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Calendar of upcoming events

1st December: WriteMentor Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards open
9th December: #WMChat with Lauren James
16th December: #WMChat with Amy Wilson
4th January: Maz Evans (MG) and Lauren James (YA) course start dates
4th January: WriteMentor Community Learning Hub opens
31st January: WriteMentor Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards close

WriteMentor Children's Novel
and Picture Book Awards

Our awards open for entries TODAY! (1st December)

To help you prepare your entry, we share with you some of previous successful entrants, winners and judges best pieces of advice:

Interview with 2021 Picture Book Award Judges Justine Smith and Paul Moreton

Interview with 2021 Novel Award Judge: Lauren Gardner

PB AWARD Winner SOPHIA PAYNE: my WMCNA experience

How to win the #WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award by Alexandra Page

How to almost win a novel competition by Kathryn FOXFIELD

4 reasons to enter a novel competition (even if you’re not planning to win)

Five tips for winning the Write Mentor Children’s Novel Award 2021

Read more details about the award, including the judges, prizes and key dates 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.
12 week courses with Lauren James (YA)
Places are available on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up now (by paying a £60 deposit) to secure your place for January 2021. Be quick, we sold out quickly last time.

The groups are smaller this time, to give you and your manuscript even more attention!

And remember, as well as incredible tutoring, feedback and insight from Lauren, we also offer feedback on your submission package from a top agent - click on the links above to find out more!

Start date: 4th January 2021

WriteMentor Magazine Issue 4 is on sale!

WriteMentor Magazine Issue 4 is now on sale. Featuring industry insights, writing advice, and the winning entries for our short story and flash fiction competitions. For all writers of children’s fiction, from Picture Book to Young Adult.


  • How the magic of storytelling helped Amy Wilson through personal trauma
  • About day in the life of a picture book (Clare Helen Welsh) and a middle grade author (Vashti Hardy)
  • Lucy Cuthew’s advice on writing a verse novel 
  • Pádraig Kenny’s advice on writing horror for children
  • Why Maria Kuzniar chose to write a children’s feminist novel
  • Lauren James’s top tip for exercising writing muscles
  • Kathryn Foxfield’s experience of the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award
  • The witticisms of our Honest Writer
  • The winning entries for our flash fiction and short story competitions
  • Your recent writing achievements

All for £3! Buy your copy now

*A reminder that our magazine is digital, so check your confirmation email when you purchase for details on how to read it digitally.

Article pitch: WriteMentor Magazine Issue 5 

Are you a published author who writes children's fiction?

Our submissions are open for pitches for articles to feature in Issue 5 of WriteMentor Magazine.

The deadline for the article will be January 25th 2021, so please make sure you are able to meet that deadline before pitching an idea.

We are flexible on content, as long as the article has a focus on the craft of writing children's fiction and/or the publishing industry, as our readership is mainly writers. 

Children's fiction covers Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult.

As always, we want to promote as diverse a range of voices within our industry as possible, so do mention if you’re from an underrepresented group when you pitch.

WORD COUNT: 500 to 750 words.

PAYMENT: £25 per article.

Please be aware that we can only accepted one or two pitches per issue so we can’t guarantee we can reply to or feature everyone.

Pitch your idea here.

WriteMentor Community Learning Hub

We have exciting news for all of you!

Starting from the 4th January, we’re launching our brand new WriteMentor Community Learning Hub, which is a monthly subscription course/community/learning platform and it comes with so many benefits, both in the short and long term for your writing.

Read more 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.

Final word from The Jedi Master

More like Jar-Jar Binks than a Jedi Master! :-)

Oh, not him again! 

Yes, sorry, you're stuck with me today. I wanted to discuss the Novel and Picture Book Awards (opening today) a little more and how we approach things, and our outlook on it, which is perhaps different to what you'd think.

We have (hopefully helpfully) added a FAQ section to the information page this year. This should answer, well, the most frequently asked questions and save Stuart from a winter, R2D2-style meltdown!

Seriously though, please read them first before getting in touch. Similarly do read the rules. It sounds obvious to most of you I'd imagine, but again I get asked about things that are in the rules every year. Do read and do follow them.

Okay, so onto some more exciting things. As always we try to provide full transparency on how we operate, and again this year, I've listed all of our adult readers on the information page (we can't list the kid readers for safeguarding and child protection reasons).

As you may have read in this post a few weeks ago, we had to make some necessary changes this year. And so it's a little extra for feedback. Entry fees remain the same for the novel award, and are 50% less for the Picture Book award.

This is just a financial necessity. WriteMentor is my baby, and I love it dearly and gladly do everything voluntarily, but I have to try to more fairly compensate our readers for their work on giving feedback, so this is why we've added the feedback fee. As I say, there's no need to add feedback, if you find that takes entry above your budget.

With logistics out of the way (there's plenty of the page if you want more!), onto YOU, our lovely writers who will be entering.

I think it's important when entering something like our awards, to be really honest with you from the start and to not raise hopes or dreams. My best advice to you, as it always is, is to enter, then forget about the award. Mute us, or unfollow the WM account for a while if you need to, and focus on something else. Rewrite your current ms, start something new or step away from writing for a few weeks. Whatever works for you.

But don't think about us, or the award. Of course, it would be amazing news to be long listed etc, but it's really not important in the grand scheme of things.

I've lost weeks in the past where I enter things, and then obsess over it, to the extent that I don't move on, and basically hold my breath until I hear. It's not a great way to exist. Being a writer is tough, and working out how to navigate waiting after sending is a super, vital skill.

I want you all to enter and work on this skill, even if it's your first or fiftieth time of entering an award.

Your wellbeing, especially during this time, is an absolute priority, and as I say above, our novel award should be put to the very bottom of your priority list (once you've entered, of course!).

And a final, special shout-out to two WM veterans, Clare Helen Welsh and Jenny Pearson.

Clare won the Crystal Kite Award this weekend, and Jenny was shortlisted for the Costa award.

Well done to both of you! 

Have a great week everyone,

Do YOU want to be the star of this newsletter?

Do YOU want to have the final word?
We are VERY open to the content - it can be a personal story of your writing journey, it can be about something you're passionate about, within the kidlit publishing industry and community. It can be advice, or something you've learned, it can be an excerpt from your WIP.

As I say, we can't guarantee we'll be able to feature everyone, depending on the response, but we'd love to.

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

May the Force be with you!

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