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Pitch Wars Mentor Bio

Alicia Clancy is an Assistant Editor at St. Martin’s Press, where she works on a range of projects from young adult fiction to women’s fiction to photobooks about raccoons! She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in English Literature, and moved immediately to NYC to pursue a career in publishing. After interning at FinePrint Literary Management, she joined Palgrave Macmillan in Sales before finally finding her home in Editorial at St. Martin’s Press.

She is looking for voice-driven, coming-of-age stories with the perfect balance of humor and heart. If she doesn't laugh AND cry during a novel, it’s probably not going to win her over. She has a soft spot for books featuring diversity of all varieties, and an even softer spot for books set in the South. She lives in Hoboken, NJ with her British husband and her Australian Cattle Dog, Whiskey. She is also the author of an illustrated gift book titled, BE MY GALENTINE: Celebrating Badass Female Friendship (St. Martin’s Press, January 2017).

In addition to strong writing and an engaging voice, Alicia is looking for well-developed characters and worlds. She is looking for contemporary YA (both gritty and light), fantasy YA, dystopian YA, sci-fi YA, and crossover fiction geared at an older YA/millennial audience.

A few of her all-time favorite YA and coming-of-age novels are, of course, the entire Harry Potter series, anything written by Sarah Dessen, ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell, AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, and READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline. She'd also love to see something along the lines of SWEETBITTER or THE GIRLS.

More specifically?

That's a tough question, because I read and edit across a lot of genres. However, there are a few things that I absolutely love, and I'll share them here.

1. Voice Driven Novels- The one thing that I really can't edit is voice, so it has to be strong from the start. I can tell you if a line of dialogue should be reworked, but the overall narrative tone has to be fresh and engaging.

2. Diverse cast of characters- Life is diverse. Shouldn't your novel be? That said, diversity should never feel forced, and should never feel stereotypical. If you don't have a diverse experience to draw from, then don't force it.

3. Fantasy based on lesser known (in the US, at least) cultures and mythologies.

4. Atmosphere- I really love atmospheric settings. I want the atmosphere to almost feel like a character itself! Whether it's the humid, southern swamps, or flat midwest plains, or a world entirely created by you...I want to be able to see it.

5. Fantasy- I'd really love to see a unique fantasy novel. They are obviously hot right now, but I've always LOVED fantasy. It just has to have something fresh about it, some new spin that isn't already being done. If you want a few amazing fantasy novels suggestions, read AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, or THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden, obviously HARRY POTTER (all of them, duh), but I also love the classic younger tales (A WRINKLE IN TIME and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA), which it would be fun to see reimagined for a YA audience.

6. Contemporary- Once again, it needs to be fresh and unique. I've seen a lot of really fun narration styles lately (told backwards in time, told in emails and texts, told over the course of one day, etc) and would love to see something unique in that way!

7. TWINS- I'm a twin and I love twin stories. That is all.

8. SOUTH- I'm from the south and I love southern settings. Catching a pattern here?

9. Pirates- Who doesn't love pirates? Sexy pirates? Even better.

10. Mystery/thrillers/suspense- Yes! Love them all! That said, be careful not to completely keep parents absent in these novels.

11. Unreliable narrator- Seriously, I'm a sucker for these novels.

12. Witty writing- Think banter in Gilmore Girls. I want something that's smart but also feels natural.

13. Speculative and dystopian- Yup, I'm your gal.

14. Magical Realism- If you have the next BONE GAP or THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS or Jandy Nelson, I want to see it!

There's a lot more I'm looking for, but if your novel fits these categories, feel free to submit to me! Find me here on Twitter! @alicia_clancy

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