Claire Friedman (InkWell Management)

YA crossover, dark fantasy, historical fantasy


Meryn Lobb was born in small-town Canada and hasn’t left, save for a short stint during her childhood when she lived in Germany. She holds a political science degree from the University of Western Ontario and has worked a number of government jobs. When not talking about books, she can be found playing the piano, weightlifting, or googling writing-related questions that probably have the FBI concerned.

I’ve been writing all my life (Warrior Cats fanfiction, anyone?) but didn’t start doing so seriously until I was nearly twenty. My first book was inspired by World of Warcraft and should not be read by anyone, under any circumstances, ever. It wasn’t until writing my second book that I learned about traditional publishing, but once I did, it became an all-consuming goal. I started extensive research into agents and querying, and I’ve never really stopped! I queried that book, then a third, fourth, and fifth. Once I got to book six, I discovered Author Mentor Match. It sounded amazing, but I didn’t expect to be chosen. I submitted my YA Historical Fantasy and was absolutely thrilled when I was picked by my fabulous mentor. Together we worked on making that book shine, and it did extremely well when I queried. However, it still wasn’t the book that got me in the publishing door. I wrote a seventh book, then an eighth. Number eight was an unusual process for me, but once it was ready, I sent a query to a dream agent who had requested an R&R on my previous book. She requested the full right away and offered less than two weeks later. I signed in July of this year with Claire Friedman of InkWell Management. We revised together for a few months and just recently went out on submission!

My education journey began at a school for advanced studies in the humanities, and although I didn’t stay there, it taught me so much about reading and critiquing work. I built more of a knowledge base through my university electives (hey Science Fiction and Fantasy lit!), and a previous job in which I edited course content. Ultimately, however, I’ve built much of my publishing knowledge through independent research and connecting with people. I’ve been beta reading for years and have worked with a variety of critique partners. Many of these people now have agents of their own!


Author Mentor Match was the first time anyone outside of my family and close friends ever believed in my work. My mentor’s guidance and support really gave me the drive I needed to get back into the query trenches after years of going through it alone. The program also gave me a community I adore, and a network of people to learn from. I truly don’t know what I would have done over the past couple of years without that community!

In terms of editing style, I’m definitely very thorough. I’ll spend a lot of time thinking about everything from pacing to characters to general world building. I am also partial to good prose — plot issues can be fixed easily enough, but style is something you fashion over time. As long as your writing makes me feel things, though, we can tackle the rest!

  • Fantasy
  • Historical
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

I’m open to anything fantasy, whether second world or our world with a speculative slant. Within that genre, I love it all: sci-fi elements, historical, romance, you name it. I’m even a sucker for a little dystopian or paranormal. I hesitate to list specific genres I DON’T like, because I feel as though anything can be done well.


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

I’ll start by writing an edit letter with my overall feedback, and from there I’d encourage you to communicate with me as much as possible. I’m fairly informal, and although I’m happy to discuss over phone or email, I’m also perfectly fine with someone slipping into my DMs whenever they want! Once we’re done with big edits, I’d likely do a second read and see whether anything else needs tweaking. Then, if required, I would do a line edit where I look for awkward phrasings, grammar issues, etc. After that, if you want, we would work on querying! I’m very flexible regarding the process — I’m focused on the results.

My ideal mentee doesn’t take themselves or their work *too* seriously. Naturally I hope you are goal-oriented and willing to work hard, but I think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself and have fun with the process. I also want you to be comfortable telling me if you don’t agree with elements of my feedback. I’m very open, and ideally I would want my mentee to be the same. Finally, I would hope you have a bit of experience with revising and story structure, but don’t worry about that too much. What’s most important to me is that you’re hungry.

Give me some drama, some grit. I love darkness, but also humour. If anyone has ever read your book and said, “This character is the worst,” I probably love them already. More specifically, I’m a fan of:

  • crossover YA
  • morally grey heroes – make me root for someone chaotic and questionable!
  • dual or multi-POVs (especially where the love interest has a POV)
  • existential crises
  • settings full of atmosphere
  • rivals/enemies working together (perhaps… begrudging… attraction?)
  • well-rounded villains
  • twisty plots, sneaky betrayals – those OMG moments!
  • historical fantasy, or worlds inspired by a certain time period
  • elements of horror/general weirdness
  • anything involving crime
  • diverse casts

The only things I definitely don’t want are books with body dysmorphia/eating disorders or suicide as a major plot point. Other than that, I don’t like writing anything off completely, but I don’t tend to love:

  • plots involving a lot of travelling
  • stories that can be described as “lighthearted”
  • running from unwanted marriage
  • low stakes
  • princesses/princes, or characters discovering their royal lineage

That said, I’m happy to be proven wrong!

Books: The Last Magician, Six of Crows, An Ember In The Ashes, The Raven Cycle, These Violent Delights, Caraval, Strange the Dreamer, The Cruel Prince

Shows: White Collar, Schitt’s Creek, Lucifer, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Psych, Peaky Blinders, A Discovery of Witches, New Girl