Mentor Yvette Yun

Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Women’s Fiction, Family Drama, Mystery, Contemporary, Historical, Literary Speculative, Memoir, Hybrid, Experimental, Novel in Verse/Stories


Yvette Yun is a college English professor in Hawaii. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she wrote her first memoir, and a PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she wrote her first novel. She is a 2017 #RevPit runner-up, 2019 Pitch Wars mentee, 2021 The Word YA mentee. She successfully received offers of representation participating in #DVpit in 2017 and 2019. She has mentored for Author Mentor Match R8, Write Team Mentorship Program, DVmentor, and Pitch Wars.

I got really serious about becoming an author in 2017, when I finished my PhD and first novel – a work of upmarket women’s fiction that was a runner-up in #RevPit 2017. I found my first literary agent in #DVpit pretty quickly, after about two months of querying. Being on sub, however, was a slow nine-month torture, and my agent dumped me in 2019.

I revised my second novel – an adult family drama – through Pitch Wars 2019, where I found my current agent. I was on submission in early 2020, pulled for revision in late 2020, and went back on submission in early 2021 (considering an R&R for an editor).

I am currently revising my third novel – a YA family drama – through The Word’s editor-writer mentorship program.

I’m nearly done drafting my fourth novel – an adult mystery.

I truly believe one of these projects (especially #3 or #4) will finally knock down that stubborn publishing door!

AMM9 will be my 5th time volunteering as a mentor. My mentees’ manuscripts are magical realism set in Venezuela (AMM8), dual-POV upmarket family drama partially set in Kosovo (WTMP), novel in stories about a Seneca community (DVmentor), and horror in an old folk’s home (Pitch Wars). All of my mentees are talented peers whose novels have the brightest of futures.

I want to help fellow authors and love making new friends in the writing community. As a mentor, I hope to help my mentee navigate their way through the writing and submission process. Publishing is not one-size-fits-all, so my journey will not be theirs. However, I have mentorship experience on both sides (as a mentee – currently! – and as a mentor – also currently!). I also have over a decade of college-level teaching, creative writing, and publishing experience and many tools from my journey that I hope will help other aspiring authors.

I’m a busy mom (my daughter will be 3 years old in April) and professor, but I’ll put in the effort for you if you can do the same. As a #RevPit, #DVpit, Pitch Wars, and The Word mentee and an AMM8, WTMP, DVmentor, and Pitch Wars mentor, I’ve been around the writer’s block (yes, that one too) and want to help you navigate the wild publishing world.

Things I write about: generational differences, real world problems, Hawaii
Things I’m looking for: young (under 25) or old (over 50) main characters, complex relationships, lyrical writing with page-turning plot/pacing
Things I’m not into: video games, steamy romance, politics in fiction

Literary speculative (soft SFF), mystery and horror are new genres I’m accepting this year! Because my two most recent novels are an upper YA contemporary drama set in the pandemic and adult mystery with an elderly main character (MC), I’m especially interested in main characters at the edges of the adult category (MCs under 25 or over 50) and dystopic, post-apocalyptic, and even pandemic settings (yes, I want to see COVID in your contemporary stories!).

I also want to read contemporary/historical fiction, retellings, magical realism/fabulism, #ownvoices, memoir, experimental/hybrid work, and novel in verse/stories. I read a lot of different stuff, so if you comp any of my faves, consider my interest piqued!

Adult, Accepting Novels in Verse

  • Contemporary
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Historical
  • Magical Realism/Fabulism
  • Horror
  • Memoir
  • Hybrid/Experimental

New/Old Adult (under 25 or 50+ yo main character), Literary Speculative, Family Drama, Experimental but plot-driven stories, Lyrical writing



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

I’ll send my edit letter to you and then answer any lingering questions by Zoom, phone or email (I prefer email). I’ll ask you determine a realistic timeline for completion and expect you to stick to it. I’m here for any rough patches you encounter in the revision process. After the developmental pass, I’ll do a loose line edit (I’ll respect your voice and won’t change wording or sentence structure). I’ll help you with your query letter and strategy and anything else you need along the way.

My ideal mentee is so passionate about their work that there is no IF but WHEN. They power through, even in the toughest of times. I’m looking for someone with grit and something that I can’t put down. I don’t finish most of the books I start. Those DNFs typically lack one of these: complex characters, original prose, and momentum (the story needs to go somewhere).


  • Young or old main characters (under 25 or over 50)
  • Light speculative elements (I’m accepting soft SFF this year!)
  • Mystery/suspense/horror (heavy on spook but light on gore, please!)
  • Time travel
  • The multiverse
  • Near future dystopia/apocalypse (including pandemics!)
  • Relationships that are falling apart
  • Travel/journeys/road trips
  • Unbelievable stuff that’s true
  • Quirky sidekicks
  • Breathtaking one-liners that end a paragraph or chapter
  • Unique voice that doesn’t lose the plot

MS word count under 50k or over 120k, graphic novels, hard sci-fi, second world or high fantasy, cyberpunk/far-future, space opera, vampires, werewolves, fairies, aliens, angels, demons, pro-gun sentiments (responsible use of guns okay), XXX (nothing over-the-top explicit), suicide central to the story, unnecessary violence, physical abuse on the page, overt politics/socio-political allegory including cli-fi, quiet/slow/melancholic stories (nothing against them, but I’m volunteering my time and want to mentor something that is more plot-driven and uplifting)


Activities: traveling, surfing, singing/acapella music (I was in an all-girl group in college), soccer (Liverpool FC, USMNT/USWNT – I adore Tobin Heath!)

Authors: Brit Bennett, Madeline Miller, Peter Heller, Sabaa Tahir, Kazuo Ishiguro, Donna Tartt, Kristin Hannah, Louise Erdrich, Becky Albertalli

American Spy (Wilkerson), If I Disappear (Brazier), The Lager Queen of Minnesota (Stradal), The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (Richardson), The Nothing to See Here (Wilson), My Lady Jane (Hand), Bird Box (Malerman), Dark Matter (Crouch), 11/22/63 (King), The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (Zevin), Tell the Wolves I’m Home (Brunt), The Crown’s Game (Skye)

Educated (Westover), Bad Blood (Carreyrou), When Breath Becomes Air (Kalanithi), The Hot Zone (Preston), The Last Lecture (Pausch)

Survivor (I’ve applied three times!), Vikings, Alias, Laguna Beach

Amelie, Moonlight, Arrival, Jungle Cruise, Knives Out, Superbad, Pretty in Pink, Free Solo, Meru