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Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards
A quick note to say the long lists will be announces at noon today on our website - we'll post the specific link on Twitter and Facebook at those times.

Calendar of upcoming events

8th March: #IWD chat with Emma F-P, Priscilla Mante and Hannah Sheppard
10th March: #WMChat with Louise Gooding
31st March: PitchHero deadline (for Hub members)
12-14th April: Mentor chats on Twitter
15-16th April: Mentee application window open

19th April: 12 week courses with Maz Evans and Lauren James begin
19th April: Preparing for Submission with Aisha Bushby begins
27th April: WriteWords with Lindsay Galvin begins
30th April: Mentor-Mentee announcement
1st May: #WMPitch

May 16th: Novel-in-Development Award closes for entries

Success Stories

From WriteMentor to Publication

The third video in our new From WriteMentor to Publication series on YouTube.

Community Learning Hub

We are now officially open! We are already getting stuck into wonderful craft videos from our Writers in Residence, Clare Helen Welsh and Vashti Hardy and set up our online critique groups (which you can join any time).


PitchHero - pitching contest judged by agent Christabel McKinley (open to all Hub members)

Beyond-the-Agent - regulars chats with published authors and industry professionals on life beyond securing an agent (open to all Hub members)

There's so much to be gained from the Learning Hub (and we haven't even mentioned our extensive library of Hub Modules!)

Come join us; writing can be lonely, but it doesn't need to be.

More information on the hub here

Online Courses

We have a new page for all our online courses! 

We hope it's much easier to navigate now. Read below to see how you can be the very first to sign up for newly published courses.


Next course starts 19th April 2021

Price: £600 (with £60 deposit)


Next course starts 19th April 2021

Price: £600 (with £60 deposit)

Dates: Tuesday 27th April – Tuesday 25th May 2021 (8-9pm)
Price: £79

Starts: Monday 19th April 2021 (8-9pm)
With agent Lucy Irvine
Price: £120

Children's Novel-In-Development Award

Entries are open until 16th May, 2021.

Read more about the award and it's eligibility criteria and rules here.

WriteMentor Magazine Issue 5 is on sale!

Elle McNicoll
Genevieve Herr

Nizrana Farook
C.G. Moore
Hannah Gold

…Why critique groups are important for writers
…The witticisms of our Honest Writer
…The winning entries for our flash fiction and short story competitions under the theme of New Beginnings
…Your recent writing achievements.

Buy here.

Other Opportunities

Spark Mentoring

WriteMentor Spark is a monthly, online one-to-one mentoring service. Working with a children’s author, you will receive ongoing developmental editing, writing advice, publishing insights, and direct feedback on your manuscript to help you elevate your writing craft to the next level.

Spark Mentoring is always available if you need extra help or support each month.

Spark mentor Emma Read has offered to give ongoing free critiques to BAME writers - one free package per month of synopsis and 1st page.
Sign up here and she will work through the list, at a rate of 1 a month, so the quicker you sign up, the quicker you'll get some feedback.
Quick Spark editing is available for all ms from PB to YA.

Check out this superb post from Emma Finlayson-Palmer and Carolyn Ward on what to expect from Quick Spark here.
A fantastic opportunity with this long running novel competition run by Chicken House Books. They are looking for completed manuscripts and it's £18 to enter.

The competition will close for entries on 14 May 2021 at 11.59pm GMT.

For more details and to enter, look here:
The Jericho Prize for children’s writing, open to Black-British writers with great stories to inspire children aged 4 years plus and 7–9.

Open for submissions 2 August 2021.


We're looking for manuscripts aimed at young readers and your work must fit into one of these two categories:

1. A picture book for 4 years plus. No more than 800 words OR

2. A short chapter book for the 7–9 age range between 10,000–15,000 words

All manuscripts must feature a Black or mixed-Black main character. (Read our FAQs for more guidance.)

The prize

The winner of each category will receive:

After that, if you manage to publish your book you'll also receive:

  • A listing with inclusive-led bookshop Round Table Books in their physical and online stores

  • A book review published on Candid Cocoa plus six month's promotion on Candid Cocoa's social media

We also have a whole page on our website with links to competitions and mentorship programmes. Click here.

Final word from...

Making disappointment your greatest weapon

Today we will announce the long lists for our 2021 Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards.

Most of you will be disappointed when you read this.

Trust me, I have read hundreds of competitions posts with long lists and faced that same disappointment.

Sometimes I hide it and pretend I didn't really care (I did).

Sometimes I say it doesn't matter if you list or not, as so many successful writers don't (it did matter).

Sometimes I am openly disappointed. And this, my friends, is when I am able to finally use the experience of not listing to my advantage.

Being human, heck being a writer, is not about suppressing emotions. It's the opposite. Cold and clinical might serve you well in some aspects of life, but it doesn't when it comes to writing.

Open, vulnerable, exposed, raw and true emotions are the most powerful thing in the world. More powerful than the President of the US or China, or any other superpower. 

In fact, for me, there's only one thing more powerful than even those emotions.

And that's your words.

The words you use in your stories that represent those emotions, that ellicit that feeling in a reader. Those are more powerful than a light saber, a magic wand or an infinity stone.

But getting your words, your story to a point of eliciting those powerful emotions in a reader is not easy or light work. It requires a great draw from the writer into their own emotional pools, which are almost exclusively filled from their own past experiences, memories and responses.

In short, writing a character that will connect on a deeply emotional level with your reader, requires that writer to have experienced something similar. There is a lack of authenticity in that moment in the story when they haven't and, as a reader, it's often apparent to me.

Disappointment also serves as a powerful motivator. 

'I'll show those WriteMentor readers! They were wrong, my book is a masterpiece and I'll prove it!'

'What do they know anyway? I'm going to send this out to agents and get it published. Then I can send one of those tweets about how I never listed and still got published. Ha!'

We've all thought it before - maybe even a few of you have done exactly this after disappointment or rejection! I know I've thought it, too, if I'm being honest.

And many of you will think these exact things today.

Good, I say. Use that powerful emotion - it might drive you for a few days or a few weeks. All the better. And if you can, write down how the disappointment makes you feel, internally and externally. Where do your thoughts go. 

Then use this in your work - find a moment where your character is disappointed or gutted or let down by something they had real hope for, and then mine the authenticity of your own experience.

Use that disappointment, and spin it around, and make it a weapon to your own advantage.

Writing can be lonely, but it doesn't need to be,

May the Force be with you!

Do YOU want to be the star of this newsletter?

Do YOU want to have the final word?
Copyright © 2021 #WriteMentor - for all writers of children's fiction, All rights reserved.

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