Who is eligible to apply?
Any writer who does not have an agent and has a complete (or very nearly complete) manuscript. If you have self-published, you may enter but not with the self-published manuscript. Same for those published with small presses.
How does it work?
Writers will fill in the application form that goes live on 4th May. They will apply to 3 mentors. Each mentor will receive all of their applications, review them and decide which writer they feel they can help the most during the mentoring period.
What do I need to submit?
You will need to submit a query letter, synopsis (1 page, single-spaced) and first 2,500 words (if you’re first chapter is longer you may finish it).
You will also need to answer the questions on the application form. This will give our mentors an idea of why you need mentoring and the specific help you think you need.
Can I continue to query if I apply?
Yes, but you must tell us immediately if you receive an offer of representation. We would also ask that if you are selected, then you wait until the agent round to send out more queries. We simply feel this will improve your chances if you wait until the mentoring period is complete. However, we want all of you to succeed and would never dictate that you can’t continue to query.
Which agents will be taking part in the showcase?
We are currently contacting agents and already have several who have committed. We will let you know once this list is complete.
Can I ask specific mentors questions about what they’re looking for?
Absolutely. We will have a mentor Q&A timetable, which will be published. At those times indicated you can ask questions, using the #WriteMentor hashtag and they will answer.
Of course, at any time you can contact me to ask more general questions. @swhitewriting
Why is each mentor offering something different?
Every mentor has different time commitments during the mentoring period and we wanted to balance helping writers with the mentors time. The mentors all have their own books to write, so it’s only fair we give them a chance to balance mentoring with their own writing.
We have focussed on the most important parts, the letter, synopsis and first 3 chapters as the basic package and we feel that the mentoring you receive on these elements should give you a basis to go on and revise the entire manuscript. Some mentors will be willing to stay in touch after and answer questions to help you through the rest of the manuscript. But you’ll need to ask each individual. This is what #WriteMentor Q&A will be for.
What happens if my mentor doesn’t think my work is at a sufficient standard to present?
We will work hard to ensure this is not the case. For example, when selecting mentees we will only go with manuscripts which we feel we can help within the mentoring period. As with everything in this industry, there is no guarantee of anything and with how subjective it is, we cannot make assurances about the outcome. All we hope for is that everyone selected will improve both their manuscript, but more importantly in the long-term, will have learned more about craft and revising and preparing a manuscript for querying.
What if I get a mentor I didn’t apply to?
We will share/pass on manuscripts to other mentors if we feel it would be a better fit. Therefore, there’s a possibility of this happening. If it does, we will ask the mentee before the announcement if they are happy with this.
What happens if I find I don’t work well with my mentor?
Each mentor has outlined their mentoring style, what they want in a mentee and there is the opportunity to ask more about these in the #WriteMentor Q&A. However, if we find that this is the case, there is no obligation to continue to working with the mentor. This is a completely voluntary process, for both parties, so if you no longer wish to work with a mentor, just let us know. But it is our hope that this will not be the case. If the issue is beyond a compatibility one and there is harassment or bullying, please report this immediately to @swhitewriting. We have an anti bullying and harassment policy here. It is our sincerest hope that this will never happen. We want #WriteMentor to work for both the mentor and mentee and for the relationships that form to be meaningful and long-lasting.
What if I don’t get any requests from agents?
As we all know – and I have 100s of rejections to prove it – it’s a subjective industry. So there are no guarantees of agents requesting. This is true no matter your approach. We will do all we can during the mentoring period to improve your chances but we’re also realistic and so we can promise nothing, I’m afraid.
Can I enter other contests while taking part in #WriteMentor?
Yes, we want our writers to progress and ultimately to get an agent and so we want you to get all opportunities available. Most of the other contests do not overlap with #WriteMentor, so this should not be an issue. However, I would strongly recommend that if you are accepted as a mentee in the programme, that you do wait for the agent showcase to conclude. That will be a fantastic opportunity to show off your work with the many affiliated agents.