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Calendar of upcoming events

27th January: #WMChat with Brianna Bourne
31st January: WriteMentor Children's Novel and Picture Book Awards close
1st February: Preparing for Submission starts
14th February: Mentor Applications close (Summer Programme)
16th February: WriteMaster MG and YA starts
24th February: #WMChat with Hannah Gold

Success Stories

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

Anushi Mehta took part in Spark and was mentored by A.J. Sass, author of Ana on the Edge. Anushi shares her experience of mentoring and how it helped show her that her stories are needed

What made you apply for the WriteMentor Spark programme?

I applied for the summer mentoring programme for my chapter book, but while I got some lovely, kind feedback I didn’t get in. Either way, I was subscribed to the weekly newsletter and ‘SparkMentor’ kept popping up. It seemed like an affordable option to have a professional pair of eyes on my chapter book before going into the querying trenches. 

What was your experience like?

I was keen on working with Andrew Sass ever since the mentorship, but he wasn’t a mentor for Chapter Books, so I couldn’t apply to him. Spark gave me the chance to connect with him. The process was seamless. I told Stuart that I wanted to work with Andrew, sent in my draft and within days got my feedback. 

I must say that I did not opt for the monthly plan. Initially, I sent Andrew the first half of my manuscript because I just wanted to make sure his feedback style worked. Andrew is prompt, detailed and really with his feedback (with lots of smileys.) He would give me a timeline for feedback and always stick to it ! I knew I wanted him to have a look through the entire manuscript to clarify and make suggestions with pacing, character arcs and overall plot. Of course, after he gave me the feedback for my manuscript, I couldn’t resist the temptation to send him my query letter and proposals for the following books. 

Andrew is a friend and I still reach out to him if I have any doubts. I am sure I will be contacting him for more guidance as I delve deeper into this profession.

Read more here.

WriteMentor Summer Programme 2021

We are now accepting applications from those would like to mentor this summer. Link on the page below.

For more information and full dates, click here.

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, set up our online critique groups (which you can join any time), have booked Patrice Lawrence in to chat at our first book club and live analysis workshops coming up later this month.

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.
Dates: Monday 1st February to Monday 8th March 2021
With agent Lucy Irvine

Dates: Tuesday 16th February to Tuesday 23rd March 2021
With agent Jo Williamson

Dates: Tuesday 16th February to Tuesday 23rd March 2021
With agent Chloe Seager

WriteMentor Children's Novel
and Picture Book Awards

Our awards are open for entries

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.

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.

Our new flash/short story competitions are now open. Basic details above.

Enter/read the rules 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.
A FREE fantastic looking conference coming up soon. Tickets are unlimited and the videos will be available to view when it's convenient for you. I'd strongly recommend signing up for this one, as it's a great line-up!
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:
VIRTUAL EVENT: OH MG! A Weekend of Middle Grade

Date(s) - 27/02/2021 - 28/02/2021
10:00 am - 3:30 pm

More details and booking here:

Final word from...

Jo Verill
What really happens when you quit your job to write
In August 2019, after a few years of agonising deliberation, I finally exploded and quit my job to spend a year doing nothing but writing. The plan was that with all this deep, solid time I would finish a few manuscripts, upskill, get an agent, get some publisher interest…blah blah blah.
The truth is, I didn’t get an agent. I didn’t get published. I didn’t even finish a manuscript. But I still think of it as a success, and here’s why.
My journey started with a course. I chose Write Mentor’s Magnificent MG Mentoring with Maz Evans, partly because it was miles cheaper than some of the disturbing amounts some demanded, but also because an author work colleague had mentioned Maz’s general amazingness in a conversation a few months previously. I saw it as A Sign. And writers know all about Signs. 
The course was, as promised, magnificent. There was an interesting mix of experience in the crit group. From very new writers, to some pretty established people. Some loved what I was doing, some (as I wrote to Maz one week) hated it so much I suspected they wanted to punch it in the face. (Note: I don’t take criticism very well and I may be exaggerating.)
That was my first lesson. Criticism is helpful but confusing. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Haterz gonna hate, or whatever. If you want to be an author, you have to learn to live in that see-sawing space and not lose your mind.
I walked away with encouraging and constructive feedback from Maz - and a clear directive to just get on with it. Sure. I had quit my job, and so had oodles of time to do it. No problem. I’d probably finish it and then pump out a few more manuscripts for luck.
Not so.
I started going in circles. Changing my mind about the direction I wanted to go in. Doubting myself. I had too much time. I was reading too many ‘how to’ books, giving myself too much time to ponder minor things. It was sending the goofy rabbit that bounces around in my brain in too many directions.
So that was another ‘learn’. If I was ever going to get anything done, and use time effectively, I was going to have to don a pair of writing blinkers every now and again. Ignore everything. Tell Robert McKee to bog off. Tell Lisa Cron to speak to the hand. Tell the inner Jo to SHUT UP - and focus only on getting it done. 
I was back on track.
…and then COVID rocked up and time contracted, along with my physical space and my brain. I learned that creativity is not a performing monkey and sometimes it can’t be coaxed out, however many peanuts you throw at it. Sometimes the magic is there, sometimes it’s not. I learned to calm down and let myself off. Life wasn’t always going to be linear and easy, and, like any job, I’d need to be able to navigate this one when things were pear-shaped instead of peachy. 
These were definitely not the successes I was looking for, but they were valuable to me, nonetheless. Success was learning more on a practical level about what it would really be like to be an author. Learning that lack of time wasn’t the only barrier to getting published. Learning to value criticism, but also how to take it with a pinch of salt. Learning that crazy stuff can happen, which will make your stupid comedy fantasy book seem pretty pointless for a while.
And I’m kind of cool with that.
Jo E. Verrill is an enthusiastic writer of comedy books for children, SCBWI volunteer and a broadcasting and advertising standards consultant. 
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