Whitney Ross

YA and Adult science fiction and fantasy


Rachel Somer is a Canadian author who lives in South Korea with her family of humans and cats. She graduated from York University where she studied English Literature and Humanities. As an academic author and editor, she has published many educational books for various age groups. She also writes YA and Adult science fiction and fantasy.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I got serious about publishing novels. Since then, I’ve drafted numerous manuscripts and spent countless hours learning how to revise, pitch, and understand the market. I was lucky enough to have a supportive community that helped me sign with my first agent in 2016 and then my second in 2018.

In addition to my years of editorial work in academic publishing, I was a mentor in Author Mentor Match rounds 2 and 5. I also work with numerous authors as a critique partner. Many have signed with agents and gone on to sell their books.

I was so lucky to find a wonderful community when I was just starting to query. It helped me hone my craft, edit my own work, and learn how to compose exciting pitches. It’s tough (though not impossible) to learn these skills without a support system. I hope to share what I’ve learned with the community as much as possible.

Navigating publishing can be a daunting experience, and I think everyone should have a mentor to guide and support them. I generally connect with my mentees for multiple books, so this could be a long-term partnership. I love books that blend and cross genres in fresh and exciting ways. Ultimately, I’m looking for a mentee who is driven and committed to revising.

Young Adult

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices*
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

I’m open to all subgenres of fantasy and science fiction as well as historical. I’m looking for YA with a strong, gritty voice. I will also take college-age YA or YA that feels a bit older or is in the crossover niche. I really like books that bend genres. If you have a sci-fi horror, a futuristic fantasy, or a historical fantasy, I really want to see it.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Freestyle in chat

My mentoring style is honest but constructive. I know how hard getting feedback is, so I will try to be sensitive to your feelings. I will make sure you know how much I love your work, but you’ll also get an in-depth critique of your plot, characters, worldbuilding, themes, and your project’s marketability.

Everyone has different needs, so it’s important for us to feel comfortable communicating. I’m here to tailor my mentoring style to you. If you need brainstorming sessions, outlining help, or questions answered as you revise, I can provide all of that. Sometimes, you just need to emote about how tough revising is. I’m here for that, too.

After revisions, we will put together a list of agents, a query plan, and a submission package. I will help you navigate responses and feedback every step of the way.

My ideal mentee is committed to revising their project. It’s important to query polished work, so revisions can go on for several rounds (depending on the project). As my mentee, you should be open to feedback, but you won’t be expected to agree with all of it. I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and reservations as we brainstorm.

Some specific things I like but your book doesn’t necessarily need to be:

  • Ownvoices fantasies set in well-researched time periods
  • Ownvoices books featuring disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse characters
  • Retellings (lesser-known Biblical stories, Greek drama, or obscure fairy tales)
  • Villain romances, enemies-to-lovers, monster love interests
  • Villain protagonists, revenge stories, stories with huge twists!
  • Books that address climate change or feature a scientific discovery in a unique way (super-puff planets anyone?)
  • Science fiction with well-developed, accessible technology
  • Ownvoices books with queer characters (especially looking for bisexual protagonists, with or without romance!)
  • Books that address trauma, abuse, or ableism
  • Horror in unique settings (in space, at the bottom of a lake, in an abandoned mine, etc)
  • Powerful families in fantasy or sci-fi settings (can be a political dynasty or a crime family)

I’m not the best fit for contemporary. However, I will take contemporary fantasy. Even if the fantasy element is extremely subtle, I am still open to it. I’m also not a great fit for horror or thrillers that don’t have any speculative elements.

TV: Korean drama (Kingdom, The Scholar Who Walks at Night, Goblin), The Mandalorian, Originals, Reign

Film: Star Wars, Alien, Event Horizon, Stigmata, The 5th Element, Edge of Tomorrow, Pitch Black, 12 Monkeys, Jupiter Ascending, Arrival, The Martian, The Road (the book too!), The Descent, Crimson Peak, Willow, Mad Max

Books: The Cruel Prince, Poison Princess, Roar, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Wilder Girls, The Storm Crow, The Winner’s Curse, Polaris Rising, Wintersong, Shadow and Bone, These Vicious Masks, Defy the Stars, A Shadow Bright and Burning, House of Salt and Sorrows, The Belles, Red Rising