2020 #WriteMentor Summer Programme


Summer #WriteMentor Mentoring Programme dates:

– now until 10th Feb – Mentor applications

– Feb-Mar – Agent registration

– 15-17th April – Mentee applications

– 30th Apr – Mentee/Mentor pairing announcement

– 1 May – 31 Aug – Mentoring period

– Sept – Agent Showcase

Please read all the advice and FAQS below before applying PLEASE!


Here are the mentors! https://write-mentor.com/2020-mentors/

Screenshot 2020-02-16 at 11.23.22

We are keeping our bi-level structure that we used last year.

This means there will be two options you can apply to.

A. submission package/partial

B. full manuscript

A. submission package/partial

If you apply for the sub package/partial option, you will work with a mentor on those aspects but we forsee this taking much less than 4 months, so you’d be free to query once you’re done. If you apply for this option, there is no agent showcase at the end.

I would imagine your mentor will help you with querying at this stage, but this option is for those who don’t want a complete overhaul (or are not able to commit to overhauling a full ms in the summer).

However, if you work on your entire manuscript all summer, beyond the partial feedback given by your mentor, and haven’t submit to agents involved before the showcase, we will be able to consider your entry in the showcase.

B. full manuscript

For those applying for a full manuscript mentorship, this will mean a full 4 month commitment to overhauling your manuscript to make it submission ready for the agent showcase.

The expectation is that you will be open to making larger changes to your manuscript and spending all/most of your summer making your manuscript the very best it can be. If this is not possible for you, no worries, but do apply for A instead.

This is not the option for those who aren’t able to work intensively or are not responsive to making large changes to their novels. You are going to receive 4 months of mentorship from an experienced writer, so the expectations are greater.

We are keeping the extended the overall period of this years programme.

This is again in response to feedback we received from last years mentees. This extra time allowed for not only large structural overhauls, when they are needed, but also the finer elements. The feedback we received felt the period was about right and fewer people struggled to manage than in the previous year.

Smaller application window

Again, in the interest of the applicants welfare, we have reduced our application window again. This is to ensure that the painful wait between applying and receiving a decision is reduced and less stressful/anxious.

The window for applicants is 15th-17th April.

There were many positives last year, but we also appreciate there are things we could have done better. We will address all of those suggestions and will endeavour to improve the programme in every aspect this year.

What do I need to apply?

You will need to have a completed manuscript.

You will need to send us a query letter, 1st chapter (double-spaced, 12″ TNR), and 1-page synopsis (single-spaced) along with your application, so ensure these are as good as they can be. Please put those into one document to be uploaded with your application form. The first chapter should be no more than 3,000 words.

Even if your 1st chapter is short, please only send this.

For Picture Books, please send the full text. Illustrations are not needed, but illustrator notes are fine.

You can apply to 3 mentors. So be sure to research them thoroughly and chat to them during our Twitter Mentor chat week, starting 8th April.

It is 1 application (1 novel) per person.

You may apply to any 3 mentors even if some are doing partials and some fulls.



Which mentors can I apply to?

A full list of our mentors is here, with hyperlinks (click on their name) to their blog post, expanding upon what they are offering and looking for.

How many mentors can I apply to?

3 – this is fixed, spreads the applications, and ensures that no single mentor is overwhelmed with the number of applications. No exceptions.

I am a former mentee – can I apply again?

You can, but not to the same mentor with the same manuscript that you were chosen for previously.

What do I need when I apply?

– a query letter (no need for salutations, Dear Mentor will suffice)

– 1st chapter (double-spaced)

– synopsis (single-spaced, 1 page) in one document, 12″, plain font.

Plus the answer to this question: Why have you applied to WriteMentor?

If I am to apply for PB, should I send more than 1 text?

1 is fine. We have high application numbers and few PB mentors, so they will request more if they see promise in that first one, so send your best. A PB synopsis does not need to be a page, but a short summary.

Where will the form be?

At the top of this page – we will also post it directly onto Twitter to save you visiting the website, however we suggest you research and look at the mentors over there, as well as the dates etc before applying.

Does my manuscript have to be complete?

Yes. This is non-negotiable – we want to spend the time mentoring you rather than waiting for you to finish a first draft. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, but it must be complete.

What if I don’t get on with my mentor?

This would be very rare, but if it does happen, you can always email Stuart to discuss any issues, in confidence if you wish. We understand personalities and styles can clash. We will be as amicable about solving that as possible.

Do I have to take part in the agent showcase?

No, this is your choice at the end of the summer. Every year a couple of writers don’t feel ready and opt out. No pressure. This is about more than just the showcase, it’s about your long term development as a writer.

What happens if I have queried agents and have queries out?

If you get an offer of rep, email or DM us to let us know and we’ll remove your application. Otherwise, don’t worry. We do suggest putting a hold on querying if successful, but would never dictate.

I have already been rejected by most of the agents in the showcase – should I apply?

Our programme is about more than just signing with an agent and improving 1 ms. It’s about improving craft, developing a close writing relationship with someone who can trust going forward and being part of a wider community of like-minded people and writers. I hope that everyone who’s been in the programme feels like WM will always be there for them, whatever the result. We are looking at the long-term as well as the short-term for the writers we work with.

Can I enter other contests/awards?

Of course – however, we do ask if you are accepted that you focus on the programme over the summer and if you enter other awards please check their rules, which might be stricter than ours.

When will I find out if I am successful?

30th April, 5pm (BST) we will announce all the pairings on our website. We will post a link via this account.

What should I do after I apply, while I’m waiting?

Ideally not watch your inbox, if possible. Work on your ms, work on your next novel, work on something not writing-related. Whatever you can to switch off. Send and forget (until 30th).

Will mentors be in touch to request more material?

Possibly – especially those who are mentoring a full manuscript – they are likely to need more to decide. They may also ask you some further questions to determine compatability and if they can actually help.

What if I am unsuccessful?

Unfortunately, applicant numbers will exceed the numbers of writers we can mentor (about 50), so we can’t help everyone. But we are running a new event on 1st May to help with the disappointment/hangover.

What is #WMPitch?

It is a 1 day, Twitter pitch event (similar to the many out there) but focussed on children’s fiction, from PB to YA. Many of our showcase agents will come online and like pitches they’d like to read more from. They will pin a tweet with their instructions.

We will post more information about this event, after the application window closes on the 17th. Hopefully this will give you a distraction during the 2 week wait and you can focus on your pitch (as well as other things).



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