General Program Questions
What is AMM?
Author Mentor Match (AMM) pairs aspiring writers with completed manuscripts with experienced authors (agented and published) for mentorship. The mentor/mentee pairs work together over the lifetime of a book project, and sometimes longer. Every mentor/mentee relationship is individual, but we are proud to have many success stories and long-term peer relationships forged over many years.
Does it cost money?
No. AMM is 100% free and always will be. All our mentors and the entire admin team are volunteers.
Is this only for traditional publishing?
Yes, AMM’s current focus and area of expertise is navigating the traditional publishing industry. All of our mentors are either agented and/or have a traditional book deal or deals.
Who are the mentors?
AMM mentors are agented, and/or have a book deal or books published traditionally. They have gone through the gauntlet of traditional publishing and are able to offer insights into the industry and its challenges.
What do the mentors offer their mentees?
AMM mentors offer all mentees at minimum one complete manuscript read and comprehensive edit letter, query assistance, and ongoing guidance and support for the life-cycle of your AMM book. Many mentors offer additional reads, line edits, brainstorming sessions, career advice, and beyond. We cannot promise mentees will become agented or get book deals, but every mentor endeavours to offer insights that will help their mentees become strongers writers who are better equipped for the industry.
Is this just for fiction? What about non-fiction?
Currently AMM is only for fiction, though we do have the occasional mentor who is open to select narrative non-fiction and indicates so in their profile. However by and large, AMM is strictly for works of fiction.
What kinds of manuscripts do you accept?
Currently AMM specializes in completed works of fiction, and is open to middle grade, young adult, and adult manuscripts across a wide variety of genres.
What about graphic novels and novels-in-verse?
The vast majority of our mentors are interested strictly in narrative/prose fiction, however we do have some mentors very excited to receive graphic novel and novels-in-verse submissions. You can find more information on the mentors page on their individual manuscript wishlists.
What about picture books and chapter books?
AMM currently does not focus on younger kidlit including picture books and chapter books. There may, however, be select middle grade mentors with experience and interest in chapter books. Please refer to individual mentor wish lists.
How many mentors can I apply to?
Up to 4 mentors in one category only. Ie: 4 YA mentors, not 2 YA and 2 adult mentors, or 4 YA and 4 Adult mentors. We do not recommend only applying to one mentor–do your best to apply to at least 3!
Can I submit to mentors in more than one category? (ie: YA & MG, YA & adult?)
We cannot technically stop you, but we strongly recommend that you do not. You should have a strong sense of where your manuscript sits in the marketplace. If it were on bookshelves tomorrow, what would it be next to? That should tell you if your book is MG, YA, or adult. Of course some crossover books may apply, however consider the “anchor category” of that book–in most cases a YA crossover is anchored in YA. An MG crossover is anchored in MG. Adult crossover is anchored in adult. And so on. Mentors firmly rooted in each category will be the best people to guide you on crossover appeal for that anchor category.
Where can I find out more about the mentors?
On the mentors page! They’re organized by category and from there hover over their picture and click through to see their extended profile and manuscript wishlist!
Can I ask the mentors a question?
Absolutely. The best way is via social media. We will be holding Twitter chats, Instagram lives, and YouTube livestreams leading up to the submission window which we hope will help. You can also always use the #AskAMM hashtag on Twitter, send us a DM, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the mentors I submit to pass, will they share my manuscript with others?
AMM supports mentors sharing promising manuscripts that aren’t a fit for them with other mentors. So it is possible to be chosen by a mentor you didn’t apply to! We always run it by the mentee before making a match, and thus far no one has said no. Thus, while you can only apply to 4 mentors, it is possible to have a shot with additional mentors.
Does my book have to be complete?
Yes, your manuscript should be complete at the time the submission window opens.
Should I edit my book before I submit?
We suggest you revise at least once, with or without critique partners, however we have no hard and fast rules.We recommend at least one developmental pass, and ensuring your manuscript is free of excessive spelling and grammar errors. The aim is not perfection, but polish!
How do I submit?
We have a full page of instructions here. The short version: fill out an application, then email your query, partial, and synopsis to the applicable AMM gmail inbox. You will choose your 4 mentors on the application form and do not need to address your query to anyone. Dear Mentors is fine!
Can I submit more than one manuscript?
Again, technically yes… but we always advise no. You should focus on your strongest manuscript in terms of market potential, freshness (whether it has been queried), and your passion for the work.
Can I submit if I have already queried?
Yes, though we kindly request you use your best judgment in terms of how heavily a project has been queried. Mentors will have a more difficult time assisting with something queried to, say, over 100 agents. However, we never want to be overly prescriptive–you are welcome to submit and see! We do ask you be forthcoming on the application about how many times the manuscript has been revised and queried, however.
Can I submit if I have self-published?
We welcome self published authors interested in pursuing traditional publishing, though we ask that you do not submit any manuscripts that have been already self published. But we are happy to consider new work aiming for traditional publication.
Can I submit a manuscript I've previously submitted to AMM?
Absolutely. In fact, we encourage it! Every year there are mentees chosen who submitted in previous rounds… and we love that! It’s why we endeavor to bring in new mentors each round to increase opportunities to find the right fit for your manuscript.
Can I submit if I'm a previous AMM mentee?
Yes, though we do ask/recommend that there have been significant time between rounds and that you have a new manuscript for consideration. But we completely understand that sometimes a previous round’s manuscript ends up shelved and your mentor is no longer available, and so we are always happy to consider new material. We cannot make guarantees of being chosen, but we have had success stories of mentees who have been chosen twice.
What should I do with outstanding queries?
You don’t have to withdraw any outstanding queries, though we do ask if you have been querying that you halt querying for the “holiday season” and into the AMM submission window, just in case. If chosen as an AMM mentee, you can then chat with your mentor about sending updates to any outstanding queries about your manuscript plans.
Community & Social Media
How can I connect with other AMM Hopefuls?
There is a mentee/hopeful-run private Facebook Group you can join. You can also participate in #AMMParty on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, or any other AMM event to make friends.
Will there be live events for Round 9?
Yes! This is our current event schedule, subject to change
What if I get an offer of representation during the submission window?
Please let us know right away. First off, congratulations! Second off, we’re happy to help if we can. If your manuscript is under strong consideration by one of our mentors, we can let you know so you can make a decision moving forward. We will also be happy to offer advice/insight into your agent offer, if you’d like it. In most cases mentees choose to withdraw and sign, but in some cases a mentee has chosen to work with an AMM mentor on next steps.
Can I submit to other pitch contests?
Generally yes. In fact, if you want to participate in an online pitch event as an AMM mentee, your mentor can help you. What we do request, however, is that you not participate actively in pitch events leading up to and during the AMM submission window, if at all possible. We also kindly ask that you not apply to AMM with the intention of entering Pitch Wars in the same calendar year with the same manuscript. AMM is not a free editing/polishing service for another intense mentorship program. (Existing AMM mentees from previous rounds, however, are always welcome and encouraged to explore options with other programs, including Pitch Wars.) It is also fine if you have been a mentor in other programs! We just ask if you’re actively being mentored in another program that you run it by that mentor so as to avoid any hurt feelings/conflicts of interest.
How will I know if you got my submission/materials?
The Google submission form will have an option to send a copy to yourself and you will land on a confirmation page when complete. The email inboxes will have auto-response turned on–though sometimes gmail is buggy and likes to turn it off. However, rest assured: if you submit in one place and not another WE WILL CONTACT YOU. Please do not tweet, DM, or email us requesting submission confirmation. Look for the aforementioned confirmations and know we will be in touch with any issues!
My manuscript is too many/too few words--what do I do?
The word counts on the application are a general guidelines, not an absolute rule. When in doubt, submit, though we do strongly recommend being aware of industry norms in terms of what is considered too short and too long depending on category and genre.