We welcome WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award runner-up, Kathryn Lougheed, to discuss her writing, her experience of the competition and what comes next.
- Tell us a little about you and your writing journey to date.
I started writing over ten years ago when I happened upon NaNoWriMo and figured it would be a fun distraction from working in a scientific laboratory. In what I now realise was the best possible outcome, the laptop on which I’d typed my book about a man prepping for an imaginary zombie apocalypse was stolen. Since then, I’ve completed 8 YA novels. My favourite subjects are social injustice, feminism, and monsters.
- What made you enter the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award?
I’ve queried several books to agents and, each time, came close but not quite there. I figured I had to be doing something wrong. So my New Year’s Resolution was to enter competitions offering mentorship or agent feedback as a prize. The WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award was the first one I tried.
- And what was your experience like?
The WriteMentor community has to be the most supportive, welcoming writers’ space I’ve come across. Through the competition, I met so many lovely people who all give up their time and expertise for free. The feedback I received from competition readers was so helpful, and a huge confidence boost for someone who struggles to believe her writing is any good.
- What happened after the results were announced?
Once I’d got over my shock at coming in as a runner-up, I got to work revising the book through the WriteMentor summer mentorship scheme. But then the competition judge Chloe Seager scuppered my plans by offering to represent my book! I loved her ideas for Whisper Pier, and am so excited to work with her.
- What’s next for you?
I’ve been working on revising Whisper Pier and we hope to submit it to publishers at some point in the future. While I wait for the publishing wheels to slowly turn, I am working on several new books and trying to hold off from sending them all to Chloe in a fit of impatient enthusiasm.
- What one piece of advice would you give to other unagented writers?
Keep on writing and see where it takes you. Persistence is your greatest strength!
- Where can we follow you/find out more about you and your writing?
I sporadically tweet via @iloveweirdbooks
Whisper Pier is a YA thriller/horror about ten teenagers trapped on a derelict carnival pier by a guilt-eating monster. Everyone has a dark secret they’ll do anything to protect, even if that means playing the monster’s deadly game of betrayal and murder. Confess and you’re the next to die. Only one can survive.