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Calendar of upcoming events

14th October: #WMChat with A.J. Sass
28th October: #WMChat with A.M. Dassu
1st December: WriteMentor Children's Novel Award opens
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 Award closes

WriteMentor Community Learning Hub

MEET OUR NEW (VIRTUAL) WRITERS-IN-RESIDENCE FOR 2021

Clare Helen Welsh

Clare is the author fiction and non-fiction picture books and early readers. She is passionate about using creativity and the arts to promote a love of learning and emotional well-being. Clare also works as a Write Mentor tutor and offers a manuscript critique service and 7 week Picture Book Course.

Clare is represented by Alice Williams of Alice Williams Literary.

Vashti Hardy

Vashti Hardy is a writer of children’s books living near Brighton in Sussex with her husband and three teens. She was a primary school teacher for several years, and has a special interest in children’s writing, especially free-writing and the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds. She has a first-class honours teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester.

Now a successful children’s author, Vashti’s breathtaking middle grade fantasies are published across the world in several languages. Wildspark won the Blue Peter Book Award ‘Best Story’ in 2020 and the FCBG Children’s Book Awards and Brightstorm was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Books are My Bag Awards, among others.
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) and Maz Evans (MG)
 
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 and Maz, 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 the Jedi Master

Getting to know our characters

I was chatting with some writing buddies this week about how frequently so many of us write secondary characters that are more fun and exciting than our main characters. That so often they feel flat in comparison.

Has this happened to you? I think it happens almost every time for me, and then I need to really work hard on then - I wonder if it's because it's their story and we feel like we need them to be the more serious one - the one who has to drive the story and so maybe isn't as well suited to being the funny, quippy side-kick or the antagonistic accomplice, dragged along to create extra conflict. Often even our villains have more depth and are more engaging! 

I suggested this to one of my writing friends, who said she thought it was a nice idea and tried it, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Imagine your main characters in a famous or even normal, everyday situation.

Something like:

- they have just entered the arena for the Hunger Games - what do they do?
- they have all just landed in Oz - how do they respond?
- they have just been tasked with taking the One Ring to Mordor - what is their response?

I can imagine my own MC saying something like:
 
'Carry your own ring. I'm off for second breakfast!'

- or they all go into MacDonalds - what do they order and what do they chat about it at the table?
- two of them ace an exam, and two of them fail - what do each of them do? How do they act and respond to each other? 
- they have triggered a pressure sensor bomb. One of them must stay behind and hold the trigger to let the others escape, and will die. What do each of your characters do in that situation?

And keep writing the scene - see where it goes - it's probably not going in your book, but it might give you some amazing insights and even turn into a great scene with some adaptation.

If you find two of your characters doing really similar things, then maybe they need differentiated or merged into one character? 

I've been doing similar things this week with my characters and it's honestly been so revealing - and one of the scenes is now in the book - and it's shows so much about two of main characters that I would never had had without this! 

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

May the Force be with you!

Stuart
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