Katie Shea Boutillier

YA Contemporary

In Revision

Jenny is a California-based writer and teaching artist originally from Troy, Michigan. She is an award-winning playwright, whose work has been presented all over the country. She is a teaching artist with the Playwrights Project, UCSD, La Jolla Playhouse, and elsewhere. Her dramatic writing is represented by Amy Wagner of Abrams Artists Agency, and her fiction is represented by Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency. MFA: Columbia University; BA: Sarah Lawrence College.

When Jenny isn’t writing or teaching, you might find her crocheting amigurumi, or playing video games (mostly RPGs). She loves to travel (favorite cities include Prague, Barcelona, Rome, Singapore) and collects pandas (she cries whenever she seems them at the zoo.) She is also branching out into the world of filmmaking, and her first feature film will be released in September. She lives in San Diego with her boyfriend, 3 crested geckos, one bearded dragon, and a betta fish named Princess Puddles.

roAs you may have gleaned from my bio, I was a playwright before I became a novelist. But when I moved out of New York City, I lost my theatrical collaborators. So, while I searched for new ones, I turned to fiction. I wrote my first YA novel (called BRUISED FRUIT) queried it, got some decent responses but no offers. After 50 or so queries, I shelved it and began to write my second book, which became GLASS HANDS. From the start, it felt like a magical process: I got into a residency in Italy where I dedicated 6 weeks to writing the first draft, then I got into Round 1 of Author Mentor Match, and my AMAZING mentor, Rachel Lynn Solomon, really taught me what it meant to revise and polish. I began to query, and out of 50 or so queries, I got 20 or so full requests, and 4 offers.

I’m a creative writing teacher all over San Diego, and I have five years of experience working with writers who want to hone their craft and push their careers forward. Also, my theater background makes collaboration second nature to me, and I love working with other artists.

My mentor changed my life. She truly did. I would not be where I am without her guidance. It is my great hope that I can have the kind of impact on another writer that she had on me.

I’m looking for an open, hardworking writer who is excited to get feedback, and who is brimming with questions and curiosity. It is my hope that this mentorship will turn into a friendship and that we can be longterm CPs for each other, but that isn’t a requirement, just a dream! I want a story that is un-put-downable, written by someone who is dedicated, long term, to craft and the business of publishing. This industry is a challenging one: I believe we should help each other out when we can!

  • Contemporary
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

Give me something dark, well-paced and twisty, with a strong voice and I’ll fall in love. I love romance as well, but I prefer it as a subplot rather than the main point of the story. I love strong, ambitious characters — particularly young women! — with autonomy and agency who get themselves into trouble and have to use their wits to get themselves out again.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Skype or phone call

I’m mostly interested in figuring out what’s best for you. When we begin, I’ll try to figure out how you work, and how I can best support your unique style so that I can tailor my feedback. Though I know I’m definitely better suited to big-picture notes, not small line-edits.

My ideal mentee has already done a lot of work to hone her craft, and sees this mentorship opportunity as a way to help her navigate the next phase of her career. She is enthusiastic, open to feedback, and brings passion and focus to her work. She’s a serious writer with openness and a sense of humor.

Have you written about the performing arts? That is my JAM. Also anything set in the 90s. I love stories about bisexuality and f/f relationships. If you really dig into what it means to be a teenage girl, I will probably be into it. OH! And if you have contemporary witches, PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME.

Anything centered around illness or injury is not for me. Anything about a girl trying to choose between two boys is probably also not for me. Also, I’d prefer not to see anything that centers around a character dealing with the death of a parent.

This is really hard. Ummm… Ok, TV shows: Six Feet Under is my favorite show of all time. I also love Felicity, Outlander, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Brooklyn 99, and Parks & Rec

Movies: All About Eve, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Arrival, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Books: Wuthering Heights, The Sun is Also a Star, Dark Matter, The Hunger Games, Outlander, The Bell Jar, The Chronology of Water, The Passion, Never Let Me Go