I can’t believe it was nearly a year ago I was applying for the Write Mentor summer programme. With lockdown and everything else, it was a pretty crazy time, so where I totally meant to write all about it… Life got in the way. Time to put that right!
If you’re an unagented writer, then this is an amazing opportunity for you.
Write Mentor is an organisation run by a fabulous bunch of very generous people, and the whole point is to offer accessible help for writers, and build a supportive writing community. You can read all about the summer programme here, but in short: published authors agree to pick 1-2 mentees (unpublished), and work with them on honing their manuscript ready for an agent showcase at the end of the programme. If you write for children – YA, this is open to you to apply, if you have a completed manuscript.
I applied with ‘The Day of the Dice’, which I had redrafted several times by this point (oh the joys of story clock/ save the cat/ every other model you can think of!!), and which I felt like I really couldn’t do much more with on my own steam. I needed fresh perspective. I was absolutely thrilled to be selected and mentored by the brilliant Anna Mainwaring (find her on Twitter @Anna_Mainwaring), author of Tulip Taylor and Rebel with a Cupcake. Anna ‘got’ my story, helped me make the beginning much more pacy and intriguing, and gave me the confidence I needed to know what to cut and what to keep. She has now founded an editing service with Louisa Reid called Winged Words so check it out!
I had some interest off the back of the agent showcase, though nothing concrete as yet… But in many ways, that’s not the point. Just having a mentor, someone who is more experienced, someone you can go to with all your silly questions, is just so helpful. Add to this the great community that Write Mentor has become -also running an online conference at extremely reasonable prices, as well as Twitter chats and a hub of resources- then you’re really onto a winner. Building a network and getting to know other writers, to share the ups and downs of creativity, is essential to help you push through the slumps where nothing seems to be working. I’m really thankful to Stuart and the team for running such an amazing programme, and for all the authors who give their time and energy so generously to make it possible.
Mentor chats on Twitter: 12-14th April 2021
Mentee application window open: 15-16th April 2021
Save the date!