Sarah Landis

YA Fantasy


Elisabeth Funk is a young adult fantasy writer who graduated from Northwestern University with a journalism degree. She lives in Denver with her husband, dog, two cats, and ever-growing collection of succulents.

I started my writing journey at age six, with a 50-word picture book Little House on the Prairie fan fiction. I graduated college with a journalism career and have worked professionally in the industry since, and have been writing fiction seriously since 2013. I have two (terrible) novels tucked away, never to be spoken of again. My querying journey was lucky: I started seriously querying the same day as a #PitMad event, and found my agent within a week.

I have a lot of experience mentoring writers: I’ve worked as a freelance journalist for the past five years and have helped a number of writers start their own freelance career. Spending so much time writing (fiction and my day-to-day freelance) honed my eye in terms of sentence structure and cadence. If you want a mentor who can help you polish your (already gorgeous!) writing and make sure each scene tracks logically, I can help.

I remember starting out in the writing world and thinking: this community is ENORMOUS and I’ll never find my place. I looked at my sprawling manuscript and felt despondent and directionless. I wanted someone who’d been there, done that, seen that to look at my book and say, “Have you considered…?” And then I found Author Mentor Match! I found what I was looking for: advice, guidance, and an amazing community. For the first time, I knew what to do with my book. It worked: Once I started querying, I found an agent quickly. You deserve that too. I love looking at a manuscript and figuring out how to fix the problems — and swooning over everything I love. I love lush, atmospheric prose. There’s a thin line between that and purple prose, and I challenge anyone to find it, but I’ll be looking for a mentee that’s more descriptive than sparse. Note: that doesn’t mean I’ll love books with pages and pages of description. No George R. R. Martin-ing here. I’m looking for a writer that brilliantly balances prose and short, snappy action. I’m a fantasy person through-and-through, but I also love a strong sci-fi, especially if it integrates fantastical elements. I love a good historical fantasy but please note I’m generally not interested in straight historical. And I’m not your person for contemporary — sorry. I wouldn’t even know where to start. But while I adore strong and unique worldbuilding — no princes and castles for me, please (probably. You can still try me, especially if it’s an #ownvoices take that’s outside traditional Western European tropes!!) — characters reign supreme. Give me your conflicted main characters, your brooding love interests, your brooding main characters, your conflicted love interests. If you’ve got a tense enemies-to-lovers romance SEND IT TO ME NOW PLEASE.

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices

I read widely among fantasy and science fiction, but I particularly adore fantasies with unique magic systems (a la EVERLESS, JADE CITY, SIX OF CROWS). I do love a good romance (seriously, please, enemies-to-lovers!!!) but it’s not essential to a great book. I am also not opposed to love triangles. But any book where the romance is the meat of the story won’t be for me. For science fiction, I particularly adored THIS MORTAL COIL and THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET. If you can merge magic + space travel like Star Wars or A BIG SHIP AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE I would love that. If you can play with the concepts of god, angels, demons and multiverses like Laini Taylor, gimmeeeeee. I am not the best mentor for any stories about assassins, secret princesses, or damsels in distress. I am not interested in tyrannical governments or dystopians, but if you have post-apocalyptic fiction that is decidedly NOT dystopian a la a YA STATION ELEVEN, consider sending it my way. I do like portal fantasies, if they are well done and not just “here, I have shoved a normal fantasy book into a ~real world~ framework.” I don’t really like gratuitous violence and if your book can be best described as “creepy” it is probably not for me.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)

I want you to feel inspired by my edit letter, not devastated. Expect thoughtful questions that can help you determine how YOU want to fix something — and not demands or harsh criticisms. I also like leaving notes directly in a Word doc for you to parse individually. Once you have your initial feedback, I’ll be available for as much or as little processing as you need. Want to work through a tricky scene? I’ll plot it out with you. I know how important a sounding board for your ideas can be.

Someone excited about revision and ready to dive into the process. But also, someone who has worked through at least a revision or two on their own, too. I want your knowledge of the book to be deeper than a first draft. If you’re ready to accept some hard feedback — and then rally and fix it (with lots of help and encouragement!) — we’ll work well together.


  • Lush writing! With magic!
  • Historical fantasy from any time, any place.
  • Not-so-nice protagonists we can’t help but love.
  • That perfect combination of atmosphere and fun.
  • Twisty twists that will shock me.
  • Romance. All the romance. As long as romance isn’t the primary plot.
  • If someone has written a story from the POV of Mary, Queen of Scots’s handmaidens (a la Reign) and there is magic, I want it.
  • Some variant of superheroes.
  • Witty characters. Witty ensemble casts? Even better.
  • Anxiety/OCD rep subplots/themes, although I don’t want any books focused on that exclusively.


  • I’m not your mentor for fae. Unless if they’re part of a broad spread of various magical creatures. But straight fae aren’t for me.
  • No pet death.
  • Not Like Other Girls = no thanks!
  • Not a big fan of court intrigue.
  • I’m not your mentor for creepy monster books.
  • No horror please. Limited body horror. Limited gruesome scenes.

Books I’ve recently loved:


I’m extremely into Marvel and all things superheroes. Reylo stan.