Abbie Donoghue (New Leaf Literary)

YA thrillers & horror, MG mysteries, adult SFF


Mary E. Roach is a teacher, youth advocate, and martial arts instructor with a passion for stories about angry girls taking back their power. Mary enjoys hiking, climbing mountains, and arguing with their cat Mumford.

In the summer of 2018, I decided to revise a manuscript I’d written and start working towards the eventual goal of publication. I entered Pitch Wars that August, was selected, and things took off from there.

I signed with my agency in the early summer of 2019, and since then have been working on multiple projects (almost none of which I can talk about yet), but a lot of exciting things are in the works.

I have experience at multiple levels of the industry and know a lot about querying, agents, and the sub process. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned!

I have critiqued for friends at all stages of their publication journey (querying friends, agented friends, writers with multiple published books, and writers who write in the indie/self-pub space).

I also offer editorial services (in particular, critiques of fight scenes) and regularly work with clients on both developmental and line edits.


I have benefited so much from mentorship programs – it was a mentorship program that kickstarted my own career in the traditional publishing world! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give back, and the opportunity to help shape a very special project.

I loved mentoring R7, and I’m so very glad to be back – thank you for trusting me with your words, friends. I am grateful for every one of them.

I would love to find a project in the YA space that is high-concept and voice-y. If it has a commercial hook and a voice I won’t forget, I’m in.

I’m open to most genres within YA (with the exception of romance, which I love but am not the right mentor for), but I have a special place in my heart for mysteries, thrillers, and horror.

Last year, my mentees were a space opera and a horror.

Surprise me! Be bold, be voice-y, write a premise that hooks me. I can’t wait to hear from you!

  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Novels in verse (especially historical)

Tropes I love:

  • only one bed
  • found families
  • mutual pining
  • starcrossed romance
  • enemies to lovers but ACTUALLY enemies first
  • terrible morally gray characters, especially morally gray girls
  • love triangles but make it polyam
  • fake dating!


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

My mentorship style is fairly hands on, and very thorough. We’ll start out with a developmental pass: I’ll send you an edit letter, and we’ll talk through it on a video call. After developmental edits, I’ll do another pass, and address any further developmental notes. Finally, I’ll finish with a line edit.

Last year, I mentored my mentees to the querying stage and looked over queries, twitter pitches, and synopses. I’m happy to do that for you as well, but will leave that up to you.

While I’m thorough with my work and I am going into AMM looking to form long-term connections with writers, I want you to know that I respect that this is your book, not mine. So while I will provide suggestions and feedback, it is YOUR work, and you know the heart of your book better than anyone else can.

My ideal mentee is someone who wants to jump in, work hard, and, sometimes, receive a truly staggering amount of memes about your book.

I’m so excited to work with you!


  • all the gay books
  • ALL of them
  • If it has found families, I NEED it
  • If you can comp it to WILDER GIRLS, it belongs in my inbox
  • If you can comp it to SADIE, you have to send it to me, it’s the rules
  • queer horror
  • stories by BIPOC authors, especially queer BIPOC authors
  • queer thrillers and mysteries
  • books that can be comp’d to the Inheritance Games
  • books that critique imperialism (especially space opera that critiques imperialism)
  • anti-monarchy YA fantasy
  • speculative thrillers (especially ones that deal with climate change)
  • a thriller/mystery you could comp to Now You See Me
  • heist!! books!!
  • disability rep, especially in a fantasy or space opera (obviously in any setting, but I would love to see it explored & normalized in space)
  • basically, if it’s so gay and horrifying that it scares god, I want it
  • books that take risks. books that are bold.
  • a voice that will haunt me long after I finish reading
  • settings that are almost a character of their own
  • literary writing with a commercial concept
  • if you could describe your book as “eat the rich,” I want to see it
  • work that could be comp’d to GROWN (Tiffany Jackson)


  • I’m not the right mentor for werewolves or vampires
  • no gratuitous abuse of sexual assault, please (if this content does come up in your work, that’s fine, but please use content warnings)

An incomplete list:

Books: Wings of Ebony (J. Elle), Bad Witch Burning (Jessica Lewis), The Dead and the Dark (Courtney Gould), Sadie (Courtney Summers), You Should See Me in a Crown (Leah Johnson), Grown (Tiffany Jackson), When No One is Watching (Alyssa Cole), Rebecca Schaeffer’s Market of Monsters series, Marie Lu’s The Young Elites series, everything Leigh Bardugo has ever written, Wilder Girls (Rory Power), Strange the Dreamer (Laini Taylor), Girl Made of Stars (Ashley Herring Blake), The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi), Sabaa Tahir’s Ember series, Melina Marchetta’s work, The Scorpion Rules (Erin Bow), The Good Luck Girls (Charlotte Nicole Davis), & Have a Little Faith in Me (Sonia Hartl).

TV: Hill House (I’m sorry Brit), Umbrella Academy, Sense8, Schitt’s Creek, The Good Place, Stranger Things, ATLA, Jessica Jones, Locke & Key, Never Have I Ever,

Movies: Pride & Prejudice (2005, HAND FLEX), Now You See Me, Moana (YES I know these are three very different vibes but I do what I want)