WriteMentor Community Learning Hub: Meet our new (Virtual) Writers-In-Residence for 2021

We have exciting news for all of you!

I’ve been thinking a lot this year about community and continuity. I’ve been thinking about loyalty and long-term learning and friendship.

And it’s been nagging me that so often, when we help writers via our ace courses or mentoring, that there’s so little author after-care. I know many of you remain connected with your mentors, course leaders and fellow writers, but I feel there’s a disconnect, especially as so many of you are super loyal to WM and do more than just 1 of the things we have to offer.

In two years I have created innumerable friendships with so many of you and it’s hard when things come to an end and invariably life gets in the way of continued connection – we want to be there to help you, to celebrate with you, and most important to see your writing grow.

So, after a lot of behind the scenes work and idea brainstorming with Florianne, we have come up with something that will be durable and help to maintain and foster long-term links between you, WM, the community and the array of expert support and help we can provide for you, and the development of your writing craft.

We want to be there from first spark to publication (and even beyond!).

But before I get into the exciting details of that, we have two HUGE announcements to share with you…

We have our first ever (Virtual) Writers-in-Residence.

On the Picture Book side of things, Clare Helen Welsh is going to be taking the helm, to help steer your picture books from premise to perfection (or as close as we can get!).

Clare Helen Welsh
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.

And for the novelists, we have Vashti Hardy, who will add a bright spark to your novels, taking you from idea to The End.

Vashti Hardy
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.

But you might ask, who will they be teaching?

The answer is you, if you sign up to our new Level 2 membership. And so, back to where I started:

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.

Level 1 – £10 a month:

online modules on every aspect of craft and each stage of the writing journey, from idea to post-publication

From that very first spark of an idea, to building up a career and a living as a published writer, we have modules on almost everything imaginable – and will continue to add to this clear, continuous pathway for your writing development.

We are committed to being with you the whole way, to publication and beyond.

We are a community for life.

monthly online critique groups (from PB to YA)

These will be organised and led by fellow writers, and will follow the WriteMentor guidelines, which will be distributed and applied at all critique group meetings.

– monthly book club

This will be conducted on an evening late in the month, having announced our book of the month at the start. We’ll discuss the book, what we liked and didn’t, and discuss it as writers as well as readers.

Level 2 – £20 a month:

– as above plus: 

kid beta readers

We will give members the opportunity to have an age-matched kid reading either 3 x full PB text or first 3 chapters (up to a max of 10,000 words) of your novel. The kids will be given a framework to deliver feedback to try to make it meaningful for you, as well as being allowed to give their undiluted child thoughts.

Due to increased interest, we will, understandably, limit this to one submission package a year, and don’t worry, all the kid readers will be getting rewarded with book tokens for doing this! They get to read for free and get tokens to buy even more books, and read even more – what a result!

monthly webinars/workshops from our resident authors, plus guests throughout the year

For Picture Books, Clare Helen Welsh will deliver a monthly webinar on PB craft or other related aspects, and do a live analysis workshop, dissecting willingly submitted PB texts.

For Novelists, Vashti Hardy will deliver a monthly webinar on novel writing craft or other related aspects, and do a live analysis workshop, dissecting willingly submitted novel extracts, with specific craft focusses.

The Webinars will be a monthly, recorded video on a specific craft topic, with 3 exercises from Clare or Vashti for you to try while you watch.

The Workshops will be live, either on Slack or Zoom (depending on which suits the workshop best) and will involve Clare or Vashti looking at YOUR work (if you want to volunteer it) and highlighting key strengths and areas for development, to give you an insight into the minds of top authors as they edit work.

You will have access to both Clare and Vashti’s Webinars/Workshops, regardless of whether you are a PB or novel writer, so for those of you who crossover, this really is a double win!

We will also have irregular chats with industry experts and authors, but this will be on an ad-hoc basis.

Become a Member of our Community Hub below:

This is a no obligation interest registration form. By signing up, you will be the first to be emailed to become a member, before it is made available to everyone else.

*There is no fixed term for the membership – you can stay for 1 month or 12 (or longer, hopefully!)

*We plan to offer 5 x 12 month scholarships for level 2 for underrepresented writers.

Applications for this will be invited soon, and information posted below.

6 thoughts on “WriteMentor Community Learning Hub: Meet our new (Virtual) Writers-In-Residence for 2021”

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  4. Pingback: PICTURE BOOKS: How to distinguish the good ideas from the not so good by Clare Helen Welsh | #WriteMentor - for all writers of children's fiction

  5. Pingback: Are you ready to be a writer? by Clare Helen Welsh | #WriteMentor - for all writers of children's fiction

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