more interrogated, or who needs help untangling character motivations.
I have a major weakness for military sci-fi. Give me robots and AI—I will fall in love with every single one of them. Give me girls who wear dresses AND swing swords and are comfortable with fluidity between those things that really shouldn’t even be poles in the first place—give me complicated girls, above all else. Give me optimistic futures. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BE FUNNY.
DO NOT SEND ME:
No “cool motive, still murder” excuses for bad boys, especially if they’re the love interest. I’m bored of Nikolai wannabes. If he’s charming and a bit of a dick to the protagonist but sHe’Ll lOvE hIm eVeNtUaLlY, keep him. I know The Government Is Bad, but I’m a little tired of hearing it, and I’m not the one for your conspiracy books. No bad science—if you use sound in space or treat starship depressurization as an explosive event that will suck you off your feet, I will hunt you down.
Pacific Rim, Star Wars, WALL-E, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Pushing Daisies, Maggie Stiefvater, N.K. Jemisin, Leigh Bardugo, Jupiter Ascending, Voltron