I’m so excited to be a mentor for the 2021 WriteMentor summer programme. In 2019, I was lucky enough to gain a mentorship through this programme with the wonderful Candace Robinson. Having experienced the thrill of being selected and the support (and hard work!) of being mentored, I can hand-on-heart say, it’s a fantastic opportunity. If you’re reading this, you’re at least considering going for it. Please, don’t just consider – if your manuscript needs a pre-submission boost and you’re ready for a summer of editing, polishing and refining – be brave and take a chance!
Am I the mentor for you?
I’m a writer, a ghostwriter and a developmental editor, specialising in MG and YA fiction. After many years of teaching in primary schools in several different countries, I trained and transitioned to edit and write full-time in 2019. My teaching experience definitely shapes my editing and mentoring style. If we work together you can expect honest, constructive, theory-based feedback along with plenty of nurturing encouragement. I whole-heartedly believe that with time, motivation and support, dreams can be reached – and so, ‘time, motivation and support’ are exactly what I strive to offer.
My writing experience also impacts how I mentor. I understand how nerve-shattering it is to share your work and to have it critiqued, and I understand the rollercoaster of joy, self-doubt and passion that goes into writing a novel. Having previously been agented (planning to go on submission again soon with my new MG novel), I can help you to polish your cover letter and your synopsis once your novel is ready.
How will the mentorship work?
If you’re selected, I’ll read your novel and provide a full manuscript critique. Click on the Services link above to see exactly what this covers. Depending on how you feel, I’ll then be happy to meet with you online to talk you through the critique, or, if this sounds daunting, I’ll be happy to answer questions via email instead. When you’ve completed your next draft, I’ll read your book a second time, this time making suggestions for line edits within the manuscript (using Track Changes). Hopefully, the manuscript will be in good shape after this, and we can work through any minor issues still outstanding. I’ll then support you to polish your synopsis and cover letter ready for the agent showcase.
What am I looking for?
After missing out on mentoring last year due to Covid, lockdowns and relocating from Dubai to Spain, I’ve decided to offer two mentorships this year. I’m looking for one MG mentee and one YA mentee. I’m keeping my wish-list broad, as I’m hoping to find two very different projects to work on. I love coming-of-age stories and stories about navigating relationships, identity and/ or social challenge. These stories might be based firmly in the real world, but equally, they might contain magic, paranormal, mythology or time-travel. Above all, I’m looking for characters with heart – characters who hold on to hope despite the slings and arrows of outrageous author-crafted fortune!
To get an idea of my tastes, some of my favourite reads of the last few years are:
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smith
Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
A Skinful of Shadows by Francis Hardinge
The Ghost of Gosswater by Lucy Strange
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
The Wolf Wilder by Katerine Rundell
Whilst I thoroughly enjoy funny books e.g. Charlie Changes Into A Chicken by Sam Copeland, I don’t feel that I would be the best mentor to support this genre. Similarly, I am unlikely to select manuscripts with an all-animal cast of characters.
So that’s probably enough about me! Now it’s over to you. Thanks for reading and enjoy browsing through the profiles of all the amazing mentors involved in this year’s programme. If you feel we could be a good fit, I look forward to reading your application.
Good luck, Everyone!