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Calendar of upcoming events

23rd September: #PeerPitch
23rd September: #WMChat with Clare Helen Welsh
24th September: #WMPitch
25-27th September: WOWCON
6th October: WriteMaster MG and YA start dates
14th October: #WMChat with A.J. Sass
28th October: #WMChat with A.M. Dassu

Success Stories

According to her dad (so it must be true), Krystle Brantzeg is the undisputed lumpia-wrapping champion. She received her B.A. in Literature and Writing, and previously worked as a writer and graphic designer for a wedding magazine. She now writes novels and homeschools her quartet of kids.

Krystle took part in the 2019 WriteMentor summer mentoring programme and, with the help of author Brandy Woods Snow, shaped her Young Adult contemporary romance.

She shares her journey from one-to-one mentoring to agent representation. 

What made you apply for the WriteMentor programme? 

The mentors! Reading their profiles made me want to watch K-dramas with them, so I felt safe submitting my story. I knew they wouldn’t be like Gordon Ramsay and tell me their grans could do better. Although, I’m sure they could.

What was your experience like?  

I thought it was going to be like boot camp, but it was more like summer camp with bonds forged and lessons learned–plus, a retrofitted manuscript. That’s because my Jeep-cruising mentor, Brandy Woods Snow, was my camp counselor, muse, and Merlin.

Read more here.

WOWCON

We still have limited tickets available for a few workshops. Tickets here.

If you are attending WOWCON, you will receive an invitation to the online platform on the Wednesday (23rd) prior to the conference.

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.

Lindsay Galvin and Alexandra Sheppard will lead their own 6 week online courses, taking you through the main elements to make to make your novel really stand out and to learn craft aspects that will help, not only this novel, but every one your write.

With guest agents Chloe Seager and Jo Williamson, who will look at the opening of your WIP and give some feedback, this is a great way to develop craft while writing, or redrafting, your novel MG or YA novel!

Start date: 6th October 2020

More here.

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!

Final word from the Jedi Master

Stay on Target

One of the things I often struggle with when writing, is ensuring that I don't start veering off on tangents!

Yes, you too? You're in good company.

It's so easy when we are so absorbed in our story worlds to keep exploring, to keep going with something that is new and exciting. 

But often this is at the expense of our character's story. Sure, it's absolutely essential to give your reader a sense of immersion in a world, and to let them fully visualise it, but there's a fine line between that and us satisfying our own whimsy.

Unfortunately, I often do the latter. And as a scientist, writing sci-fi, I very often get so excited by that aspect that I forget about (a) my main character and (b) my reader!

I think I must have written 4 chapters the other week, and when I sent it over to someone to read, her feedback was: 'I barely felt a reaction or emotion from your main character. How does everything that happens, help her towards her want or her need?'

And the honest answer was most of those chapters were a bit of fun, a bit of me letting plot lead character rather than the preferred character leading plot. And because of that, there was a lack in motivation, in stakes and in conflict. In effect, there was a lack of anything really to engage the reader. 

I had lost my way.

But the good thing is, and this is why others reading your work is so important, that you can find your way again. 

Share your work, or at least share your worries or fears, or brainstorm and ask questions, with other writers. It is the absolutely most necessary and important thing I do, and yet I am reluctant to do it so often.

My writing group shared their thoughts, and very quick identified solutions to help. My lovely mentor, Emma Read, asked me just 4 or 5 questions about what I wrote and they made me suddenly realise how far off the path I had strayed.

One of my writing friends gave a great suggestion this week, that I write down my characters wants and needs onto a post-it and pin it above my computer, so as I rewrite each scene, I have that at the foremost of mind. 

Fab advice. Def try it out!

Anyway, key things to keep in mind this week:

1. Keep your characters wants/needs at the forefront of your mind as you write every scene - is that scene aiding in telling THAT story?

2. Does your character dictate your plot? If not, they should be.

3. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Write something this week, even if it's just a few words. Just 200 words a day means you can write a 60k novel in about 10 months.

Let's do this! 

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

May the Force be with you!

Stuart
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