Alice Speilburg of the Speilburg Literary Agency
Mikayla Bridge is a YA and Adult Fantasy author living in Melbourne, Australia. She grew up on a small farm with every kind of animal, and enough books to collapse a wardrobe. After graduating from university with a BA and Honours degree in Politics & International Relations, Mikayla decided to interweave her passion for politics with her lifelong love of books and monsters (both the literary and real world kind). When not writing she can be found managing a team of writers at a sustainable tourism company, listening to gothic swing music, playing tennis, and trying to lure her friends into political debates. She is represented by Alice Speilburg at Speilburg Literary Agency.
What does mentorship mean to you, and why do you want to be a mentor?
Mentorship is not only a great way for people to learn about the fortress-like publishing industry, but it’s a way for me to give back to a community that has quite literally given me everything. Whether it results in beta readers, critique partners, an agent, a book deal or merely writing friends, mentorship is an incredible opportunity to help other writers reach their full potential. I want to be a mentor to continue giving back to the writer community in any way I can, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences so far as a Rogue Mentor. Both my current mentees are incredible writers and people, and I hope to be by their sides for their entire writing journeys.
What is your mentorship style? What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?
MY MENTORSHIP STYLE
I can sugarcoat when needed, but if I’m truly invested in a story, I’ll critique as much as possible. I want my mentee’s book baby to SHINE. If I think something isn’t working, I’ll always suggest fixes and happily brainstorm a solution with my mentee. I’ll never leave them stranded.
I’ll be their number one hype woman, so they should be prepared to be bombarded with compliments and screams of support in the form of texts and memes.
MY WRITING STRENGTHS
- Prose on a line level
- Unique world building
- Powerful character arcs
- Story pacing (nailing those beats)
- Dark themes/atmospheres
MY WRITING WEAKNESSES: I’m probably not the best fit for a romance-centric fantasy, but this is purely a personal preference. I’m probably also not a great fit for any mentees looking to pursue indie publishing options.
What makes a great mentee? Describe your ideal mentee/mentor relationship.
A great mentee/mentor relationship should be symbiotic. Though a mentor is there to act as a guide, I believe that it should very much be a partnership, rather than an imbalanced relationship. A great mentee should be open to honest feedback, hard work, and new ideas, just as a mentor should be. Above all, a great mentee is ready to dig deep and have fun while exploring new avenues and ideas for their manuscript.
How would you describe your normal working speed?
What kind of communication can your mentee(s) expect from you?
My communication style is very flexible and I’m open to most platforms. Because I’m in Australia, I’m very used to working with time differences and different communication methods. Dependant on what my mentee prefers, I’m open to communication through:
• WhatsApp (call and text)
Communication is SUPER important in a mentee/mentor relationship so we’re both 100% on the same page for revisions! Even if I haven’t responded yet with an edit letter, feedback, something you’re waiting on, etc., feel free to reach out with any other questions that you might have along the way!
Due to my day job, I may not be able to respond to questions or communication straight away. If I haven’t replied within a few days, please feel free to spam me with reminders!
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?
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), Full manuscript critique, Multiple manuscript passes and query support, Line notes/edits, Cohort style mentorship (up to 4 mentees)
How polished should your submissions be?
Ideally in Funhouse Mirror condition, but also happy to consider Antique Mirror manuscripts!
Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism
YA and Adult Fantasy
Ah, fantasy. My first love. I will never not love the coming-of-age YA stories, the fast-paced adventure and the characters that strive so hard to be seen. Now, I’m drawn just as much to adult fantasies that offer readers a totally new, exciting landscape full of social commentary.
* Also open to NA
I’m mostly looking for:
• Dark Fantasy
• Gothic Fantasy
• Urban Fantasy
• Magical Realism
I love dark themes, lyrical prose, strong emotions, and unique, lush world building (if you’ve created a religion or political system, I already want to be your friend)!
BONUS points for manuscripts that include:
• Messy girls with agency!
• Mental health rep
• Not-so happy endings
• The ability to emotionally break me
• Morally grey characters
• Triple bonus points for morally grey villains
• Found family
• Enemies to Lovers
• There’s only one bed
• Stuck together
• Forbidden love/star-crossed
Vibes that I *vibe* with ~
• Souls made of autumn and dark academia aesthetics
• Light, happy fairy tales – oops, I just stabbed my love interest
• Girls who grin after getting punched
• Rebelling against authority figures/gods/government structures
• Unlikable girls causing chaos and owning it
• Grumpy/grumpy or sunshine/grumpy dynamic
• Explicit, realistic depictions of female experiences (periods, sex, etc.)
• Personalities crafted from Taylor Swift lyrics
Please do not send me:
*A quick note, just because I have may aspects of your manuscript on my Anti-MSWL, don’t give up! There are *many* other mentors to consider. Every book has a home!
• Hard sci-fi: While I love *some* sci-fi elements in my fantasy books, I’m not the best mentor for a book entirely within the sci-fi genre (unless, like, it’s got angry girls and a villain descent…)
• Romance-centric stories (I love romance as a subplot though!)
• Chosen one stories
• Supernatural fantasy (vampires/werewolves)
• Steampunk fantasy
This shouldn’t need to be said, but please do not submit to me if your manuscript perpetuates minority discrimination.
If you’re unsure if your book would suit my wishlist, please feel free to DM me on Twitter to clarify!
What are some of your favorite books?
Where to start! Though I wish I could write a novel-length list, here are a few of my FAVOURITE books:
• A Song of Wraith and Ruin
• The Cruel Prince
• His Dark Materials
• Only a Monster
• We Hunt the Flame
• Six of Crows
• The Hazel Wood
• Girl, Serpent, Thorn
• The Diabolic
What are some books, movies, shows, games, etc. that you've recently enjoyed?
Recent movie/tv show FAVOURITES:
• Doom Patrol
• Raising Dion
• Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor (basically anything with Rahul Kohli)
• Inventing Anna
• Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
• Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (not a new watch but MUST be on the list)
• Shadow and Bone
• Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
• Julie and the Phantoms
• Turning Red
• Tick, Tick…Boom!
• Mr Right
• Promising Young Woman
Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?
I’m open to stories and authors of all marginalizations.