Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media

Contemporary young adult


Taylor Tracy double majored in English and Art History at Drew University and has a master’s degree in individualized study from New York, where she studied digital communities through the lens of affect theory. Basically, she’s a huge nerd trying to start a career in theatre administration and writing books for kids and teens. She lives in New Jersey with her mischievous bunny, Snowflake, and loves everything her state has to offer: the best bagels, incredible pizza and the most beautiful beaches, where she loves to spend as much of her free time as possible. When she’s not writing, Taylor is probably listening to musicals, baking something delicious or crocheting yet another hat or scarf.

My career as an author started when I was in first grade and wrote stories for fun during free time at school and my Grandpa, my favorite person in the world, always encouraged my creative expression. I started writing novels more seriously in college and queried my first book. I even applied to Author Mentor Match Round 2 with that one and didn’t get in.

Not to be cliché, but everything changed when I started working on a new manuscript that was more personal and closer to my own experiences. In Fall 2017, I started working on a queer romantic comedy about a girl who loved musicals and cupcakes, who had her heart broken just as she was starting to understand who she was and found her way to happiness not in spite of her asexuality, anxiety and eating disorder but with people who accepted and loved all of her. With the help of friends and my AMM mentor (second time’s a charm!), I whipped my manuscript into shape. I can’t overstate how crucial being an AMM Round 5 mentee was to my confidence and craft as a writer. I worked with Adrienne Kisner and it was the first time I felt like I might be able to do this for real.

As someone with anxiety and depression, my publishing journey has been full of hurdles. I unsuccessfully applied to Pitch Wars and AMM and queried with my first book (which was actually the third full book I’d written). I started querying the book that got me an agent, my sixth full manuscript, in September 2019 and received my first offer in February 2020. Those six months were some of the most stressful of my life and I actually quit writing completely last December. I’m so thankful I queried Jordan because working with her has improved my craft so much, and I hope all authors get the chance to feel that rush of relief and pride when someone believes in your words and story as much as you do. I’m sharing all of this to show you, prospective mentees, that I haven’t forgotten how much an emotional toll this process takes. Writing your truth is an act of hope and sharing those words with the world is such an act of bravery. I want to be a small part of your journey. You deserve that, too.

As a former English and Art History major who has written seven full books since I was 15, I have written…a lot. On a serious note, I’ve exchanged manuscripts and edited books and queries for friends and through programs like #CPMatch on Twitter. Many of my critique partners have agents or are published and working on new projects or branching out into new genres. I was also an AMM Round 5 mentee and so excited to be formally mentoring for the first time. I know what it’s like to be on the mentee side of this experience and I want to give back after how much this program helped me as a writer.

Author Mentor Match played such a key part in developing the confidence I needed to query the book of my heart. I want to pay that forward and help someone else hone their craft and give you whatever emotional support you might want or need on your writing journey. I want to help nurture new voices and pass on the tips, skills and tricks I’ve learned as I’ve found my own little writing community. Publishing is such a strange and unwelcoming place at times. If I can make that a little easier for you, it would mean the world to me. I’ve been so incredibly lucky thus far and if I can make the process a little easier and kinder for my mentee, that would be aces.

First and foremost, I just want to reiterate how proud I am of you for considering Author Mentor Match as part of your writing journey. No matter what, this process is going to help you in some way. I am sincerely so excited to read your submission. I love helping writers with their worth, whether that means being your cheerleader as you revise and query, talking through plot points and structure or going through and leaving the nittiest and grittiest of line edits on your manuscript. Through this process, I want to be here for you in whatever way is most productive and help you to grow as a writer. When I was an AMM mentee, my mentor Adrienne Kisner did that for me, and I am so grateful for the chance to pay it forward. Community and connections are so vital when you’re breaking in, and I’m here to help.

What I’m looking for most in a mentee is someone whose story I deeply connect with and have a solid plan to help. Voice, character and detail are the strongest points in my own writing, so if those are areas where you would like to strengthen and really delve in, we might be a solid match. I’m very hands on and editorial in my approach, but I’m also flexible and open to whatever you need. We are going to work together on your plot structure, character motivations, dialogue, descriptions and voice and make your manuscript sparkle.

Please send me all of your poignant and hard-hitting or cute and fluffy contemporaries. No subject matter is too light or heavy for me—I think we need a broad spectrum of contemporary in KidLit. I also have a huge soft spot with contemporary stories with a magical or surreal twist. I would also love the opportunity to mentor a fellow ace or aspec writer if possible. My MSWL will give you a great idea of the tropes, themes and types of books I’d love to work with, but I’m also very open to being surprised. No matter what, if you think we’d be a great match, I can’t wait to hear from you.


  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices

Above all, I want to see all the heart and humor in your YA, but I am open to books that deal with darker and more difficult topics especially in the realm of mental health. When it comes to mental health rep, I’m interested in anxiety, depression and beyond. I would love to see so much more diversity in how mental health is represented in YA.

Contemporary/Romance: Give me all the cute and adorable rom-coms pleeeeease, but I also love rom-coms that use the genre to explore larger and deeper social issues. I love rivals or enemies-to-lovers, You’ve Got Mail-esque secret penpals, slow burns and fake dating stories tropes especially.

Fabulism: I love contemporary stories with a surreal, fabulist or magical twist. Please send me all your lightly magical or twisty-turvy books. If you have something along the lines of Sarah Gailey’s When We Were Magic, David Arnold’s The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik or A.S. King’s surrealism, I’d love to read it!

In any project sent to me, I would love to see diversity, especially #ownvoices works by POC, LGBTQPIA+ and/or disabled folks. For transparency, I am a white bi and ace enby with anxiety and depression.


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

My working style is to be as flexible as possible to accommodate what you need as a mentee, but I can give you an idea of what help I can provide and what I think a strong approach to this relationship should be based on past experience. I will provide you with a big picture edit letter with some structural and developmental feedback as well as a marked up copy of your manuscript with more detail-oriented line edits. I am open to texting, emailing or video-chatting over any questions or ideas you have about your manuscript. I am also a dispenser of unlimited virtual hugs and encouragement.

I hope to work very collaboratively and conversationally. Before I get you your edit letter and line edits, I’d hope to have a conversation about your book, what it means to you and the publishing life you hope it will have. I’ll also ask you what you love about it and what you’d like to improve to keep in mind as I read with an editorial mindset. My priority is to help you and bolster your success by assisting you in chasing the vision you have for your book, and my hope is just to help you get there. I’m here for you while you revise, and I’m also here for you while you research agents, prepare to query and throughout the querying process if you need me.

My ideal mentee is someone who needs that last little push before they send their work out into the world and is looking for an experience that will help them get their by fostering their growth as a writer. I want to work with someone who is open to collaboration and receptive to constructive criticism. We’re gonna work and we’re gonna work hard, so I’m looking for someone who is open and willing to improve their craft and commit to the revision process as a part of their journey to continually sharpening their writing skills. I’m also looking for someone up to having an ongoing working relationship. I want to be your supporter and cheerleader for the long haul.

Here are some ideas for what I would love to see in my inbox:

  • Contemporary stories and romantic comedies that are brimming with humor and heart. Please overwhelm me with feelings and a bonus if you make me swoon!
  • But you can also send me “dark” contemporary books. If your books deals with sensitive, hard, difficult, etc. topics in a sensitive and/or fresh way, I’d love to see it.
  • Books that feature complex, rich and multifaceted queer characters, and asexual and/or aromantic characters in particular.
  • I love anything that explores queer friendships in all their quirkiness and closeness. And if you have something with found family as a part of the story, I have a mighty need.
  • Please send me all the unconventional and messy families.
  • Also send me all the messy queer girls.
  • Stories that have empathetic, compassionate and honest mental health representation.
  • Anything theatre or musical-related or theatre-inspired. Contemporary Shakespeare retellings? Yes, please! Contemporary retellings of Greek myths? Heck yes.
  • Stories where food, cooking and baking are a central component.
  • Books set in New Jersey. Might be a long shot, but I want them ALL.

Please know that this is not in any way a comprehensive list, just the first bunch of things that came to mind. If you think we’d be a great match and your book has none of the things on this list, I love surprises!


  • Please no cheating or betrayal-centered stories.
  • No COVID-19 narratives.
  • Royal/aristocracy stories.
  • Fantasy or science fiction. I love many, but wouldn’t know where to begin to help you
  • Historical. I feel like this is something I need to have more background and familiarity on to help you properly.
  • Paranormal, mysteries or Thrillers. See above. I would not be a helpful mentor.
  • Horror, unless it’s more gothic and atmospheric.
  • Novels in verse. As much as I LOVE them and want to write one, I need to learn more about the craft before I can help someone revise theirs.

Books: When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Dig by A.S. King, Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake, Mosquitoland by David Arnold, Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley, I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

TV: Rupaul’s Drag Race, Schitt’s Creek, Love, Victor, Fleabag, Pose, Big Mouth, Sex Education

Movies: Short Term 12, WALL-E, The Day After Tomorrow, Titanic, Love Simon, Edge of Seventeen, Speech & Debate, Tangled and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Music: Panic! at the Disco, Sara Bareilles, The Beetles, Ben Platt, David Bowie, Blondie, P!nk, The Killers, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, show tunes

Theatre: The Spongebob Musical, Spring Awakening, Waitress, RENT, Hadestown, Little Shop of Horrors, The Prom, & Juliet, Fun Home, Come From Away, Moulin Rouge, Jagged Little Pill, Six, What the Constitution Means to Me