Chelsea Abdullah is an American-Kuwaiti writer born and raised in Kuwait. Inflicted with wanderlust, she has put down roots in various states, the most recent being New York (although she currently works from home in Kuwait). She spends her days working with children’s book authors and her nights working on epic fantasy novels. When she’s not writing, she’s curled up with a good book, playing video games, or sketching character designs.
I’ve been writing for years, but the project that propelled me into publishing is the Fantasy novel I currently have out on submission. I started writing this novel for National Novel Writing Month, worked on it for a couple of years, and then applied to AMM Round 7 with it. I wasn’t selected as a mentee but, after another round of edits, I revised the query and synopsis I’d prepared for AMM, sent my book out into the querying void, and received multiple offers of representation! In the end, I signed with my amazing agent, Jennifer Azantian, and we’ve just recently sent the novel out on submission.
I’ve been participating in creative workshops for years and am no stranger to offering and receiving critique. I’ve also been a beta reader and critique partner for some really fantastic writers, all of whom are at various stages of their publishing careers. As a marketing assistant who works in the publishing industry, I advise and assist authors with creative queries on a daily basis. I often have to consider books through a promotional lens, so l have some insight into how to emphasize a book’s selling points!
Even though I wasn’t selected as a mentee last year, I still consider AMM to be an integral part of my publishing journey—it really helped me put querying into perspective for the first time. As someone who’s always loved helping other writers reach their publishing goals, it’s my pleasure to be a part of AMM this year. Writing is often seen as a solitary endeavor, but I can’t imagine being where I am right now without all of my incredible critique partners and beta readers. When the going gets tough, it really helps to have someone in your corner that understands and believes in your work, and I would love to be that person for someone else!
I am an avid SFF reader who enjoys stories that feature untraditional heroes, tragic immortals, and intriguing magic systems. I love reading about nuanced, morally complex characters, and am especially interested in non-Eurocentric SFF. If your novel plays with narrative structure or has some component of “meta” storytelling, I would love to see it! I have more specific things on my MSWL, but don’t feel like your story needs to include everything on that list to be a good fit. Lastly, please only send me Adult SFF submissions (YA crossover appeal is fine, but adults should be the intended audience)!
Send me all your epic fantasy and soft sci-fi! I adore narratives inspired by folktales and myth, and stories that feature relatable main characters, unique magic systems, and intricate world building.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
I will provide an edit letter, in-text suggestions, questions, and commentary. I don’t want to steer the story so much as suggest ways to build on and strengthen the manuscript. My in-text suggestions may also point out redundancies, extraneous content, and reoccurring grammatical errors. I like to talk things out during edits, so I’m extremely open to questions during the revision process and am always happy to hop on a Zoom call or chat online. The goal is to come up with a revision plan that works best for the mentee, and to be both a mentor AND cheerleader for them throughout the process. I will happily read as many revisions as it takes for the mentee to be satisfied with their draft!
My ideal mentee is someone who is communicative, open to critique, and whom doesn’t want to rush the editing process. I want to collaborate with someone who is passionate about their story and willing to pour lots of time into it. As a meticulous editor, I always prioritize carefulness over timeliness. That being said, I’m looking to take on a manuscript that is past the first draft stage. Preferably, one that has already been revised by the potential mentee. My goal is to help sharpen the creative vision, not find it!
My favorite SFF novels are character-focused and feature untraditional heroes. Intrigue is often what hooks me, but characters are what keep my attention. If you’re writing an SFF novel in that vein, I’d love to take a look!
Here are some specific things I love to read:
- High and low fantasy
- Soft sci-fi
- Unique magic system
- Reluctant or unlikely heroes
- Plots that have elements of meta-storytelling
- Main characters with a fun sense of humor
- Grumpy and/or naïve immortal characters
- Fantasy inspired by folktales/mythology
- Pining! Or, really, anything with a slow-burn romance
- Platonic relationships
- Dual or multiple character POVs
DO NOT SEND ME:
- Hard sci-fi
- Extreme violence or gore
- Stories with a focus on military tactics/war
- Gods of Jade and Shadow
- The City of Brass
- A Darker Shade of Magic
- Gideon the Ninth
- The Starless Sea
- The Bear and the Nightingale
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January
- Final Fantasy 7
- Persona 5
- Odin Sphere
- Shadow of the Colossus
- The Tales of series