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Calendar of upcoming events

28th October: #WMChat with A.M. Dassu
11th November: #WMChat with Elle McNicoll
1st December: WriteMentor Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards open
9th December: #WMChat with Lauren James
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

Success Stories

Dana Faletti has always been a writer. Growing up in Pittsburgh, she wrote poetry endlessly and wrote her first novel - a romance - while in high school. In 2010, she wrote what would later become book one of The Whisper Trilogy. She often visits area schools with this trilogy and talks to kids about having a career in writing and about the books themselves. She also writes music, and currently, she's working with a production team to transform her middle grade fantasy manuscript into a stage musical. For Dana, her writing career has been the adventure of a lifetime, with stumbling blocks, stupid mistakes and celebrations. 

Fortunately, WriteMentor had the chance to be part of this adventure when Dana was a mentee on our summer mentoring program with her Young Adult contemporary novel Hear Me.

She shares her experience of the program, and why she believes mentoring is so important for writers.

What made you apply for the WriteMentor programme?

I applied to the WriteMentor program on a whim. When I was chosen to receive the opportunity to be mentored by KC Karr, I was completely shocked. The amount of work that would go into revising my WIP was daunting to me, especially because it was late spring early summer, and my kids were out of school, leaving less quiet writing time for me. I committed myself to being at Starbucks from 6am-noon every day, hours when my kids were still sleeping or just waking up and starting their days. 

What was your experience like?

Working with KC was amazing. She really invested in my story. I felt like she knew my characters so well, and I trusted her. She encouraged me to write origin scenes to help build my characters' motivations, and I really enjoyed this part of the process. I even got to know my main characters better. KC was brilliant. Her input made Hear Me into a much better book! It was also fun to be connected to the other mentees and their journey.


Read more 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.

Short Story/Flash Fiction contests OPEN!

Our contests are back! With a WINTER theme, you can incorporate that in whatever imaginative way you can.

Emma Finlayson-Palmer and Sally Doherty are back to judge, and the prize is a full feature of you and your story in the next WM magazine!

Deadline: 31st October.

Read more 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!

There will also be 1 scholarship place on both courses - look out for details on how to apply, coming soon.

Start date: 4th January 2021

Other Opportunities

Spark Mentoring

Spark Mentoring is always available if you need extra help or support each month. We have made the Spark mentoring package even better by including access to our 12 month novel course and the self-editing course with Kesia Lupo for all Spark mentees - do contact me if you wish to access either of these and are a current spark mentee. If you wish to sign, hit the link above for all the details.


 
We have introduced a couple of new mentors in recent months to give those signing up, a wider range of authors to choose from and increase likelihood of compatibility. All their profiles can be found on the website.
We welcome Melinda Salisbury, Yasmin Rahman, Alex Sheppard and Aisha Bushby.
All our mentors would be delighted to work with you!

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.
https://forms.gle/g9fWLovv7oGxozYV9
The latest edition of the magazine was released on 7th August!

FEATURING:
Kit de Waal | Joseph Elliott | Emma Perry | Marisa Noelle | Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez | Jasmine Richards | J.R. Ford | Ian Johnson | Fiona Barker | Anna Moutran | The Honest Writer

Find out about...writing Young Adult fiction...publishing your first novel...life as a literary agent...representation in publishing...writing picture books...self-publishing...overcoming writer's block...plus read competition-winning short stories and flash fiction, and our celebration corner - featuring you!
Disabled Creatives Universe Mentor Program

For the attention of disabled and/or Neurodiverse writers: this new mentoring programme is seeking mentors (until 1st December). 
On January 5, 2021, their webpage will go live and further promotion will begin and this will be the
first date mentors can open to applicants.
If you are a disabled/ND writer, you can apply to be mentored at this point.
They have two flexible and varied options, so do check them out on Twitter for more information.

Final word from ...

Rachael Davis is a book reviewer and children’s author, represented by Alice Williams. 

I never thought I would be a book reviewer, and even now, almost two years in, I still don’t always believe it. So how did it come about? Back in 2017, I decided to take a picture book writing course while I was on maternity leave. The first assignment was to READ. Go to a bookshop or library and really study what types of picture books were being published. Throughout the course, I realised just how important understanding the picture book market was. 
I initially started my blog because I thought it would be a good way to make sure I kept on top of the market and help me with my picture book writing. But it was also perfect timing, because I could read the books to my little girl and blog about the ones she liked.
I love it when someone tells me that they’ve bought a book after reading one of my reviews. It has also given me a platform to champion picture books I feel passionate about. I make a conscious effort to ensure I review diverse books, and I love to showcase books on emotional wellbeing and STEM subjects, from picture books up to middle grade. I will occasionally do compilation posts, such as Five Picture Books on Kindness or Ten Spooky Reads for Halloween.
            Something I hadn’t realised when I first started my review blog, was that publishers may send you books to review, ahead of publication date. It is so exciting when I receive a book in the post. I have been lucky enough to take part in some publication blog tours (here is a recent tour for King of the Swamp written by one of Write Mentor’s picture book mentors, Catherine Emmett and illustrated by Ben Mantle). Running my blog has also allowed me to connect with some of my favourite authors and illustrators via social media and also through interviews on my blog. I was delighted to interview Write Mentor’s very own picture book author-in-residence, Clare Helen Welsh
            There are pros and cons to running a review blog. It is a great way to connect with a community of picture book creators, publishers, parents and teachers. I feel extremely lucky to receive books from publishers and be part of publication day celebrations. But running a review website can be very time consuming. You may even reach a stage where you have to turn books down because you have too many to review, or you don’t feel it is a title you want to review (always have a review policy!). To build a following, you need to blog regularly and keep the quality of your posts high. You also need to be comfortable using social media to promote your posts, so that people can find your content.
If you think it is something you might like to do, the good news is that it doesn’t cost anything to get started! You can register for a free website, with a site such as Wordpress, and you can start by reviewing books from the library, NetGalley or your personal book collection. Remember, even if a publisher didn’t send you the book, you can still let them know about your review by tagging them (and the author and illustrator) into your social media posts about the review.
Here are my top tips for starting a review blog:
  • Have a look at some of the children’s reviewers and subscribe to their blogs. Engage with them, commenting on their posts. A few reviewers I love are: Book Lover JoLibrary Girl and Book BoyBook Bairn and My Book Corner.
  • Think about how often you want to review. Do you want to review daily, once a week or once a month? What is manageable for you? Consistency is key.
  • Be organised and make a plan for what books you want to review and when. Schedule your posts in advance so that you can keep to posting at regular times during the week, even if you go on holiday!
If you decide to start a review blog, please let me know and I’ll be your first subscriber!
 
Rachael Davis lives in Hampshire with her husband and two young daughters. She runs a picture book review blog: www.picturebookperfect123.com. She writes picture books and is passionate about showcasing diversity and mental wellness. Rachael is represented by Alice Williams. Her first picture book will be published by Hachette Children’s in 2022. 
Find her on Twitter: @Pic_BookPerfect
Do YOU want to be the star of this newsletter?

Do YOU want to have the final word?

Here is your chance to do just that, telling more than 2000 writers your story! 

We want to make the newsletter less about us, and more about you, and so from now on, we will feature a piece from one of YOU, ever fortnight, in this space! 

Don't worry, you don't need to be published, agented, or even finished your book! You don't have to be a writer even, as long as you have something to say about writing or the publishing industry.

We are not sure how much response this might get, so if you are interested in being the feature of the newsletter, simply fill in this form, and we will email you with instructions on what/how to send us your feature.
 
 

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.

I also think of you and our community with all we do, and this is another thing we can do to help give some of you a wee boost!

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

May the Force be with you!

Stuart
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