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Mentor Type:

Traditional

Daphne Dador

Mentor

May

she/her

Tara Gonzalez at Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Daphne Dador is a Filipino-American science fiction & fantasy writer whose children’s stories feature BIPOC kids going on fun (sometimes scary) adventures. An alum and mentor for multiple competitive writing programs, she hopes she & other writers from marginalized backgrounds can bring more diverse perspectives to genre fiction. Daphne resides in Virginia where she enjoys exploring historic (sometimes haunted) sites with her family.

Working Style

What does mentorship mean to you, and why do you want to be a mentor?

Mentorship means being a guide, sounding board, cheerleader, and teacher to a peer. A mentor passes on their experience in hopes of lifting another. I've benefited from multiple mentoring program and would like to give back to another writer. I also whole-heartedly believe that teaching is the best way to learn.

What is your mentorship style? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?

I'm a balance of cheerleader and tough love. I think my greatest strength is communication and working collaboratively, my weakness is probably being a workaholic, but I'll not expect that from my mentee.

What makes a great mentee? Describe your ideal mentee/mentor relationship. 

Someone who is open to receiving feedback and collaborating on their manuscript. My ideal relationship is professional, respectful and friendly.

How would you describe your normal working speed?

BICYCLE

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Communication

What kind of communication can your mentee(s) expect from you?

Expectations:
-At minimum, I expect us to have a professional relationship that is positive, respectful, and encouraging.

-I'll be happy to answer quick questions over e-mail, but longer questions we may want to schedule a time to call. I'll do my best to respond to your quick questions, or let you know when you'll hear back from me, within 5 business days, and I'll expect the same from you.

-I'm flexible with however long you need to edit your story. As a former mentee, I know there's sometimes pressure to be done quick, but often that pressure is self-imposed, especially as you see on social media your friends and others signing with agents. First, as hard as it can be, do your best to NOT compare your writing journey to others. This is a good lesson for anyone pursuing traditional publishing at any stage, so might as well practice now. Second, there's truly no rush to complete your best pages. Take your time to own your words.

-That being said, I will work with you to keep you on a mutually agreed upon schedule. I think one of the great reasons to have an agent, mentor, or CP is the motivation to get your pages done!

-E-mail, DM and Zoom calls would be my preferred method of communication.

PROCESS: Here are the steps I expect us to go through but could change subject to our discussions.

Step 1: "The Call." Once you're selected let's get together for a Zoom or phone call at a mutually convenient time to gush and discuss your manuscript, as well as our schedule for over the summer.

Step 2: "Manuscript Assessment." The first product I'd like to get to you is a manuscript assessment within three weeks of our call. This will be high-level summary that addresses your story's structure (e.g., story and character arcs), your stakes (e.g., are they high enough), mechanics (e.g., recurring grammatical issues), and genre conventions. I will probably ask you to check out some craft resources I've found useful in the interim. Once you get my assessment, we'll discuss how to implement them in your draft and when you think you'll get your pages back to me.

Step 3: "Developmental Edit." After your first pass based on feedback from the manuscript assessment, I'll do a deeper "developmental edit" dive with an edit letter and line edits. We'll discuss expectations on when I'll get back to you based on what our schedules look like, but I imagine it will take me at least a month depending on what other deadlines I have, etc. Once you receive my developmental edit, we'll discuss how to implement them in your draft and when you think you'll get your pages back to me.

Step 4 on: "R&R" as in "rinse & repeat." I'll plan to do an additional pass on your draft after step 3, and if there are any further developmental issues, I'll send to you again to address. In later drafts, we'll focus on polishing and getting your MS query ready!

What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?

Email, Zoom/Skype/Video, Text/Whatsapp, Social Media DMs, Phone calls

Are you able to make accommodations for mentees that request them?

Yes

Mentorship Details

Expected Timeline

Indefinite/As long as the mentee needs to complete our work together

Check all that apply: What do you plan to offer as a mentor?

Submission package critique (Query, Synopsis, 50 page sample), Multiple manuscript passes and query support, Line notes/edits

Submissions

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How polished should your submissions be?

Antique Mirror

I can't pass up an "antique"with potential! I'd be happy to take on a manuscript that needs TLC, if I feel capable of polishing it and have a mentee who shares a common vision. In your application, I would appreciate hearing your vision for the story, and any concerns or feedback you've received from CPs, agents, etc. about areas to improve.

We'll work well together if: 1) you're not too precious about your words, and 2) are willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the hours! Expect a collaborative and collegial approach as we work together. I won't expect you to implement all my ideas but would like you to have an open mind.

MSWL

Age Categories:

MG, YA

Genres:

Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Science Fiction, Contemporary, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism

Send Me:

ATM I've been working on darker stories, so I will be leaning towards something light and fun!

-While I usually lean towards high "save-the-world" stakes, I can see myself happy with lower "friendships-at-stake" kinds of stakes.
-I'll accept all genres, but your story must be character-driven. Mainly, I desire a MC who I feel sympathetic towards with a soft spot for “geeky” kids and “unpopular” kids.
-Happily-ever-after please, but it can be a wild ride to get there.
-Speaking of rides, if you can comp your story to any Disney theme park rides send it over (especially The Haunted Mansion :) In fact, if your story could be a Disney animated feature, or comped to one, send it over.
-Vacation vibes and settings
-Fall is my favorite time of the year
-Tropes: royals or celebrities in disguise; forbidden friendship/or love; enemies-to-friends/or lovers
-Contemporary settings with supernatural monsters or magic
-Near-future sci-fi stories in space (preferably within our Solar System) or involving video games or virtual reality
-First crushes or kisses
-Campy ghost stories
-All the Fairytale and Mythology retellings
-Stories featuring underrepresented protagonists and settings!

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Please do not send me:

I do *not* want:

-Anything with unchecked racist, homophobic, transphobic, acephobic, ableist, Islamophobic, zionist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, or fatphobic content
-Stories with sexual abuse on or off-the-page.
-Heavy issues-driven stories, while appreciated, I'm probably not the best fit.
-Stories primarily featuring POC and cultures that are not your own—diverse worldbuilding is appreciated but appropriation of stories is not.
-Content or trigger warnings are appreciated, especially if your story involves cancer.

What are some of your favorite books? 

Would love to see comps to any of these (but make them either YA or MG): Spirit Hunters, Tristan Strong, We Dream of Space, Percy Jackson, Amari & The Night Brothers, An Ember in the Ashes, Crownchasers, The Vampire Diaries, Ready Player One, Force of Fire, City of Ghosts

What are some books, movies, shows, games, etc. that you've recently enjoyed?

Recently, I've enjoyed Locke & Key, Encanto, Home Team, and Turning Red, so anything that comps to these kids' stories would be great!

Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?

No.