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Mentor Type:

Traditional, Indie

Sara Codair

Mentor

April

they/them

Sara Codair is a community college English professor and is an author of speculative short stories and novels, including The Evanstar Chronicles and Earth Reclaimed. Their short fiction was most recently published in Distant Gardens. They partially owe their success to their faithful feline writing partner, Goose the Meowditor-In-Chief, who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages. You can follow Sara and Goose’s writing journey on twitter and Instagram @shatteredsmooth. You can also learn more about Sara on their website, saracodair.com.

Working Style

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

Mentorship means not just giving a writer feedback they can use once but helping a person develop as a writer. This means giving feedback on the manuscript but also general feedback about their writing and writing process that can be applied to other manuscripts and writing scenarios. It means listening and brainstorming ideas together. It means talking about career goals. It means being a support and a coach.

Part of why I want to be a mentor is because I was a mentee in Pitch Wars and it helped me develop more as a writer, so I want to give back. The other part is that I feel like I have learned a lot from the writing communities I’m part of, from my successes, and failures, and I want to share what I’ve learned with someone else.

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

This is my first time officially mentoring in a program like this, but I’ve been a teacher ten years imagine my teaching style will inform my mentorship style. I tend to be informal but very direct. Both with feedback and conversation, I skip the frilly stuff and say what I mean as clearly as a I can (though sometimes my ADHD gets in the way). I am very transparent. My strengths are that I am good at identifying big picture issues with books, and giving overall feedback on manuscripts in a clear, detailed manner. My weakness is that sometimes I am not good at paying attention to small details. I'm a big picture person, not an proof reader. I'll help you with plot, pacing, character, and world building but I am not the person for detailed line edits.

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

A great mentee comes with an open mind and is willing to learn and engage in conversation about the manuscript. They don't have to take every single little suggestion, and are welcome to discuss feedback. In an ideal mentor/mentee relationship, both parties are excited about the manuscript and the writing. There is an open dialogue about the project.

How would you describe your normal working speed?

VESPA

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Communication

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

I am most comfortable with text-based communication, though I am happy to do a couple zoom calls to discuss feedback. DMs through discord, IG, or Twitter are the best way for me to chat since they are quick and I can respond by typing on my computer if I’m at it, and my phone if I’m not. Longer communications or things that require attachments can happen over email. And before each revision (I'm willing to look at a manuscript twice), I’m happy to set a 20 or 30 minute Zoom call to talk about the feedback and plan revision. I have ADHD and some sensory issues, and cannot do regular phone calls. If I don’t have a visual, then I struggle to stay focused.

I usually respond to DMs quickly, but if I’m at work or with family, I might take longer to respond. If I don’t reply to a message or email within two days, then I probably saw it when I was busy and forgot to come back to it, so feel free to nudge me if you haven’t gotten a response to something after a couple days.

Also keep in mind that my job is a little inconsistent, so some weeks I will be more available than others, depending on how busy work is. I'll communicate this as it comes up.

What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?

Email, Zoom/Skype/Video, Social Media DMs

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

I will not do phone calls. If there is audio with no visual component, I can' focus and get very frustrated.

Mentorship Details

Expected Timeline

Must be complete by Sept. 1, 2022

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

Full manuscript critique, Multiple manuscript passes and query support

Submissions

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How polished should your submissions be?

Funhouse Mirror, Antique Mirror

MSWL

Age Categories:

MG, YA, A

Genres:

Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Send Me:

Wishlist:
I’m open to speculative fiction for any age group, but have more experience writing YA than MG and adult.
I love stories inspired by “what if?” questions and ones that blend elements of both science fiction and fantasy.
Give me queer characters and neurodivergent characters! Even better, give me queer characters and neurodivergent characters in books that are not about being queer or nd.
Specific queer rep I really want to see are nonbinary, bi/pan, and ace-spec characters.
I love contemporary fantasy where the mundane turns magical.
I love secondary world fantasy that defies classic tropes. However, I do love The Chosen One trope.
Books with no romance are great! But if there is romance, friends to lovers is my favorite trope.
I love spooky middle grade and whimsical middle grade.
YA adventures in space are fantastic. So are YA adventures in Faerie.
Urban fantasy monster hunters will always hold a special place in my heart, especially when they feel like monsters themselves.
I love the ocean and the beach. I love nature adventures. Give me outdoorsy protagonists! Give me environmental themes.
Give me happy endings, please!

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Please do not send me:

Do not send me books with pet death. I actually have outright stopped reading books where an animal was killed.
Don’t send me things that aren’t speculative meaning don’t send me anything with a contemporary or historical setting if it doesn’t at least have a slight sci-fi or fantasy element.
I’m also not the right reader for books where main characters die.
I’m not a fan of villains who are evil because of some marginalization. For example, I’m tired of stories where a person becomes a monster because something went wrong while they tried to “cure” their disability.
I have a love-hate relationship with love triangles, but hate them when one of the participants dies. So if you do send me a love triangle, everyone should live.
While there can be value in sad or bleak endings, I’m not a fan. If you have a sad ending, I’m not the mentor for you.
My least favorite romance trope is “only one bed” despite many, many other people loving it.
Please do not send me anything that is hateful or discriminatory.

What are some of your favorite books? 

I am one of those people who can’t pick a favorite book, so here are some random books I love:
Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series
Once & Future by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
The City We Became by N K Jemisin
Anya and the Nightingale by Sofiya Pasternack
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

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

Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko
Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Star Wars: Rebels
Loki
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Encanto

Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?

The more you can communicate what your vision and goals for your manuscript re, the more I can help you achieve them.

I will help with your books content and help you develop writing skills, but I am not a proof reader. I lack the attention to detail needed to catch lots of typos and little errors.

While I am a chaotic panster when it comes to drafting, I am very big on planning and plotting in the revision process and will likely ask you to submit a reverse or revision outline while we are working together.

I love stories. I love making up and fixing them up. I love reading them and thinking about them. I hope I can help you bring the best out in the story you are telling!
Please include content warnings on your submissions.