Monica Ai-Ling Chin (they/them)
Young Adult, New Adult, Adult
Contemporary, Rom Com, Historical, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, Fiction with strong romantic elements
I've been writing professionally for six years. For my day job, I'm currently a senior writer at The Verge, a Pulitzer-nominated and National Magazine Award-winning publication about technology. But fiction has always been my passion; I have a degree in Literary Arts (which is a fancy name for Creative Writing) from Brown University, where I wrote quite a bit of wacky stuff for the school newspaper. When not writing, I love theater, skiing, yoga, listening to K-pop, finding new TV shows, rewatching old TV shows, and debating the meaning of the word "computer". I am passionate about disability justice and diverse representation in all forms.
I began querying my first completed novel, a YA contemporary, well over a year ago. That first round did not go well at all. Fortunately, I was selected as a mentee in last year's SmoochPit program, and I ended up withdrawing the manuscript from agents who had it so that I could revise. While the changes my mentor suggested were a bit overwhelming at first, the more I revised, the more I realized they were exactly what the book needed. After quite a bit of work, I ended up on the other side with a narrative that was much faster-paced, higher-stakes, and coherent -- truly the story I'd been trying to tell all along. I sent out a second round of queries for the revised manuscript and got a few offers fairly quickly. I ended up signing with Ginger Clark and Nicole Eisenbraun at Ginger Clark Literary. I'm now diving into revisions, and am excited to go on submission soon!
SmoochPit was an incredible opportunity for me that really helped me grow my manuscript into the fully fleshed book it was meant to be, and I'd be honored to be able to help someone else the way my mentor helped me. I truly feel like I was in your shoes just yesterday, and I hope to provide all the help I can!
I'd love to find a story with an element of mystery or suspense -- something with twists that I can't put down. But I'm also a sucker for hilarious romcoms and stories that deal with contemporary issues. I love flawed characters, flawed relationships, messy romances, and non-traditional family dynamics. Regardless of genre, I'm first and foremost looking for a book that makes me feel -- where the relationships between the characters are unique, but also touch on universal truths and make me view my own relationships in new ways.
The lists below are basically just some random thoughts I pulled out of my head. I'm sometimes surprised by the kinds of books I fall in love with, so please feel free to send me anything.
Please send me:
- Novels featuring diverse casts of characters. I'd love to work on a story with POC, LGBTQ+, and/or disability rep!
- Stories that blend multiple genres
- Mixed race protagonists that aren't confused/conflicted about their identity
- Anything funny. I love to laugh!
- Stories that look at the impacts of technology on modern (or future) society in new and interesting ways.
- Small-town mysteries, cults, anything that's a little bit eerie. I love books where either I or the protagonist have to slowly piece together what's going on as the story unfolds.
- Twist endings that I'll never see coming.
- Love triangles, situationships, secret affairs -- give me all the steamy high-stakes drama.
- Nuanced, authentic portrayals of mental illness and disability. If it comps to Turtles All the Way Down, I'm in.
- Strong friendships, family relationships, student/teacher relationships...showcases of the many kinds of love and respect that can exist outside of romance. (Though, of course, romance is a must as well.)
You can send me these if you want, but I may not be the best fit:
- High fantasy
- Zombies or vampires.
- Stories where the protagonist is a reporter
- Stories set in space
- Prose that's very heavily literary (I'm a journalist; if I see two similes in a paragraph I will probably tell you to cut one.)
- Stories where all of the main characters are white
- Horror (I will try but if I get too scared I will stop reading I am very jumpy)
Please don't send me:
- Graphic depictions of sexual assault
- Anything where abusive or bigoted behavior is excused for any reason
- Anything where people are blamed for someone else's suicide
- Please trigger warn anything that heavily involves weight loss.
I will give you honest feedback, but will also be your biggest cheerleader. We will look at your book's tension, stakes, pacing, and characterizations and make sure they are all telling a story that will grab and hold a reader's attention. We may also work on things like voice, language, and tone. This will all be done in accordance with your vision for the book. My top priority is to help you tell a story that YOU love.
I will provide, at minimum, a line edit on your query, an edit letter with developmental feedback on your manuscript, and a Zoom call where we can go over any questions you have. I can also do a line edit on your manuscript if it is at a stage where that would be helpful. My DMs will always be open to you so you can hit me up with questions, anxieties, memes, or stray thoughts that come up as you revise. I would also love to find friend who will stay in touch after the mentorship process concludes to update me on their journey, so we can continue to celebrate each other's successes and be a friendly face in the literary world (But this is not a requirement, of course!).
If there is more you want, we can probably make it happen. This mentorship is about you, not me, and will be structured around your schedule and needs!