Meredith Tate grew up in Concord, New Hampshire, where she fell in love with the many worlds of science fiction and fantasy. Pursuing her love of travel, Meredith spent a semester in London and then backpacked in Europe for a month before earning her master’s degree in social work from the University of New Hampshire. After graduation, Meredith worked in the field in Boston for a few years before deciding to pursue her true dream of telling stories. Meredith and her husband spent three wonderful years in St. Louis, Missouri before moving to Zurich, Switzerland as expats. Meredith now lives in Houston, writing about characters who are much braver than she is.
My publishing journey has been a roller coaster! I started querying my first manuscript in summer of 2011 and signed with my first agent in summer 2012, only to part ways a year later. In 2013, I started querying my second book, MISSING PIECES, and sold it to a small press. While launching that book, I was querying my third completed manuscript and writing my fourth manuscript. I signed with my second agent and we went on submission with my fourth manuscript, but the book in question didn’t to sell and is currently shelved. At the start of 2017, I parted ways with my second agent and sold my third manuscript, FREEDOM TRIALS (2018), to Page Street and my fifth manuscript, THE RED LABYRINTH (2019), to Flux. While working on edits for those books, I signed with my amazing agent for my YA speculative thriller, THE LAST CONFESSION OF AUTUMN CASTERLY, which sold at auction in May of 2018 and came out in February 2020. SHIPPED, a YA romcom, comes out in May 2021. If I could go back in time and tell myself in 2011 that in 2021 I would be publishing my fifth book, I never would have believed me!
I’ve had many different publishing experiences: I’ve worked with small presses, midsize presses, and a big 5 publisher; I’ve been on submission multiple times, in one circumstance going on sub for months without selling and in another circumstance selling at auction two weeks after going on sub; I’ve parted ways with agents; I’ve gotten multiple agent offers on a manuscript; and finally, I’ve gotten around 400 (not a typo) rejections over the years. I’ve been in and out of the query trenches since 2011, so you could say I’ve been around the block a few times and know what to expect! I greatly enjoyed mentoring in R7, and my amazing R7 mentee, Melody Robinette, received multiple offers of representation for her fantastic book, SUGARCOATED & CURSED–I can’t wait to see where her career goes next!
I would not be where I am today if not for all the help, support, and generosity of other writers in the community. I want to give back to the amazing writing community that has helped me so much over the years!
I love YA across genres, and I always love to be surprised with something I’m not expecting! My preferences lean toward high-stakes speculative fiction with a big hook (fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, contemporary with speculative elements, etc), romance, and thrillers, but I’m open to everything. If you write YA and think we’d be a good fit, I hope you sub to me! I can’t wait to read your words!
- Magical Realism/Fabulism
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
I read just about everything and am open to YA in basically any genre! Here are some ideas, but I also really don’t want to limit you; if you think we’d be a good fit, please sub to me regardless of this list! This is just to give you an idea of my taste, but really, a strong voice will hook me more than anything. I love to be surprised!
In addition to these genres, I love genre blending stories and crossover. If you’ve got a fantasy with sci-fi elements, a contemporary with speculative elements, a sci-fi thriller, a fantasy romance, etc, send it my way! If you’ve got a twist that will make me scream and throw your book across the room in a fit of rage, I need it.
Fantasy: I love fantasy in most sub-genres (including contemporary fantasy). I don’t want to specify too much here, because I want to get ALL your fantasy subs! Whether dark and bloody or light and fluffy or somewhere in between, send them all my way! Especially if there’s a hint (or a heaping dose) of romance.
Some YA (and adult) fantasies I love: THREE DARK CROWNS, FIREBORNE, ECHO NORTH, HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS, SERPENT AND DOVE, SEAFIRE, THE CRUEL PRINCE, SIX OF CROWS, THE BELLES, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, EVERLESS, GAME OF THRONES, THE POPPY WAR, A CURSE OF ROSES, WINTER WHITE AND WICKED, WICKED SAINTS. If you’ve got a romantic fantasy romp in the vein of “Tangled,” I need it!
Sci-fi: I love sci-fi across sub-genres, but I am not the right fit for very science-heavy “hard” sci-fi (it breaks my brain, I’m sorry!) I got some questions on what I meant here last year, so to clarify, I am looking for “accessible” sci-fi, that can be read and enjoyed by anyone, even if they don’t have an extensive background in science or math.
- Time travel written in an accessible manner (think ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill)
- Dystopian is one of my favorite genres, and I’d love to see it make a comeback. If you’ve got a fresh take on this genre, I would love to see it!
- Near-future sci-fi, or even sci-fi that almost feels contemporary (think MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS, NEVER LET ME GO, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or Black Mirror). I love reading about the dark side of futuristic technology.
- Superheroes. Yep, I said it.
- I love sci-fi/dystopian “road trip” stories–think “Logan,” “Mad Max,” THE DARKEST MINDS, etc.
- I’d love a fun space opera with a big, rag-tag misfit cast.
Thrillers:I love a good thriller, but I want it dark, with high stakes that keep me guessing until the end. Even better if there’s a jaw-dropping twist I never see coming! Some tropes I love include:
- locked room
- unreliable narrators
- “I know what you did”
- games that go too far
- ticking clock
- dual timelines
- small towns with something to hide
- I’m always up for a traditional “whodunnit.”
- if you’ve got an escape thriller like SURRENDER YOUR SONS, I want it!
- I love thrillers that keep me questioning who I can trust and second guessing myself! I always love guessing twists when I read, and I LOVE when I’m wrong.
Some thriller authors I enjoy are Kara Thomas, Karen McManus, Adam Sass, and Tiffany D Jackson.
Romance: Any gender pairing! I love all romance genres: contemporary romcoms, fantasy romance, sci-fi romance, etc. I want it all! Some tropes I love:
- Enemies to lovers/hate to love/rivals to lovers (if there is an enemies-to-lovers full of banter that doesn’t find its way into my subs I will be very sad)
- “You’ve Got Mail”/online romance
- Mistaken identity
- Romance during a school trip, family vacation, etc.
- Forced proximity
- Friends to lovers
- Love triangles
- Next door neighbor
- Second chance romance
- 24 hour romance (if you can comp Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I want to see it!)
- Two people who clearly have feelings for each other but aren’t together yet due to circumstances (think season 2-3 Jim and Pam from The Office)
Some YA romances I’ve loved: MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT, TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU
Contemporary: I am probably not the best fit for “quiet” contemporary. I generally am looking for contemporary with a big commercial hook and high stakes! That being said, the stakes don’t have to be life-or-death or “world ending”–big emotional stakes are great, too!
- Retellings of classics with a contemporary twist (think Ten Things I Hate About You etc.)
- Mysteries that have me solving it alongside the characters
- Mistaken identity stories
- Messy, complicated relationships (not just romantic relationships! Give me complicated friendships, messy siblings, complex familial relationships etc.)
- Romcoms with a big hook (the plot setup of MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT is right up my alley)
- “Gossip Girl” and “Pretty Little Liars”
- Something that makes me laugh out loud
- Contemporary with speculative elements (BEFORE I FALL, LAYOVERLAND, OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS, MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, IF I STAY, etc)
- Friendship breakup stories
- Teens are messy and make bad choices sometimes; I love to see this on the page. If you can see adult reviewers someday complaining on Goodreads that your main character acts too much like a teen, I want this book!
- Stories that make me cry
- I am not really big into historical fiction, but if you’ve got a contemporary mystery that also delves into the past (think HOLES), I want it!
Some contemporaries I love: BEFORE I FALL, THE HATE U GIVE, HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME, HOW TO BE BRAVE, SADIE, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW, FIRSTS, GROWN
- I’m looking for more atmospheric and creepy here rather than jump scares. Think “The Village” or HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS. I also love gothic horror like Erin Craig’s upcoming SMALL FAVORS and sci-fi horror like WILDER GIRLS!
- I love creepy small towns, haunted houses, abandoned buildings, legends of hauntings, and unsettling places. I love reading a seemingly “normal” situation that gives me some unsettling vibes, but then takes a turn for the totally weird and creepy.
- Creatures of the darkness. Things that go bump in the night. Bloodthirsty vampires and vengeful ghosts. Monsters.
- Psychological horror that makes me think.
- Creatures that prey upon your worst fears (think Boggarts in Harry Potter)
- Got a horror in a carnival, circus, or amusement park? I ABSOLUTELY want to see it!
- If you’ve got a YA “Midsommar,” I want to see it!
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
My mentoring style is a cup of encouragement, a dash of brainstorming, and a pinch of tough love. I want to help you make your book the best it can be. Every book and author is different, so we would first discuss a plan that works best for you and your story.
We’d start by talking about your manuscript. I’d want to get to know you, your writing style, and your publishing goals. Next, I’d send over an edit letter full of my big-picture observations, questions, thoughts, and suggestions – things I liked, and things I think could be stronger. We’d look at things like pacing, plotting, and character arcs here. If you want a mentor who will tell you honestly and up front what isn’t working — but will also add a Gif or two, and squee over all their favorite lines, characters, and ships in your book — then we might be a good fit!
I’ll be as involved in the revisions as my mentee wants me to be – whether you want to take the time to tackle those edits entirely on your own, or bounce ideas and chat about them as you go, I’m here! I’ll always be there to answer questions, brainstorm, and help out in any way I can.
Afterward, we’ll focus on line edits including word choices, sentence structure, scene-level edits, typos, etc. We’ll make sure it’s nice and polished before you query! I’ll be your biggest cheerleader when you query and, if you want, I’m happy to help you hone your query letter, synopsis, and agent query list. Ideally, I’d love to chat with my mentee over email, text, or WhatsApp, but I’m open to Skype/FaceTime or phone calls, too. My R7 mentee and I became great friends and we chat regularly!
My ideal mentee is in it for the long run, and they’re willing to put the work in! After all, publishing is a marathon, not a sprint, and I want someone who is serious about pursuing traditional publishing. I want to work with a writer who is willing and eager to dive into revisions, and one who knows editing and rewriting are vital steps of publishing; I want to help make your manuscript the strongest it can be! This might mean there’s a chance I’ll suggest large-scale revisions and/or rewrites. This book is YOUR book, and I would never push a revision that did not resonate with you; however, I would want my mentee to be open-minded and willing to seriously consider suggested edits. I’ll always be here to talk through them and bounce ideas with you! Basically, I’m going to work hard as your mentor, and I want a mentee who is willing – and eager – to work just as hard as I am!
This is by no means a definitive list, but here are some elements I especially love to read about, across genres. But if your story doesn’t have any of these things, don’t worry , it doesn’t mean I won’t love it – please sub me anyway! In R7, I got a lot of subs that had me thinking, “wow, I LOVE this and can’t believe I didn’t think to add this to my MSWL!” so please don’t worry if you don’t see your specific tropes on this list. 🙂
- Antiheroes/Antiheroines! If your main character(s) lean toward the morally gray, are power-driven, sometimes do the morally-questionable, are driven by revenge, or can be comped to Jude Duarte, Jyn Erso, Arya Stark, James Howlett, or Kaz Brekker, I can’t wait to meet them.
- Enemies to lovers! If you’ve got the next Cardan/Jude, Jaime/Brienne, Roslin/Adama, Nina/Matthias, or Lou/Reid, I want to ship them!
- Villains! If your main character’s arc revolves around their slow descent from hero into villainy, I NEED to read it. If your manuscript features an evil queen, I’ll be super bummed if it isn’t sent my way. Romance between the hero and the villain? Yes please! Examining what it means to be a villain vs. a hero? Give me! Got a retelling of a classic story but from the villain’s POV? I need it immediately!
- Anything that can be compared to “Logan,” “Labyrinth,” “Deadpool,” “Mad Max,” “Suicide Squad,” “Black Mirror,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Tangled,” or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
- MCs that actively dismantle the patriarchy
- Circuses, carnivals, amusement parks. Bonus points if they’re creepy.
- Marching band, theater, piano lessons, and all performing arts kids
- Creepy forests, creepy board games, creepy mirrors, creepy birds, creepy masks, creepy small towns with sinister traditions. Can you tell I like creepy stuff?
- Fandom, fan fiction, cosplay, etc — give me all your nerds!
- Books that remind me of The Twilight Zone
- Mazes of any kind–mirror mazes, hedge mazes, carnival mazes, corn mazes, creepy mazes, fun mazes, give them all to me. I love a good labyrinth!
- Roadtrips, study abroad, backpacking adventures, and travel of all kinds. I love when a book’s vivid setting comes alive on the page and transports me to a place I’ve never been before!
- High-stakes fantasy/sci-fi competitions and tournaments, even better if they’re life-or-death (think THREE DARK CROWNS, A RIVER OF ROYAL BLOOD, Harry Potter’s Triwizard Tournament, THE HUNGER GAMES, etc)
- Speculative contemporary or light-sci-fi about what happens when technology goes too far (think Black Mirror)
- Truth or dare. Games that escalate out of control.
- Snappy dialogue. If your MC is always whipping out the one-liners, I need to meet them!
- I have always been intrigued by the classical piece “In The Hall of the Mountain King,” and I’d love to find a YA version of it.
- If you’ve got a YA “The Good Place” (like LAYOVERLAND), send it my way!
- Natural disasters
- If Taylor Swift’s “folklore” was a YA book
- Witches, ghosts, potions, spells
- Prom, masquerades, school dances
- Drama and angst!
- Unusual pets (that don’t die!)
- Whirlwind romance that takes place over the course of one day
- The dark side of social media
- Found Families
- Boarding schools
- As a Hard of Hearing person, I would love to find a story with a Deaf/HoH main character!
DO NOT SEND ME:
I don’t want to limit too much here, as I’ve been surprised before! If you have one of these but still think I’m the right fit, please still sub to me anyway, regardless. However, I am probably not the best fit for:
- Historical fiction (historical fantasy/horror is fine!)
- Contemporary where the main conflict revolves around sports
- “Fake dating” romance (I’m sorry, I know this is a popular one, but it just isn’t my thing!)
- Greek Mythology (unless it’s a really fresh take or features a god/goddess I haven’t read about before–I’m a little burnt out on Zeus/ Hera/ Artemis/ Aphrodite/ Poseidon/ Hades. That being said, I’d be interested to see Greek Mythology retellings in a YA contemporary format)
- Romance between a human and an alien/shifter/werewolf
- “King Arthur” retellings/lore (another popular one that just isn’t for me!)
However, I do have some hard lines I am absolutely not the right fit to mentor. Please DO NOT sub to me:
- Child sexual abuse
- Rapist redemption arcs
- Animal cruelty/animal death (hunting animals for food and/or killing in self-defense is okay). I got a lot of questions on this point last time so just to clarify, I do not want to see characters who hurt/kill animals for fun. I am also not the right fit for stories where a major plot point hinges on a family pet being tragically killed or dying (think I AM LEGEND, OLD YELLER, WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN etc)
The Cruel Prince
Six of Crows
An Ember in the Ashes
The Darkest Minds
Three Dark Crowns
Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch
The Darkest Corners
The Hate U Give
Serpent and Dove
House of Salt and Sorrows
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Crazy Stupid Love
Silver Linings Playbook
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
10 Things I Hate About You
Game of Thrones (not including season 8, which is dead to me)
The 100 (seasons 1-2)
Heroes (seasons 1-2)
SONGS TO PLAY ON THE PIANO:
Toccata in D by Bach
In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg
Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart
Exile by Taylor Swift
Let it Go from Frozen
Vienna by Billy Joel
Hello by Adele