Hey! I’m Claire Winn, a SF/F author and mentor for WriteMentor 2020!
This year, I’m co-mentoring with my phenomenal CP, Nicole Brake! We share a love for fierce female leads, innovative world-building, and fast-paced adventures. We’re offering a full manuscript critique package to our chosen mentee!
What I’m looking for (my MSWL!)
In the YA category, Nicole and I are looking to mentor:
I’d love to critique character-driven science fiction and fantasy with exciting plot twists and strong world-building. I’m a fan of powerful and flawed female leads, diverse ensemble casts, and/or stories with respectful and high-chemistry romance to supplement the main plot. Stories featuring LGBTQ+ characters and OwnVoices representation are welcome! For contemporary novels, I’d want to see something fresh, unique, and a bit edgy.
Specific interests of mine include cyberpunk, assassins, high-seas adventure, virtual reality/video games, court intrigue, malicious faeries, ancient mysteries, and dark fantasy. Some of my favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Jay Kristoff, V. E. Schwab, and Leigh Bardugo. Stories that AREN’T for me involve excessive horror/gore, settings based on the Cold War era or WWI/WWII, or passive protagonists.
Aside from writing, I’m a gamer and LARPER, and I build props and armor for boffer fighting and cosplay—so nerdy books are my jam!
In a mentee, I’m looking for someone who’s committed to making their book the best it can be—and who’s willing to dig deep to address structural changes if needed. A mentee who already has a strong grasp on writing prose (and thus doesn’t require extensive line edits) would also be a plus.
Why submit to me?
I have experience as a publishing intern, business writer, and agented author. After writing and pitching a first novel that didn’t pan out, I started a new one from scratch and got to choose my agent from three offers of representation. I understand the struggles of the “query trenches” and how to help authors make their pitches and pages stand out.
I’ve also gained experience as an editorial intern with Filles Vertes Publishing. I’ve provided manuscript edits and recommendations for the acquisitions editors, and I was a judge for the #PitchanIntern event in 2018. During #PitchanIntern, I combed through Twitter pitches, requested materials from authors who submitted, and chose a finalist (who is now my CP and co-mentor!).
I’m currently on submission with my agent (for my cyberpunk sci-fi novel, WINTERDARK!) and am working on an adult fantasy novel.
My writing journey—from querying (and shelving) my first novel to landing an agent and being on submission—has given me insight I hope to pass to upcoming writers. My strengths in critique include building snappy pitches, clarifying world-building, strengthening characters, and streamlining tough plot points. I tend to dig deep in critique (especially for the first few pages), since character motivation, pacing, and internal logic are so important!
For my cosplay and convention shenanigans, follow me on Instagram: @PhazonPixie
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing your submission!
Header image by Benjamin Voros