This year I’m super excited to be returning to the WriteMentor mentoring programme, not as a mentee, but as a mentor! I’m looking for one talented YA writer to work with this summer.
For those not in the know, the WriteMentor mentoring programme is an application-based mentorship scheme for children’s and YA writers that takes place over 4 months of summer, accumulating in an agent showcase. All mentors are volunteer authors who want to give a little back to the writing community.
There is a full roster of brilliant authors signed up again this year. The complete list is available on the WriteMentor website along with my own wishlist.
As writers can only apply to their top three mentors, I wanted to provide a little more information for anyone wondering if I am right for them.
Why did I sign up as a mentor?
In 2020 I was lucky enough to be selected by Emma Finlayson-Palmer and Carolyn Ward to be mentored for the summer programme. I got so much out of it including more tools in my writing box, a polished manuscript and a whole heap more writing friends, and signing up to mentor felt like an opportunity to pay it forward.
What do I have to offer?
I’ve written three complete YA novels of my own and critiqued many, many more for my writing friends. I’ve also been through the process of being edited by my agent and an editor. So I’m confident I have at least a little bit of accumulated knowledge to impart, if nothing else I hope I might be able to demystify the next steps.
I would say my writing strengths lie in crafting sharp, voice-driven prose and characters with clear motivations. I much prefer editing to drafting so I am looking forward to finding a mentee who shares my passion for polishing.
Above all, I would love to help someone feel more confident and supported in their writing and journey. I’ve certainly struggled with confidence in the past and had to wrestle imposter syndrome on a weekly (*cough* daily) basis, so I know the importance of having those people around who believe fiercely in your work and abilities. I am ready and waiting with a foam finger ready to shout about my mentee’s writing.
Who am I looking for?
As my wishlist says, I’m up for contemporary, dystopian, paranormal, magical realism and time-travel stories, though this isn’t an exhaustive list.
I love contemporary stories with a twist. I love prickly and borderline unlikeable protagonists who make terrible mistakes and have to pick themselves up to try again, characters wrestling with big old dilemmas and their own demons. I’m particularly into stories with something to say that will connect with young people who need to hear it.
I don’t mind heavy subjects, but equally I love heart-warming tales (though I’m probably not a good fit for pure romance). I like a bit of spookiness and strange happenings in worlds similar to our own, but world-building is not my forte, so high fantasy and sci-fi are also probably not for me.
I’d also love to hear from anyone who has felt excluded from opportunities in the past due to financial barriers.
The most important thing is not to rule yourself out. The programme is selective and the selection process is subjective, as almost everything writing-related is, but if you feel ready to take your writing to the next step and need some help to get it there, please apply!
Still have questions?
Feel free to DM me on twitter or instgram @LouFinchWrites.