This year, I am thrilled to be serving as a mentor in the 2021 #WriteMentor mentorship program. If you’ve never heard of #WriteMentor, you can read more about it here, but basically it’s a wonderful annual event where writers of children’s fiction can submit their completed manuscripts for the chance at a one-on-one mentorship with a more experienced author. As a former mentee myself, I’m so excited to give back to this great community.
If you’ve just come from the #WriteMentor site, welcome! And thanks for considering me as a possible mentor. I’m honored that some of you will trust me with your work. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:
I’ve been writing fiction for nearly two decades. In college, I specialized in journalism and worked for the college newspaper, first as a copy editor then as managing editor. My writing earned me a journalism internship for a non-profit in Washington, D.C. Since then I’ve worked as a freelance copywriter and freelance writing/English teacher until transitioning to SAH-mom and full-time fiction writer. I write YA SFF because I love the escapism offered by new worlds and far-off places. That said, I read voraciously across multiple genres. As a reader, I know what works and what doesn’t, and as a writer I know why. I’m looking forward to helping you take the potential already laced within the pages of your manuscript to a whole new level. Be sure to check out my #MSWL before you go.
My Mentoring Style
Be forewarned – I am blunt and direct … BUT … I drape my constructive criticism in a plush robe of kindness. If you think you’d work well with someone who will be upfront about everything that could use a second look, but will also send virtual hugs and chocolate through the Interwebs, I might be the mentor for you.
I am an oldest child (of six!) with a strong A-typical personality. I like to work on projects linearly. I’m a big fan of structure in a novel and also logic. I have a good eye for minor errors and line-edits and will probably point some of those out to you in the course of the full developmental edit offered during the program.
I’m pro-communication. If you’re confused about a comment or suggestion, or even disagree with it outright, I’m more than willing to listen. My comments will reflect MY opinions, but should be indicative of something that’s not working within the story. If you want to brainstorm certain topics together, or float ideas past a sounding board before writing them in, I’m open to that.
I am planning on assigning some homework to my chosen mentee, so be ready to read. The advantage of this approach is that it will give you something constructive to do while you wait for me to get your edit letter back to you. Once you have your edits, I’ll be available on chat, DM, or even Skype/phone if you wanted to discuss the manuscript and feedback directly. Then it’s up to you to re-work the manuscript over the course of the program. If you have questions during the editing stage, you can feel free to reach out, and I’ll do my best to accommodate when I can.
Once your revision is complete, I’m willing to take another look at it to give you my overall impressions and highlight anything major (Note, this will be BRIEF feedback). I’m also willing to take a look at a revised query letter and synopsis while you prepare for the agent showcase (as developmental edits could require you to restructure your query package).
The fact that you’re even considering entering a competition like #WriteMentor means you already deserve a pat on the back. Take a minute and give yourself one from me. Seriously, subbing your work to a stranger takes COURAGE! I applaud you for seeking advice and feedback. I can’t promise that you’ll land an agent and a six-figure book deal if you chose me as your mentor, but I can promise to fully invest in your novel and in you.