Jessica Mileo, InkWell Mangement


GROW UP, TAHLIA WILKINS! (Winter, 2022) Little, Brown Young Readers

Karina Evans majored in English and Film Studies at the University of Delaware. After graduating, Karina returned to her home state of California to begin a career in the entertainment industry. She has worked in development, production, & marketing, and currently works for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Her debut MG novel, GROW UP, TAHLIA WILKINS!, will be published Winter 2022 from Little, Brown Young Readers. When she’s not writing, Karina likes to hike, play volleyball, sew, eat chocolate, travel with her husband (2020 exempt!), and snuggle with her two cats, Sir Pounce and Taika.

I always knew I wanted to write, but it took me a few years to find the medium I liked best. After graduating college, I pursued screenwriting and interned at Script Pipeline where I learned how to write coverage (analysis + evaluation) for screenplays. When I realized I preferred writing in a longer format, I experimented with a few book ideas, but didn’t seriously begin writing a novel until 2018. I liked writing MG, so in early 2019 I took a class at The Writing Salon in San Francisco to learn more about writing for children and all the different paths to publication. At the end of that class I had a finished MG manuscript that I began querying. It was a slow process, but I got some interest – including interest from my current agent. However, while waiting to hear back from agents, I had a lightbulb idea for an MG that I wrote and revised very quickly (which in hindsight – it needed more revision time!). I queried the new book and alerted the agents who had my previous manuscript (again, in hindsight – it is typically better to just have one project out at a time!) and got quick responses. I signed to my agent in Sep. 2019 with the book that would become GROW UP, TAHLIA WILKINS (Winter, 2022 – LBYR).

I majored in English at the University of Delaware where I would swap and critique pages with classmates. Since then I’ve developed my editing/evaluating during my time working at an online news site, a script house, and three major entertainment studios. I have also worked with CPs at all stages of the publishing path and weirdly love to help write queries.


I would love to help someone not only improve their manuscript and pitch, but also expand their writing community. I’ve had so many great mentors so I would be honored to pass that help along. Since writing can be very solitary, I think it is important to have someone you can talk to/ask questions/vent with. Plus, I liking making more friends that also write MG!

I’m partial to stories with humor and heart. Above all, I’d love to read a manuscript with a strong middle grade voice that sucks me in! I’m open to both lower MG and upper MG.

  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

Open to any tropes!


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

I will listen to my mentee’s goals, help them create actionable tasks, explain why I am suggesting the changes I am, and be empathetic to their emotions/desires toward their writing career. I can tailor my mentoring style to what my mentee prefers. I am fine to jump on calls, chat over emails, and I am ready to brainstorm with a mentee as well as help them set up for success when researching agents who fit their project. I would read all materials twice – once to absorb and once to add in-doc comments/suggestions. Then, would write up a full edit letter for MS, query, and pitch. If the mentee has questions on my edits, I would discuss with them and help them work through sticky sections. I prefer reading full manuscripts rather than edits chapter by chapter.

The ideal mentee would be someone who is open to change, excited to learn, passionate about their project, and comes prepared to put in work.


  • Funny stories! I want to laugh. Send me everything humorous and joyful. I’d love a sassed-up Junie B. Jones or a wannabe comedian a-la Yumi Chung.
  • Female friendships. Books that pass the Bechdel Test.
  • Grounded fantasies like The Borrowers or Tuck Everlasting (movie).
  • Twists! Heist stories, camped-up capers, thought-out mysteries. Give me MG Knives Out, Ocean’s Eleven, or Clue.
  • Scary stories. Things kids will stay up reading then regret as soon as the lights go out.

I’m open to surprises so don’t feel limited to this list!


  • Dead animals. It’s been A YEAR for all of us – I don’t think I can handle weeping over dead pets.
  • High fantasy. I love reading it, but I’m not the best mentor for it.
  • Religious stories.
  • Stories with child abuse.


A random assortment of things I love, in no particular order:
– The Amazing Race
– Fleabag
– Series of Unfortunate Events
– Holes
– Avatar: The Last Airbender
– Anything Taika Waititi
– Old Hollywood glamour
– The 70s
– Watchmen (HBO)
– Succession
– Bras & Broomsticks
– The Baby-Sitters Club
– Inside Out