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Mentor Type:

Traditional

Sofia Arellano

Mentor

April

she/her

Amanda Orozco Transatlantic Agency

Born in South Los Angeles, Sofia Arellano was adopted by a Mexican-American family as a baby. She grew up surrounded by loving people who taught her family isn’t always the one you’re born into. Sofia’s life changed at fifteen when she got pregnant with her daughter—who became her inspiration for everything, including her debut YA novel, which is an intimate and brutally honest recounting of her experience as a teen mom. She hopes to use her story to inspire other teen moms to remember to chase their dreams, even if they’re chasing toddlers at the same time.

Sofia went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and an education specialist credential from Cal State San Bernardino. As an educator, she passionately taught and advocated for her neurodiverse students in elementary and middle school settings. Sofia married her childhood sweetheart, who, much to her family’s delight, makes a mean pico de gallo. Three years ago, Sofia, along with her rescue pup, husband, two teenage sons—who know way more than she does about everything—decided to fulfill their dreams and moved to Costa Rica.

When Sofia isn’t writing or wrangling teenagers, you’ll find her surfing, hiking, or reading books with a cup of coffee—even though she gave it up.

Sofia is represented by Amanda Orozco.

Working Style

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

Mentorship to me means offering guidance long after the mentee and I have completed revision on their manuscript. It means actively listening to their concerns/weaknesses/strengths/longterm goals and formulating a plan to help them grow as a writer so that they may take what they've learned well beyond the manuscript we are working on. It's knowing that everything I say, or changes I've asked them to contemplate making, aren't always going to resonate with the mentee... and that's okay too. It's having time to complete my commitment and giving them the best of myself. Not as an inconvenience or an afterthought, but as a priority.

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

I'm all about communication. I love to brainstorm. Tighten pacing. Strengthen mushy middles and plot holes. I love tackling authentic dialogue and finding ways to increase the stakes. My greatest strength is the amount of time I have to learn craft from those who came before me. And the willingness to share what I've learned with others.

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

Someone who is open and excited about tackling revisions on their manuscript. I'm a lifer, and as long as the mentee is game, I want them to know they can turn to me 8 manuscripts later, and I'd still be happy to answer their questions and brainstorm ideas.

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?

Open communication is my style. This is YOUR book. If something isn't resonating with you, that's okay. Let's talk through it.
1. You can reach me by email, text, DM, Zoom. Whatever you are most comfortable with, I can meet you there. Please let me know your preference.
2. I usually respond to all emails within 24 hours. However, I do live in the jungles of Costa Rica and there are times we can be without power with no prior warning. If you don't hear back from me within 48 hours, please know it is probably something beyond my control and I will get back to you as soon as I can, but feel free to reach out again.
3. If something isn't working for you, please speak up! I am here for you. I am here to collaborate with you. But I do believe open and honest communication is key to a great collaborative relationship.
4. If you need more or less communication, let me know. If I don't hear from you, I may assume everything is fine! If everything isn't fine, let me know and we can work through it.

What kinds of communication are you able to accommodate?

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

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), Partial manuscript critique (50 pages), Full manuscript critique, Multiple manuscript passes and query support, Line notes/edits

Submissions

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How polished should your submissions be?

Funhouse Mirror, Antique Mirror

MSWL

Age Categories:

YA, NA, A

Genres:

Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Romance

Send Me:

Send me stories with:
Humor and heart. If you're hilarious. Send me your story. If you think you're hilarious but no one has ever confirmed: send me your story.
BFF siblings. I'll take rivals to BFF sibling stories too.
Found family.
Complicated families.
MESSY teens doing MESSY teen things.
Teens who actually act like teens. PLEASE!
If you have grumps. Send them my way.
Pining. Lots of pining.
All the banter.
As an adoptee, I love seeing adoption stories.
I'll take thriving teen parents too.
Mother/daughter rivals
Mother/daughter BFF s
Characters who make mistakes. Lots of them.
Voice. Voice. Voice.
Emotional reads.
Stories by marginalized writers.
Stories with Latinx rep!

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Please do not send me:

Anything set in space.
Horror
No animal deaths please
High fantasy
Death of a parent (parents) unless it happens off page and in the past.
I'm currently working on a Gilmore Girls meets You've Got Mail. . . so nothing that could be comped to either.

What are some of your favorite books? 


With the Fire on High
Perfect on Paper
Name of the Wind
Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

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

Instructions for Dancing was the last book I read and I loved the voice! I love any movies with a HEA.

Is there anything else you want potential mentees to know?

I am SO excited to work with you! If you're looking for your BIGGEST cheerleader on the planet, I am the person for you. Someone who may not have all the answers but is happy to hunt them down for you. Who cares about not just this MS but all of your future MSs.
I'd love to work with someone willing to really dig deep and tear apart their MS. We'll look at every scene and ensure it has a solid purpose.
We'll check to see if we hit those beats and that character arcs are strong. And whether the emotional impact hits the way you intended.

I would love content warnings!