2021 Writers-in-Residence review

We began this year with a new idea, asking Clare Helen Welsh and Vashti Hardy to be our Hub writers in residence.

To say they’ve delivered on what I’d hoped would be a total undersell, and I am the King of underselling everything. They’ve constantly showered us with great advice, tips, feedback and analysis, good humour, encouragement and enthusiasm. And I am sad that is now ending. It’s like coming to the end of a really good book and having to put it to the side.

In our records videos, we learned so much:

Clare covered:

Vashti covered:

Video 1: Narrative Arcs
Video 2: Messages and Themes
Video 3: The Rule of Three
Video 4: Voice
Video 5: Humour
Video 6: Emotion
Video 7: Show not Tell
Video 8: Non-Fiction Picture Books
Video 9: Rhyming
Video 10: Rebel Picture Books
Video 11: Query Letters
Video 12: Q&A

Novel Video 1: Capturing and Nurturing your Ideas
Novel Video 2: Premise and Getting to the Heart
Novel Video 3: Character
Novel Video 4: Outlining and Structure
Novel Video 5: Form, POV and camera angles
Novel Video 6: Conflict and Stakes
Novel Video 7: Inner and Outer Voice
Novel Video 8: Editing
Novel Video 9: Writing a Series
Novel Video 10: Submitting your work
Novel Video 11: Resilience and Rejection
Novel Video 12: Working with agents and publishers

We also have monthly live sessions, analysing and dissecting the strengths and areas for development in your work. We hope you found those useful in advancing your own personal craft.

Of course, we have two fantastic incumbents to the roles, but I wanted to share a few more words of appreciation for Clare and Vashti. I wish you both, and everyone within WriteMentor, a fantastic festive period and a wonderful 2022 when it comes!

Here’s just a few comments that were made this week from our Hub members!

Clare’s w/shops and webinars have helped me better understand the structure of PBs. Also having her feedback on one of my pitches has given me confidence to join a PB critique group and keep going! Thank you Clare x

I could sit and listen to Clare all day. She has such a reassuring and kind teaching style and no question seems silly or out of place. She is the best kind of nurturing mentor. I have joked that I want to sit in her pocket and soak up her expertise like a sponge and honestly I have done that all year! 

Thanks so much Clare for all your input this year. I joined a bit late and have been in the background a lot of the time, but have genuinely learnt such a lot. Your workshops have really helped me understand all the elements of an effective PB. You are such a clear communicator and I’ve been really impressed with the way you analyse a text and point out exactly what is working and what still needs work. It’s really helped me look out for these elements in my own texts. And all done in such an encouraging and positive way. Thanks so much and hope you have a well deserved, restful Christmas :blush::evergreen_tree:Best wishes, Hannah x

We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the lovely Clare and Vashti supporting us on our journeys. I’ve tried to be a sponge this year and soak up their advice and recommendations. I am a much more confident writer as a result. Thank-you. You’ll be a tough duo to follow! x

Vashti’s workshops this year have been have been nothing short of ‘fab-u-lous!’ I’ve learnt so much from this amazing author and my MG ms is really beginning to sparkle. Listening and learning from her has been fun and engaging, plus it’s been wonderful receiving such positive feedback on my extracts. Best take-away piece of advice from Vashti? To think of think of our writing as a ‘Strictly’ dance with our readers. Wow, she’s so right! Thank you so much Vashti & Write Mentor for such a wonderful year of workshops!

My goal in 2021 was to hone my craft, push myself and keep learning. Vashti’s workshops have been absolutely invaluable in me achieving those goals. The live critiques of a couple of my excerpts weren’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be – Vashti’s warm and helpful desire to better us as writers shone through, and I came away each time with tips and suggestions I could utilise to help make my manuscripts dazzle! Thanks, Vashti and all at the WM Hub.

Huge thanks, Vashti. I’ve watched all your webinars and learned more than my mind can hold. You’re always full of knowledge and insight, and – perhaps even more importantly – a genuineness and positivity that is a great motivator. Wishing you and your family a magical Christmas, Colin.

Vashti’s workshops & webinars have been amazing. I’ve learnt so much and enjoyed everything. I’ve been inspired, motivated & encouraged to try new writing & editing skills. And best of all Vashti’s lovely personality & passion for writing has made her sessions fun. I will really miss Vashti’s smiling approach and positive support. Thank you.

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