Natascha Morris

Contemporary/Middle Grade

In revision. Book is about a former child star who thought she’d left Hollywood behind, only to find that her family is soon to be stars of a reality TV show.

Jennifer Locke is a writer of MG books starring MC’s in that awkward space between “kid” and “full-fledged teenager.” She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and twin daughters. By day, Jennifer is a ghostwriter and book collaborator. When not writing, she can be found reading (duh!), listening to a podcast, or having a dance party with her three year olds.

I decided to pursue writing as a path for real back in 2011. I wrote three books that will never see the light of day (thank God!). It was in querying my fourth book that I got my agent, in 2017. 

I have a Bachelor’s degree in English. My “day job” is as a ghostwriter and book collaborator, meaning I write nonfiction books for busy people or help them in the development/writing of their own. A book I ghostwrote got a deal and will be coming out in fall 2019! I was a mentee in AMM in 2017 and loved the experience; I still keep in touch with my mentor, who’s a valuable publishing advisor.

When I was a mentee in 2017, I wanted so badly to find someone who would be a “bridge” to my writing dream and the path to publication. The AMM program was just that for me, and I was so grateful. My mentor from AMM is a huge cheerleader for me, and I’m a cheerleader for her. We continue as CP’s (and friends) for one another. I want to be a mentor because in this business, we all need a bunch of people on our team. I really enjoy critiquing work for CP’s and members of my in-person critique group. I love helping authors get their books sub-ready–I want to do what my mentor did for me in 2017, and along the way make a new author buddy. My taste can be best be described as “contemporary with tons of heart.” I’m a sucker for cross-cultural narratives, fish out of water stories, or characters who stand out. For example: Front Desk by Kelly Yang, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty, Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed, The First Rule of Punk by Celia Perez, and Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. I enjoy stories that deal with religion via examining it as a cultural force (not proselytizing), a la The Prophet Calls by Melanie Sumrow. Also enjoy stories with a fantastical/spooky bent, a la Jonathan Auxier (Sophie Quire, The Night Gardener). I love spunky MC’s, and I also love MC’s whom I want to wrap my arms around.

  • Contemporary
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • #ownvoices

I don’t care for overly quirky things–books that seem like they’re quirky for the sake of being quirky. Also not a huge fan of an MC winning over an old curmudgeon.

I’m a firm believer that a modern day MG protagonist should act like a 2019 pre-teen. That means texting, social media, etc.–unless there’s a very good reason for those elements NOT to be there.


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

I’m open to however a mentee wants to work together. I would imagine a get to know you call, followed by me reading and sending an edit letter. Then line editing a further revision.

Someone who is passionate about their work, but holds it with an open hand. Know that you will be revising based on my feedback, and then most likely for an agent as well.


  • Contemporary: Stories about family, friends, someone coping in a new cross-cultural environment, funny kids, extraordinary kids, kids who haven’t developed their “”filter”” yet
  • Historical fiction: I love to learn about little-known history (think Wolf Hollow, The War That Saved My Life)
  • Magical Realism

Can’t think of a lot of things that turn me off. I won’t be a great fit for sci-fi or fantasy because I don’t read much in those genres. Also probably not a great fit for animal stories.

I read a lot of literary fiction in addition to YA/MG fiction. Favorite authors include Elinor Lipman, Meg Wolitzer, Curtis Sittenfeld. Also read quite a bit of nonfiction. Jane Austen has my heart forever and ever. So does Oprah. Anyone who’s known me for five minutes knows of my love for Oprah.

TV/movie favorites: Kimmy Schmidt makes me do spit-takes. I’m really enjoying the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as well. (Beyond that, I don’t really watch TV!) Some favorite movies include: Boyhood, The “”Before”” movies (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight), The Princess Bride, and Superstar. It’s my writer dream to write a book with a MC similar to Mary Katherine Gallagher.