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Mentor Type:


Lilly Lu




Tara Gonzalez, EMLA

Lilly Lu is PhD Candidate in English at UCLA and a fantasy author represented by Tara Gonzalez at EMLA. Her creative work can be found in Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction (2019) and upcoming in the lickety split~ and Yuzu Press.

Working Style

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

Mentorship means helping other writers' work align with their vision of that work, rather than imposing my own vision of their project. I have mentored before as a rogue mentor and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. In general, mentorship is important to me because I would not be where I am as a marginalized author without having been a PitchWars mentee and without the guidance of community-oriented folks. I'd like to pay that forward.

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

As a mentor, I want to work /with/ my mentee to meet their goals. I am partnership-oriented, flexible, and good at listening--I want to help my mentee make their project their own. I'm also pretty adaptable to what the mentee needs: if they need more structure, I can reach out more; if they want more independence, I can give them that space for revisions and work.

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

A great mentee is communicative about their needs from the get-go, knows what they want out of a mentor and can help me meet those needs. A great mentee is also self-aware and kind--I like to work with someone enjoyable to work with!

How would you describe your normal working speed?




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

I will normally respond to emails pretty promptly! I am happy to schedule phone calls or zoom calls, especially after you've looked over my edit notes and have questions. If you need more or less structure and communication, just let me know and I'm happy to accommodate.

What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?

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

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


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), Partial manuscript critique (50 pages)



How polished should your submissions be?

Magic Mirror, Funhouse Mirror


Age Categories:



Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Women's Fiction, Romance, Queer Romance

Send Me:

YA fantasy or contemporary romance, preferably with queer and/or BIPOC rep, all the better with any of the following:
-acespec rep
-boarding school drama
-dismantling systems of power
-hurt/comfort tropes
-Gothic intrigue
-floofy dresses, billowing capes
-found family tropes
-historical aspects (like the Regency, Victorian Era, 1930s Shanghai, etc)
-reality show dynamics

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Please do not send me:

I am not the right fit at this time for:
-outerspace/space exploration
-cli-fi set in contemporary, near-future universe
-colonizer/colonized romance
-fantasy that rests on Orientalist notions of ""the East"" vs ""the West""
-historical fiction with no fantasy or speculative elements
-stories that glorify the military, the police, American imperialism, and/or gun violence (although historical fantasy that includes scenes with gun violence might be okay, please use your discretion)

What are some of your favorite books? 

Modao Zushi (The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation) by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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

Terrace House (Tokyo) or Love Island (UK)
The Untamed
Crimson Peak
Couple of Mirrors
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Heaven Official's Blessing

Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?