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Dawn Ius: Co-founder

Dawn Profile Pic

Dawn has more than 20 combined years of editing, coaching, and writing experience. She’s worked as a development editor for small indie publishing houses, is the current Managing Editor of The Big Thrill, the e-magazine published by the International Thriller Writers’, and has taught writing courses for writers of all ages and levels of experience. She’s been a Pitch Wars mentor for the past three years, with two of her mentees going on to secure agents and book deals.

In addition to publishing multiple articles in international magazines and newspapers, Dawn has published three young adult books with Simon Pulse (a Simon & Schuster imprint), two short stories, and 16 educational graphic novels. This past year, she wrote a script for an episode of Rainbow Rangers, an animated television show airing on Nickolodeon, and in 2019 will be a regular writer on a new, not-yet-disclosed animated TV show that will air on a major network.

Dawn is represented by Mandy Hubbard (young adult), Anne Tibbets (adult), and Anna Archer (screenwriting). She lives in St. Albert, Alberta with her husband and two giant breed dogs—a St. Bernard named Charley and an old English Mastiff named Roarke.

While her passion is writing, Dawn co-created Manuscripter with Megan because she wants to give back and pay it forward for all of the coaching she’s received over the years by helping writers reach their dreams.

Specialties: Craft. Character development, POV and tension.

“Expect tough love from me when it comes to the craft of writing—I’ve had my work red-lined from bestselling authors whose lessons resonate every time I sit down at my computer. I’ll show you how to “write tight” in a way that builds tension, digs deep into your characters’ psyche, and gets those pages turning.”

Favorite books to edit:

“My reading tastes are as diverse as my writing but I have a special place in my heart for thriller and horror. I’m immersed in that world, and consider “building suspense” one of my coaching super powers.”

Young adult, middle grade, and adult in any genre, with the exception of science fiction (inquire for more details.) Not a good fit for picture books.

Non-fiction and memoir, with a special interest in True Crime.

What she’d like to see more of:

“Tension! Regardless of genre, writers often forget that “shit needs to happen” from the first page—and it should be conflict and tension. I’d love to see more ‘smart horror’ (think of the movie Get Out) that leans more on suspense than gore. I’ll never turn away a campy thriller—go ahead bring me Jason, Chucky, Freddy in a fresh light—and I love a good romance. Make me swoon and melt me with a great kiss. The more ‘bad boy’ the better.”

Currently accepting new monthly coaching applications?: Yes!

Megan Lally: Co-founder


Megan has been writing, editing, and book coaching for a total of about eight years, and critiquing manuscripts for more than a decade. She’s worked with several freelance editing and book coaching companies, with projects ranging from Adult high fantasy space novels about alternate universes, to Young Adult contemporaries about Shakespeare camp— and everything in between.

She was a Pitch Wars mentor for two years and had the pleasure of seeing several of her writers go on to find agents and make major book deals. She’s also the creator of #CpMatch, a Twitter based book pitching party to help writers find critique partners or beta readers and improve their manuscripts.

Megan is a Young Adult author herself, represented by Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary. She lives on the west coast with her family, and two crazy little dogs.

She co-founded Manuscripter with Dawn with the hope of helping more writers finally finish their manuscripts and reach their goals. She specializes in all things young adult, middle grade, and adult romance.

Specialties: Brainstorming and plot snags. Romance arcs.

“I’m a brainstorming ninja. I can demolish even the toughest of plot holes with a quick back and forth phone call and come up with so many options to navigate your way out of a tricky chapter. I can’t fix my own books to save my life, but I’m sure ready to help you with yours! Same goes for romantic arcs. If you have some insta-love going on and your characters just aren’t connecting for real and you don’t know how to fix it, I’m more than ready to help. I love a good love story and I’m so ready to help you put yours together so the story matches the feelings you have in mind for your characters."

Favorite genres to edit:

Anything Young Adult. Especially horror, historical fantasy, and contemporary.

Anything Middle Grade. Especially the spooky stuff.

Adult romance. Especially Regency romance.

What she’d like to see more of: “Horror definitely. And straight up, happily ever after romance novels. I love those and I don’t get nearly enough of them. I’m also a sucker for a good Darcy hero in a regency romance. And I’m always open to ALL the Young Adult.”

Currently accepting new monthly coaching applications?: Yes!