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WriteMentor Children's Novel and Picture Book awards UPDATE

The SHORTLIST announcement will take place today MONDAY 29th March at Midday (BST).

We will post a link to it here, and will email the shortlisted authors later. 

Calendar of upcoming events

30th March: Beyond-The-Agent Chat with Patrice Lawrence (Hub members)
31st March: PitchHero deadline (for Hub members)
31st March: Clare Helen Welsh PB 4 spread workshop (Hub members)

12-14th April: Mentor chats on Twitter
15-16th April: Mentee application window open

19th April: Flash/Short Story deadlines
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

Job Opportunity

We are looking for a passionate, hard-working and committed creative ADMINISTRATOR to join the small team at WriteMentor.

- Remote working
- 0.4 FTE
- Salary: £18,000 pro-rata

Closing date: 11th April 11.59pm BST

Full details here:

WriteMentor Summer Programme

It's getting closer - the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, it's even better than that!

It's our Summer Mentoring Programme. If you write for children and need that extra little bit of help and guidance, do have a look and consider applying.

Read more here.

Key dates for the diary below:

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) - 29th March with Patrice Lawrence

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.

Flash/Short Story Competitions

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...

Hello newsletter faithful! 

Yes, I am talking to all 6 of you who make it this far down…I get analytics for the newsletter in terms of how many even open the email, how many click on various links, etc, etc. 

Nothing personal, but overall numbers and averages. Interestingly just over 50% of people who sign up for the newsletter, open the newsletter.

We all know that feeling when we sign up for something, end up on a list we don't really want to be on, and keep getting the emails! Of course, they all have an unsubscribe button when you open them, but why do that when you can simply delete or ignore them every week, right? 😂

I have so many of these I can't even begin to list them - I always think, 'What if I miss out on something' and also I am lazy with that kind of thing.

Stuart, where are you going with this???

Good point, how does all of this relate to your writing?

Well, signing up for a newsletter is like singing up for those writing courses that you never fully engage in, or buying those books you never read, or starting that book you never finish.

They all seemed like great ideas at the time. In fact, you may even have thought long and hard about them, then did them and maybe it didn't live up to your expectations and so, over time, they become slowly more and more abandoned and finally completely forgotten, or unopened.

Well, like 50% of our subscribers, we all go through times where we look in our writing folder, and we see the WIP document - perhaps it's not going so well, perhaps you are on edit 981 million, or perhaps you've just fall out of love with that story, for whatever reason.

It happens to us all from time to time. We make excuses and reasons not to open the document:
- I am so tired
- I need to do the housework 
- Oh look, the well-manicured lawn does need to be cut again for the 3rd time this week

Or whatever things you allow to get in the way. Sometimes it's physically not being able to sit down and write. Other time it's a mental and personal thing, where the thought of opening the document makes you completely and utterly exhausted - I have had this! 

And sometimes we manage to open the document, and we stare at the cursor of doom for a full hour before closing the document and accepting that you'll never be able to write again and why did we ever think we could do this. 

Well, I'm here this morning to remind you of a few hard truths and give a few words of inspirtation from the author who first got me reading - JRR Tolkien: 

- It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish
- Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised
- Not all those who wander are lost
- For of us is required a blind trust, and a hope without assurance, knowing not what lies before us in a little while
- All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
- No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly

So much to unpack here and apply to us as writers, but I hope you can take something from them today that gives you the urge to open that document and get writing this week!

And remember, you're already in top 50% just by opening this email! And by doing so, you've put your writing in the important place in your life that it should be - go forth now, open that document, write your story!

And do yourself a favour, unsubscribe to all those emails you really don't want to receive! :-)

Writing can 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?
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