Elana Roth Parker

YA fantasy & contemporary

On Submission

I am a YA writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am also a publicist at Counterpoint Press in Berkeley, CA.

How much can I write? (Kidding!) I was an English major in college with an emphasis in creative writing. In 2014, I participated in the Scottish Universities International Summer School’s Creative Writing program, and spent 6 weeks working with a small critique group under the mentorship of #1 best-selling Irish author Ruth Gilligan. I’ve worked as the Art Editor of the Santa Clara Review, a literary magazine based at Santa Clara University.

I’ve written three manuscripts and queried all three, so I know my R&Rs from my NR, my EQs from my PRs, etc. After working with my agent to get my MS ready for sub, I am familiar with the kinds of questions agents will ask of a writer even after they sign, and thus can help spot some of the problematic areas that might keep an agent from offering rep. I’ve proofread queries for several people I met via Twitter, one of whom I’m happy to report has since signed with her agent.

Last but not least—I work at a small indie press, and know firsthand what happens behind-the-scenes once a manuscript has been acquired. I’d hope to pass along what I’ve learned in all of my various experiences to keep my mentee grounded while also giving them every advantage I can think of to in order to succeed.

I’m hoping to find something new—a premise I’ve never seen, or a setting that isn’t run-of-the-mill, etc. My ideal mentee would be positive, ready to learn, and ready to put in the hard work of refining a MS and getting it ready for querying.

YA fantasy, or YA with a fantastical element. I’d be interested in contemporary as well, but the hook has to be truly spectacular. I’m not a fan of vampires, mythical beasts, aliens, ghosts, etc.

I like to do an initial read-through without making any edits, so that I can get a sense of the whole before deciding what works and what doesn’t. Then I go back and pinpoint things I didn’t understand, plot holes that need fixing, etc.

If your MS is long and you don’t know where to “trim the fat”—I’m your girl! I have a strong eye for when word/paragraphs/pages aren’t needed, need to be reworked, or just moved around. My aim is to strengthen what’s on the page without diminishing a writer’s unique voice; and I’m happy to work with my mentee on how to best do that.

I would love a mentee who is serious—and by that, I mean someone who wants to be published and won’t balk at the prospect of the long road ahead. The perfect mentee for me has done their research, but needs a little help in taking the next steps. They also have to be okay with me throwing silly gifs into emails, because I’ve been known to do that.

Big fan of Parks & Rec, anything Claudia Gray writes, and the movie Spirited Away. I also really love Oreos.

A retelling of any kind would be grand (fairy tale, Greek retelling, etc.). Strong world-building, and characters so vividly brought to life that I could spot them on the street. If your MS is set by the sea, or if the ocean plays a big role—I want it.