Chelsea writes twisty thrillers for young adults. A former high school English teacher, she currently resides in southern California with her husband and children. When she’s not reading or writing, Chelsea can be found on the soccer field.
Laura is a writer from Los Angeles currently living in Charleston, South Carolina. These days she mostly writes thrillers, though she got her start as a creative writer producing a rather undersubscribed family newspaper at the age of 9. She later attended NYU where she obtained her BFA in Dramatic Writing. She then traveled to the UK where she learned people sometimes order corn on their pizza and got her MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University.
Chelsea: LITTLE CREEPING THINGS was my second completed manuscript and the first I queried. After applying to AMM twice as well as to Pitch Wars, and revising in between rounds, I was accepted into AMM in 2017. I finished revisions with my mentor and then queried the manuscript, signing with my agent a few weeks later. After several months on submission, this book as well as a second thriller sold to Sourcebooks Fire.
Laura: I began writing novels in 2014 after years of writing screenplays and plays. I attended the Big Sur Writing Workshop and then applied to an MA program for Writing for Young People in 2015 where I completed my first YA novel. I submitted the novel to a small batch of agents but pulled it to apply to PitchWars. I wasn’t selected and eventually ended up shelving the project. I then came up with an idea for a YA thriller that I entered into round 3 of AMM in 2017 and got in. After a lot of revision I queried widely in 2018 and ended up with a great request rate and multiple offers before signing with my wonderful agent in 2019. I’m currently on submission and working on drafting an adult thriller.
Chelsea: Through being accepted into AMM, I’ve gained several critique partners who have since landed agents as well as book deals. My experiences as an English major and a former high school English teacher have honed my ability to guide writers through crafting and editing a story.
Laura: I have years of experience in writing workshops for screenplays, plays, and YA fiction. I’ve worked as a professional copywriter. Through being a mentee in AMM and participating in the online writing community, I’ve helped many friends and CPs work on their query letters and manuscripts who now have agents and/or book deals.
Being accepted into a mentorship program was essential to both of our publishing journeys, and we are so excited to pay it forward. The experience was invaluable in taking our careers to the next level. Sometimes it’s not just the writing that needs help, but also a need for validation and encouragement, and this is what we hope to provide our future mentee. The path to publication can be treacherous and aspiring writers need a little guidance as they polish and query. We’d love to share our experiences, both bad and good, to help our mentee navigate the process.
We’re open to YA and adult entries. We love everything creepy, murder-y, and twisty. We are fans of unlikeable protagonists. We also like humor mixed with terror. Romance is fine as long as it’s not the main plot line.
YA & Adult:
- Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
We’d love to mentor a YA or adult psychological thriller. For YA, please no graphic sex scenes. No rape scenes for YA or adult. We’re not huge fans of the “she was dead/a hallucination the whole time” trope or the secret twin trope.
Thriller – We’re probably not the best choice for political or medical thrillers, but domestic thrillers are okay. We’re open to thrillers with speculative twists.
Contemporary Fantasy – Contemporary fantasy of all kinds, except maybe fae. We’re not the best choice for ghosts.
Horror – No torture porn, please.
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
We’re happy to provide feedback in whatever way you find most useful. We’re comfortable communicating via e-mail, chat, or a call. We’ll provide an initial big picture edit letter and then set up a chat to brainstorm ways to tackle the revision. When you complete revisions, we will provide a line edit to tighten and polish everything. Once you’re happy with your revised manuscript, we will help you craft a query letter and a list of agents if you’d like.
Our ideal mentee is someone who’s willing to put in the work and make changes if they will result in a stronger manuscript. We’re pretty easy-going but want someone who is driven.
- -Unreliable narrators
- -Unlikeable protagonists
- -Gothic thrillers like Ruth Ware’s THE TURN OF THE KEY
- -Soapy/campy thrillers like Sara Shepard’s REPUTATION
- -Horror like Rory Power’s WILDER GIRLS and Jeff Vandermeer’s ANNIHILATION
- -Apocalyptic horror like Josh Malerman’s BIRDBOX
- -Remote locations
- -Locked room mysteries
- -Atmospheric contemporary fantasies like Shea Ernshaw’s THE WICKED DEEP and Melissa Albert’s THE HAZEL WOOD
- -Buried secrets like Kara Thomas
- -Horror like Shirley Jackson’s THE LOTTERY
- -Something like Rosemary’s Baby or Riley Sager’s LOCK EVERY DOOR
- -Domestic suspense like Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
- -Retellings like Brittany Cavallaro’s CHARLOTTE HOLMES series
DO NOT SEND ME:
- -Romance as the main storyline
- Graphic sex scenes for YA
- Rape scenes for YA or adult
Books: Gone Girl, Little Monsters, The Woman in Cabin 10, Birdbox
Movies: Clue, Knives Out, Rosemary’s Baby, The Bad Seed, The Cabin in the Woods, The Quiet Place, Get Out, Hitchcock movies, The Witch, Creep, Shaun of the Dead, Scream
TV: Buffy, You, Castle Rock, Broadchurch, Fargo, The Killing, Killing Eve