Sarena and Sasha are twin sisters living in Ontario, Canada. They love reading books in their spare time and enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery novels. They have been writing books since they were nine years old.
We started writing very young, and self-published our first fantasy trilogy as teens. We’ve learned a ton about writing and publishing ever since, and began querying a new YA mystery book three years ago. After heavily querying that book, we began writing a new YA high fantasy MS that landed us an agent last year — so altogether, we were in the query trenches for almost two years. With the help of our agent, we are currently revising to make our manuscript the strongest it can be before we head out on submission!
We majored in English, French, and Professional Writing at the University of Toronto. We currently work as author assistants and interns at a book packaging company! We were mentees in PitchWars 2016 (which was an amazing experience), and those edits and fast turnaround timeline helped not only whip our MS into shape, but draft a new manuscript in two months post-PW. We took an editing-specific course while in undergrad and are continuing our publishing education, particularly in children’s books, so we know a lot about the industry and the types of manuscripts agents are looking for!
First off, we would love to pass on the wisdom and experience we learned from being mentees in PitchWars. Second, we just loving editing and helping others find the fullest potential in their manuscripts. And third, this industry can be hard enough alone — finding a mentor and a partner in someone is more than worthwhile!
We love high-concept (X meets Y) commercial stories with vivid writing styles. It doesn’t have to be literary writing, but we love it when the writing stands out and apart, giving the story a unique feel. We love characters with secrets, books with a hook that’ll make you say, I WANT THAT. Our favourite YA and MG books are the ones that we can fly through with quick pacing and commercial plots. We love books that feel sweeping and cinematic, but still touch on deep themes and emotions that tie the characters to their world, the plot, and the people around them. We love anything that focuses on the importance of family.
- Own Voices
Tropes we love: mistaken identity, hate-to-love/enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romances, “pretending we’re in love when we’re really not but we really are” (aka the fake couple), sibling stories, foodie stories. I wouldn’t say we *hate* any tropes because even the ones we aren’t fond of can be done well, but we’re not too big on love triangles.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
We can collab in any way you feel comfortable, but we love giving big structural notes and in-line edits/comments. We’re free to DM but if you have a big question or big changes to discuss, email might work better, because it’s easier to log things that way and keep track of everything! We love helping writers make their worlds feel bigger, and their plots feel stronger and tighter. We’ve learned a TON about world-building and internal/external motivation, so we can always help with that!
Someone who’s willing to work, edit, and put the time and effort into their manuscript. Getting an agent and book deal is NOT easy, so putting in your best work now can be extremely useful for the future. Ideally, we’d love a mentee where we can teach each other something — and we where can collaborate effectively and harmoniously (i.e., someone who’s not afraid of big changes, adding more to their world/plot and pulling back where necessary, etc).
- Sibling stories (we love anything family-oriented)
- A big, sweeping fantasy like AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
- An ownvoices sci-fi/fantasy. We’d love to see something like MIRAGE which is a fantasy/sci-fi blend. Especially if it’s set in space!
- A thriller a la ONE OF US IS LYING (Sasha loves thrillers!) with diverse teens
- A MG adventure or paranormal story, whether set in our world or another, for fans of Rick Riordan (like ARU SHAH), Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil, or Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (we’d love to see something spooky!)
- Stories concerning the French Revolution/French history or alternate history
- Circus YA like CARAVAL
- Non-western fantasy retellings with a twist (think FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS)
DO NOT SEND ME:
Though we do love world-building and magic, we aren’t into fantasies that have overly elaborate worlds/over-the-top magic systems (we prefer accessible, easy-to-understand fantasy like FALLING KINGDOMS and EVERLESS). That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an expansive world, just that we like the world to be as accessible as possible. We’re not looking for stories in verse, love triangles, or stories steeped in romance (though we like it as a sub plot!). We are not generally a good fit for super dark/gritty fantasy.
Books: An Ember in the Ashes, Ash Princess, The Belles, Uglies, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Scythe, Suddenly Supernatural series, Caraval, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Everless, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Gauntlet TV shows: Once Upon A Time, Merlin, Good Witch, anything on the Food Network (we are MAJOR foodies!) Movies: Monster House, Elf, It Takes Two, Inception, The Sixth Sense