Rachel Feinberg spends her time writing about fandoms and creatives, playing video games, obsessing over animated shows, and training in martial arts. She graduated with a business/marketing degree, and is working toward her MFA in Fiction. She lives in the Bay Area, where the weather is nice and the earthquakes aren’t.
Before I queried, I had written several novel-length fanfics (posted on fanfiction.net and AO3), several co-written novels (posted on mibba), and a couple books on my own. None of these were written with publication in mind. I wrote to share my creativity with other people, some of whom became friends. I didn’t consider publication until I learned the process wasn’t an impossible, mystical journey.
The first book I queried was a YA contemporary fantasy that I wrote in high school. I shelved it after 90+ rejections for a fresher project that was closer to my heart: a YA rom-com about a girl who falls for a cosplayer. It got me into AMM R4, where it was reshaped into what landed my agent’s attention. She gave me an R&R (as did another agent), and signed me shortly after.
Here’s my querying journey broken into numbers:
1st book queried
– Queries: 90+
– Requests: 7
– Rejections: 97+
2nd book queried
– Queries: 25
– Requests: 8
– Rejections: 17
– R&Rs: 2
– Offers: 2
As an MFA student, I spend most my time critiquing and studying other people’s work, taking apart their stories to find what works and what could work better. And as an AMM alumna (whoop whoop R4!), I’m familiar with the mentee-side of the program, and the components of a successful mentorship. I’ve also CP’d for fanfic and original fic writers.
The AMM community has boosted and supported me ever since I became a mentee. When communities do wonderous things for me, I give back.
Before AMM, I didn’t have the solidarity/confidence that I knew what I was doing. Even with research, nothing compared to having an experienced person giving personalized feedback on the entire process, from writing to querying to signing. I’d love to be that person for someone, and pass on my knowledge.
I’m primarily looking for fun YA contemporary. Something that makes me smile, laugh, put the book down to savor it longer, and basically feel good.
I love voicey writing (especially wit!), geeky characters whose passions are rooted into the story, wallflowers forced into the spotlight, cute pets that play an active role in the story, wacky meet-cutes, supportive friend squads, found families, fandom-centric plots (shipping, fanfiction, fanart, comic cons, etc.), unapologetic and determined girls, soft boys, fresh humor that is precise and balanced, inverted tropes, and fantastic character interactions that pop off the page.
I’m also interested in stories that play with structure, or that incorporate blog posts, social media screenshots, letters, diary/journal entries, etc.
Ultimately, if you think your story will make people happy, try me.
I’m not the right gal for stories that feature bigotry. If it plays a big part, I’ll pass. The same goes for sexual harassment, domestic abuse, and pet death.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Freestyle in chat
I’m straightforward with feedback. I won’t sugarcoat and I won’t be rude. Fangirling is not sugarcoating! It’s an honest reaction. If I have concerns, I’ll tell you. I don’t expect all my advice to be followed. I only expect my advice to be considered. I’m here to guide, not dictate.
If we become mentor & mentee, I’ll read your book and give a big picture edit letter. I’ll tell you what’s working, what’s not, and opportunities for improvement. We’ll discuss it over email and/or freestyle chatting (I like having electronic, readable discussions so you can word-search them) and create a revision plan. You’ll send me your next draft, and we’ll repeat the cycle at least one more time. When the big picture is fixed, I’ll drop comments into a Word Doc for smaller revisions.
Then it’s off to the query trenches! I’ll help you draft and polish a query letter, culminate a query list, and develop a querying strategy.
My ideal mentee is somebody who takes their time with revisions. They don’t rush, though they might work fast. They’re self-motivated, can get stuff done without hand holding, and won’t hesitate to reach out to me for clarification or questions. Communication is key!
- Enemies/Rivals to lovers
- Fake Relationship (that becomes real)
- Celebrities hiding from the public
- Filipino/biracial protagonist
- LGBTQ+ main cast
- Characters who are martial artists, gamers, cosplayers, writers, and/or artists
- Comic cons as a prominent setting
- Fandom/Shipping wars
DO NOT SEND ME:
- Love triangles
- Bury Your Gays (and variants)
- Not Like Other Girls
- Pet death
- Sexual harrassment/assault
- Domestic abuse
- Hate crimes
- Outing (disclosing LGBTQ+ people’s identity without their consent)