Mentor Emi Pinto

Emily Forney, BookEnds

Middle Grade Fantasy


Emi Pinto is a MG fantasy author who finds a lot of inspiration from family shenanigans and delicious desi food. She studied psychology, education, and linguistics, and has a Doctorate degree in Education from the University of Western Ontario. Emi lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband and two cats (four if you count the neighborhood cats that come for handouts and cuddles).

I started writing during grad school, while I was also working a full-time job in health care. Writing was an awesome escape and adventure, and I had a tone of fun procrastinating studying. But I was too scared of rejection to query yet or show anyone my work. I always told myself, ok the next book will be good enough to query. It took me a bit, but after five years of writing and five manuscripts, I made the leap.

I started querying in September 2019. By mid December, I had written two more manuscripts, and also applied to AMM mentorship. I was so thrilled to find out I selected as a mentee! And then literally the next day, I received my first offer of rep. I had to turn down the mentorship of course, but still received some amazing support navigating the offer process. In February 2020, I signed with my agent and am currently on submission with two middle grade fantasies.

As a graduate from the faculty of education, I’ve had a lot of experience in providing editorial support to fellow students. I’ve also mentored several junior staff members and students through my work in health care and the federal government. In the writing community, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to CP for several writer friends, and provide query critiques, most of which have gone on to sign with literary agents.

The journey to publishing is different for everyone, but I think we can agree that (like any good MG mystery😉) its often full of twists and turns, ups and downs. I know I would have loved to have some guidance in my writing and querying process, and so I’d love to offer this to others in the community.

I’m looking for stories with lots of heart, and characters that I can stand up and cheer for. Fantasy is my first love, as well as spooky stories and mysteries that make me second guess whether I’ve forgotten to lock the front door. I’m also a big fan of a pinch of magic/light magic/magical realism type stories. And lastly, stories with multigeneration and culturally mixed families, as well as ownvoices stories, will always have a special place in my heart.

Middle Grade

  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

Tropes are popular for a reason, they work! I’m especially interested in old tropes new spins, whether that’s because of a different cultural or identity lens or any historically underrepresented viewpoints in kidlit.



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

I have a pretty flexible working style. We’ll start with an edit letter or any general big picture feedback, and go from there, depending on what the book needs and how you feel. If video chats work better than phone calls for you, that’s what we’ll do! If you find informal texting/messaging works best, I can do that. Also, I’m a big fan of doing “positivity passes” on manuscripts, so if you want me to gush about your writing and characters, I’ll be here all day. After the revision process, I’ll also be happy to help make sure the query material is ready to go, and you feel confident about your submissions.

I think to get the most out of any mentorship, there need a certain level of openness. By that I mean receptive to feedback and new ways of doing things, open to discussing potential areas of need and brainstorming ways to strengthen those. And it goes both ways! I also need to be open and receptive – if you feel like something isn’t quite working right, let me know and we’ll do things differently!


  • Characters with big – pull me in and never let go – voices and flaws and quirks.
  • Big fan of anything that comps to A SERIES OF UNFORUNATE EVENTS
  • Give me the spooky, light horror, spoopy, like PARANORMAN, CORALINE, JACK AND CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART
  • A good friendship or light romance arc is always fun
  • Make me laugh! Love a good, unexpected snort
  • Magic, adventure, hijinks!! think EVA EVERGREEN and A PINCH OF MAGIC
  • Multigenerational families, extended families, complicated families
  • Huge fan of the natural world, so if you have something with tidbits of environmentalism or nature/animal facts STEM style weaved through, I’m here for it
  • All the paranormal characters – vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, etc
  • I like to snack when I read. Gimme stories with good food descriptions!
  • Magical realism
  • Big adventures or Quiet Stories
  • Magic tech – I’m loving ARCANE on Netflix!


  • Historical fantasy
  • Anamorph-type stories
  • Unreliable narrators
  • Abuse, substance abuse, or eating disorder content


TV – The Mindy Project, Strong Girl Bong Soon, Stranger Things, Friends, Terrace House, K-ON!, Silver Spoon, Little Mosque on the Prairie, any horror-esque mini series on Netflix

Movies – any and all Ghibli movies, Hunger Games, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Slumdog Millionaire, The Emperor’s New Groove, Guardians of the Galaxy, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Star Trek, Twilight, The Polar Express, Lion, The Thousand Foot Journey