Peter Knapp, Park Literary & Media
YA Fantasy
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers
July 2017
Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home.
She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Murphy currently lives in San Francisco with her family. You can find her at work on her second novel–somewhere between the beach and the bakery.
I graduated from Tufts University with a degree in English earned mostly from creative writing classes. I’ve edited professionally in several capacities: public relations work, e-compliance courses, and freelancing for textbook companies and nonprofits. I’ve served as a critique partner for published and unpublished friends, and I love helping people tighten and hone their work so they can show the true, polished heart of it to the world.
I love book people! Book people are my people. Publishing can sometimes be a hard, long road, but it’s also a generous and helpful community. I would love to help someone else as they begin a (hopefully long and promising) publishing career.
I’m looking for someone who has already put in a lot of hard work and is willing to do even more to hone their craft and give their manuscript its best shot. An ideal mentee would have a strong sense of the central heart of their book, but be willing to change or improve any aspects of the work that aren’t fully meeting that heart… yet.
I love fantasy, contemporary, and historical work. I’m drawn to stories that have a bit of sweetness to them. I love books that can deal with weightier things but still convey a sense of hope. I’m especially drawn to world building set in a new place: whether that’s a contemporary world in a setting that hasn’t seen a lot of publishing ink yet, or a fantasy world that feels fresh. I’m probably not right for anything that’s heavily sci-fi or involves aliens or a lot of sex. (Doubly true for aliens having lots of sex.)
I like to encourage writers by enthusiastically conveying the things I love about a work: an idea, beautiful wording in a sentence–but I will also not hesitate to point out areas that I think could be strengthened. Everyone’s work can be made better. I try to provide some possible ideas if needed but mostly ask questions, and am very cognizant that the author’s voice stays their own. In general I prefer to give written feedback.
My ideal mentee is excited, driven, hard-working, gracious, open to feedback, and willing to take it in a professional way.
I love Jane Austen, Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir, Marie Rutkoski, C.S. Lewis, and Rainbow Rowell. I love trying to find beauty and magic in everyday life–anything from flower gardens and art to drinking hot tea in a cozy spot. I am drawn to anything Asia-related because I spent half my childhood there. I love humor that is clever and good-spirited–some of my favorite television shows are Parks & Rec, Gilmore Girls, and Arrested Development.
If a story can make me cry but in the end leave me smiling, it’s going to be a winner.