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Mentors

We are now offering ongoing mentorship opportunities to graduates of the Your Novel Year® program!

A graduate may request a standard 6.5-week mentorship with one of our mentors for the same price that it is offered in the program (currently $1395)*. While we will attempt to pair you with the mentor of your choice, we by no means can guarantee that you will receive the mentor you request. Each of our mentors is a busy professional, and their schedules vary widely. 

A graduate may also request an “editorial read” from a publishing professional (a writer or editor in your genre) for the current price ($695)*. To request a mentorship or editorial read, please email program coordinator Bill Konigsberg at bkonigsberg@gmail.com.

*Piper affiliates will receive $100 off either service

Meet Your Mentors

 

Elana K. Arnold

Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. Some of her books have been included on the LA Public Library's Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA "Best Fiction for Young Adults" list, have been ALAN picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project. Her most recent YA novel, Infandous, won the Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Westchester Fiction Award. She holds a Master's degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis, where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals.


 Elana's Website

James Blasingame

James Blasingame is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University and director of ASU Secondary English Education. He is coauthor of the English Journal annual Honor List and coeditor of the ALAN Picks monthly book reviews. James is also the editor of the Print Based Texts pages of the International Reading Association’s Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and winner of the International Reading Association’s Arbuthnot Award for the 2008 outstanding university professor of young adult literature. James was named the ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year in 2008, and received the Arizona English Teachers’ Association Lifetime Contribution Award in 2009.  He has published seven books with major presses, including Literature for Today’s Young Adults (Pearson, Allyn, Bacon), Books That Don’t Bore ‘Em: Young Adult Books That Speak to Today’s Youth (Scholastic), John Green (Rowman & Littlefield), Stephenie Meyer: Into the Twilight (Rowan & Littlefield), and Gary Paulsen: Teen Reads Companion (Greenwood Press).  He has also published over 200 interviews with authors of adolescent literature, and over 300 book reviews, in addition to numerous articles in various professional journals.  He has performed folklore programs on the history of the West, including cowboy songs and poetry, nationally and internationally for 20 years. Visit James' Facebook.

James' Website

 


Martha Brockenbrough

Martha Brockenbrough is the author of two books for adults and five books for young readers. Her most recent novel, The Game of Love and Death, has received four starred reviews, and her debut, Devine Intervention, was one of Kirkus Reviews’ Top 100 books for teens in 2012. She’s the founder of National Grammar Day (every March 4), and she’s written game questions for Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. The former editor of MSN.com, Martha has has worked as a film critic and educational humor columnist for Encarta.com. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and in The New York Times.

 Martha's Website

Sharon Flake

With millions of books in print, Sharon G. Flake has earned an international reputation as one of the top children’s and young adult authors in the world today. Her breakout novel The Skin I'm In, established her reputation as a must read author among middle and high school students, as well as teachers, parents and librarians. Flake has penned nine novels, including Pinned, a book about a struggling reader and gifted wrestler, a historical mystery novel Unstoppable Octobia May, and a recently released picture book called You Are Not a Cat. Her work has been translated into French, Italian, Korean and Portuguese. She has earned numerous awards and recognitions including several Coretta Scott King Honor awards; the Kirkus Review Top Ten Book of the Year; YWCA Racial Justice Award; Detroit Public Library Outstanding Book of the Year Award; Best Books for Young Adult Readers by the American Library Association; Top Ten Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library; Top Twenty Recommended Books to Read by the Texas Library Association, Junior Library Guide Selection; 100 Books Every Teenage Girl Should Read; Booklist Editor’s Choice Award; and others. Her work has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and earned her several grants from funders. Flake is a former spokesperson for Reading is Fundamental (Pittsburgh) and a National Book Foundation Fellowship recipient as well as a presenter at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Her work is taught in colleges and universities nationwide, and used in classrooms across the US and abroad. Flake is published with Scholastic Books for Children, Disney Publishing, and Boyds Mills Press. Having turned her novel The Skin I’m In into a play, she is looking to take her work to the stage.

Sharon's Website

 

 

Karen Harrington

Karen Harrington is a former corporate speechwriter and the author of three novels. Her first published novel for young readers, Sure Signs of Crazy, received four starred reviews. Best-selling author Pat Conroy called it, “Hilarious, tender and knowing…one for the ages.” Sure Signs of Crazy was also a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the year, a 2014 Notable Children’s Book selection from the Children’s Literature Assembly and a 2014 Bank Street Children’s Book Committee Best Book of the Year. Both Sure Signs of Crazy and her second middle-grade novel, Courage for Beginners, which received starred reviews from VOYA and Booklist, were named to the 2015-2016 Spirit of Texas State Reading list. Her third middle-grade novel, Mayday, will be released by Little, Brown Books for Young readers in May 2016. Karen is a Texas native and attended the University of Texas at Dallas, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a passion to learn the craft of writing after her professor used her pages to illustrate to the class how first pages of a novel go wrong. She has forgiven her professor and now lives outside of Dallas, TX along with her family and the best dog ever. Visit Karen's Facebook and Twitter.

Karen's Website

 


Corey Ann Haydu

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of four YA novels-- OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, MAKING PRETTY and THE CAREFUL UNDRESSING OF LOVE. She is also the author of two middle-grade novels, RULES FOR STEALING STARS and THE SOMEDAY SUITCASE, as well as the upcoming middle grade novel EVENTOWN. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009.

In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, Banks Street Children's Book Committee Best Books Selections and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections.

Corey has taught Young Adult and Children's Novel Writing with Mediabistro and Rosemont College, as well as teaching creative writing to children through Writopia. She lives in Brooklyn.

Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson is the author of four novels, including The Great Greene Heist, a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book of 2014. His novels for older readers include My Life as a Rhombus, named to the Texas Library Association Tayshas High School Reading List and the New York Public Library “Stuff for the Teen Age” list, and Saving Maddie, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book. Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Varian now lives outside of Austin, TX with his family. Visit Varian's Facebook and Twitter

Varian's Website

 


 


Kimberley Griffiths Little

Kimberley Griffiths Little is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and the author of 10 award-winning novels with Knopf, Scholastic, and Harpercollins. Her titles include The Last Snake Runner, which won the Southwest Book Award and The Healing Spell, Circle of Secrets, When the Butterflies Came, and The Time of the Fireflies which have won a variation of The Whitney Award, Bank Street College Best Books of the Year, and named Finalists for the Association of Mormon Letters of Art Award. They’ve sold hundreds of thousands of copies in the Scholastic Book Fairs and Clubs. Her Young Adult trilogy, Forbidden, received a starred review in Booklist, was named a Top 10 Historical for 2015 and Whitney Award and AML Finalists. The Forbidden sequels include the titles, Banished and Returned. 

Kimberley grew up in San Francisco reading a book a day and spending most of her time in a fantasy world, much to the worry of her 5th grade teacher, but now lives in an adobe house on the banks of the Rio Grande with her chaotic, messy family. She’s drunk so much Land of Enchantment water the ancient magic is in her blood and now spurts out her pencil—um, ergonomic keyboard. Kimberley’s slept in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, ridden a camel in Petra, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, held baby gators in the swamps of Louisiana, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name, Kimberley Montpetit.

Kimberley's Website

 

Erin Lange

Erin Jade Lange is the award-winning author of contemporary young adult novels, Butter, Dead Ends, and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah. She is the winner of the Friedolin Youth Book Prize in Germany and the Sakura Medal in Japan. She has also been nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize (twice), the German Children's Literature Award and multiple state book awards. Her debut novel was a 2013 Teens' Top Ten Pick, and her books have appeared on several state reading lists. As a former journalist, Erin is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers. She visits schools across the country and overseas to speak to students about the topics covered in her stories. Erin grew up in the cornfields of northern Illinois, along the Mississippi River in one of the few places it flows east to west. She now lives in the sunshine of Arizona and will forever be torn between her love of rivers and her love of the desert.

Barry Lyga

After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Barry Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first young adult novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews and Publisher’s Weekly named Lyga a “Flying Start” in December 2006 on the strength of the debut. His second young adult novel, Boy Toy, received starred reviews. VOYA gave it its highest critical rating, and the Chicago Tribune called it “[…] an astounding portrayal of what it is like to be the young male victim.” His third novel, Hero-Type, solidified Lyga’s reputation as a “YA rebel-author” according to the Kirkus Reviews. His latest series has been optioned for television by Warner Bros./Silver Pictures. To date, Lyga has published eleven novels in various genres in his seven-year career and his books have been or are slated to be published in a dozen different languages in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Lyga lives and writes in New York City. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big. Visit Barry's Facebook and Twitter.

Barry's Website

 

 


 

Lish McBride 

Lish McBride is the author of funny and creepy Young Adult books such as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer; Necromancing the Stone; Firebug; and Pyromantic. She has published short stories in the Normal School, Tor.com, and the anthologies Cornered, What to Read in the Rain, and Kisses & Curses. She got her BFA in creative writing from Seattle University and her MFA from University of New Orleans. Lish is also currently a bookseller and event host at Third Place Books, a giant thriving indie bookstore just outside of Seattle. Her first book, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults title, Morris Award finalist, and won the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award. While she has no long term goals for world domination, she would like her own castle.

Lish's Website

Amy Nichols

Amy K. Nichols is the author of the YA science fiction Duplexity series (Now That You’re Here and While You Were Gone), published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. She has served as a mentor with the Your Novel Year program at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and regularly leads discussions and workshops for young writers at libraries and schools around the valley. Insatiably curious, Amy dabbles in art and quantum physics, and has a long list of things she wants to learn before she dies. She lives with her family in Phoenix, AZ. Visit Amy's Facebook and Twitter.

Amy's Website

 


Sheila O'Connor

Sheila O’Connor is the author of four novels: Keeping Safe the Stars, Sparrow RoadTokens of Grace, and Where No Gods CameWhere No Gods Came won the Michigan Literary Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Sparrow Road was the recipient of the International Reading Award, andKeeping Safe the Stars was honored with the Midwest Booksellers Award.  Her books have been included on Best Books of the Year by Booklist, VOYA, Book Page, Bank Street, Chicago Public Library, and others.

A multi-genre writer, her work has been anthologized in Riding Shotgun; Women Writers Write about Their MothersThe Next Parish OverMothers and DaughtersBest of Helicon Nine. Her short stories, poems and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies including: Minnesota Monthly, Alaska QuarterlyBaltimore ReviewGreat River ReviewHelicon Nine, and others. Her short story, “Just Say the Word”, won the Tamarack Award for Fiction. She is the fiction editor for Water~Stone Review.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Sheila O’Connor has been awarded two Bush Fellowships, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a Loft McKnight Fellowship. She has also been the recipient of artist residencies from The Studios of Key West, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Tyrone Guthrie Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild.  She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Hamline University where her teaching was recognized with the award for Outstanding Teaching and Service.

In addition to her work as an associate professor and faculty advisor at Hamline, Sheila O’Connor has worked extensively as a writer-in-residence, mentoring young people and adults in both fiction and poetry.  An active advocate for arts education for all creators of ages, Sheila has developed writing curriculum for educators, K-12 schools, art museums, and others.  She is the editor of two collections of writing by young people Come Home Before Dark and In My Hand Forever. She has taught at theUniversity of Minnesota, the Split Rock Arts Program, and the Loft Literary Center, as well as widely within the community.

Sheila's Website

 

Jean Rabe

USA Today bestselling author Jean Rabe has written more than thirty fantasy and adventure novels and more than seventy short stories. When she’s not writing, which isn’t often, she edits . . . more than two dozen anthologies and more than one hundred magazine issues so far. She’s a former news reporter and news bureau chief who penned a true crime book with noted attorney F. Lee Bailey. Her genre writing includes military, science-fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, horror, and modern-day adventure. She shares her home with a double retriever (Labrador/Golden), a graying pug, and a lively young Boston terrier. All of them are rescues. Rabe teaches genre writing courses—at conventions and through education programs tied to libraries and museums. Her hobbies include reading, role-playing games, visiting museums, dog-walking, fish minding, and buying books to add to her growing stacks. She lives in central Illinois near three train tracks that provide “music” to type by.

Jean's Website