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Calendar of upcoming events

8th April: Book Club with Catherine Emmett
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

16th May: Novel-in-Development Award closes for entries
27th May: WriteCharacter starts
1st June: WriteMaster MG/YA starts
2nd June: WriteStart begins
10th June: WriteRhyme starts

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

Under 2 weeks to go! 

Do join us for Twitter chats with mentors from 12-14th April.

Applications open 15-16th April.

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. And please do read the FAQs if you have anything you're unsure about!

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 - quarterly pitching contest judged by a top literary agent (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)

Plus critique groups, book club, and (at level 2) our 4 craft workshops/webinars a 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.

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

Are you an aspiring children’s or young adult book writer from an underrepresented background?

The brand-new All Stories mentorship programme could be for you!

This is a unique and free opportunity to be mentored by an expert editor, with 14 mentorships on offer to underrepresented writers unable to pay for support.

Applications are open until 31st May, with the mentorships running from September 2021 to February 2022. Find out more and apply at 
@AllStoriesWrite #AllStoriesMentorship #representationmatters
We also have a whole page on our website with links to competitions and mentorship programmes. Click here.

Final word from...

Finding magic in storytelling

By Florianne Humphrey

My childhood adventures in the worlds of Philip Pullman and C.S. Lewis sparked my love for magic. Not necessarily the wand-waving, wish-granting, razzmatazz kind. The quieter magic found all around us, particularly in nature.

An Irish grandad lent me an ear for folklore, while my mum fed me with ghost stories. She collected The Unexplained, a magazine series about mysterious occurences like the Cottingley Fairies, spontaneous human combustion, and the Bermuda Triangle. My parents took me to places imbued with magical history like Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, stalked by a beast. For my birthday once, I asked for a book of world myths, where I discovered how the elephant got its trunk and how deserts were made by the wayward son of the god Helios. Stories varnishing the surface of our world with an invisible layer of magic whose shine can only be seen if you tilt your head the right way.

This ordinary world magic started to seep into my writing. My first book was about a girl living in Brighton who discovered she was a mermaid, while my second was about a Londoner could talk to animals. I pinned an official name to it - contemporary fantasy. 

If anyone has listened to the first episode of WriteCast, WriteMentor's new podcast, you'll know I mention ley lines, that I have written into a Middle Grade novel. It's fascinating how real life landmarks such as Stonehenge, Rosslyn Chapel, and St Michael's Mount have a magical story behind them as milestones in an invisible map (and a quick thank you to fellow WriteMentor writer Kate Walker for flagging up a yet-unvisited ley line site!). 

Finding magical explanations for real world occurences is a great place to find inspiration for stories. I play a game where I pick natural phenomena - the Northern Lights, thunderstorms, earthquakes - and write a magical reason for their existence. Loads of authors do it, and not just for the natural world. Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere', for example, conjures up a fantastical realm beneath London.

Children's literature is the perfect vehicle for real world magic. I believe children see more magic in the world than adults. Pullman calls it the Secret Commonwealth in his latest series following an adult Lyra, who has lost that belief in the extraordinary she herself had as a child. But losing that wide-eyed wonder shouldn't be an obligatory part of growing up. Parents revisit this wonder when they have children; writers recapture it when they create books for children.

Writing magic into the real world through literature isn't a hoodwinking fantasy; it isn't a kind lie to shield children from the horrors of reality. Magic exists in our world - we can see it in the people we meet and the places we visit. The ordinary can be extraordinary. And as writers, we have the power to open people's eyes to this magic.
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