Author Mentor Match Round 6


Author Mentor Match Round 6 is almost here! This will be my second time applying to AMM, and for this round I’m submitting a shiny, revised, and as-yet-unqueried MG paranormal adventure manuscript.

What is Author Mentor Match?

Author Mentor Match (AMM for short) is an amazing program that pairs unagented, aspiring YA and MG writers with authors who are either published, debuting, on submission, or in revisions with their agents. These mentors help aspiring writers with their manuscripts and guide them through the publishing process.

A little about me...

I’m a professional costume designer, a mom to a super-amazing young boy, and a writer of MG fiction. Writing was the maybe-one-day thing I wanted to do from the first time I got lost in Narnia. As a child, my best friends were Nancy Drew, Bess, and George—and my favorite places to travel to were locations only found in fairy tales.

Five years ago, I got serious about becoming an author. I snatched writing time from mornings, my son’s nap times, and the hours between moonrise and just-after-midnight. After a while I had a book-shaped thing. It was far too big for a middle grade book, but it was a start. That manuscript got revised and rewritten dozens of times, and eventually morphed into a much better book-shaped thing. Then I wrote more stories. And lo and behold, more book-shaped things appeared. Writing has become my refuge, my dream-land, and the thing I want to do most. I hope to one day share my stories with the world.

I love mythology, adventure, treasure hunts, antique maps, libraries, bookshops, notebooks, pens (see a trend here?), amazing food, cookies, strong black tea, cozy blankets, Ghibli movies, mangoes, snuggling with my son, playing with my muppet-dog, and laughing.

A little about my manuscript...

For this round of AMM, I’m submitting THE HOUSE OF HAUNTS, a MG paranormal adventure.

The very quick pitch:

Goonies meets V.E. Schwab’s City of Ghosts. To save her house from the wrecking ball, Zee and her newfound friends must follow a century-old treasure hunt, with help from a ghost.

With a series of solvable puzzles (yay puzzles!), it will delight fans of Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s Book Scavenger, and Ben Guterson’s Winterhouse.

Photos from Unsplash

Photos from Unsplash

If you love:

Found family

Brand-new friendships

Haunted houses

Persnickety ghosts

A (haunted) tea service

Ghost-shaped cookies

Strawberry jam

Musical theatre


Legendary treasure

An abandoned library

Music boxes

Shaggy ghost dogs

A clan of graveyard cats

And mind-bending puzzles…

Then you might like my book!

Why do I want to be a mentee?

When I applied last year I met so many wonderful people in the AMM community. I didn’t get in, but the connections I made and friendships that began because of AMM will be ones I cherish forever. I’m giving this mentorship program another try because I love connecting with other writers. I’d be over the moon to find a mentor who can help help me dig deeper into my story and figure out ways to make it even stronger. And of course I want to make new friends and connect with other hopefuls! Writing is lonely, yes, but if you have a group of writer-friends to cheer with (and commiserate with), it makes the journey far less lonely, and oh-so-wonderful. This is what I hope to find with AMM.

Why I’d be a fantastic mentee

  • I am open to all suggestions. I’m not precious about my work, and am willing to do major revisions and rewrites to turn my manuscript into the best possible book it can be.

  • I love my MC, and want to make her emotional journey one that many readers connect with. In short, I want to make her shine.

  • I embrace all feedback. For reals. I know how much time and energy it takes to critique others work. I am deeply appreciative of all thoughts and suggestions, and am here to listen, absorb, and learn as much as I can.

  • I write for the children who are going to read my books. If there is anything in my work that is problematic in any way, I want to be told, and I want to fix it.

  • I am a very positive person! I love being here for my writer friends and CPs, and I hope to connect with other AMM hopefuls and Mentors and cheer them on while we navigate through the world of publishing.

Some of my recent favorite reads:

The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker

The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart

The Turning

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Princess Jellyfish

The Blue Castle

Roller Girl

Hour of the Bees

Front Desk

Dealing With Dragons

Death in the Spotlight

Spinning Silver

Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares


Let’s connect!

I can be found on twitter at @shanatargosz, or on Insta at of_starstuff. Let’s connect!