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Writing Mentorship Programs

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

There are many opportunities in writing, and just like in some other professions mentorship programs exist. They can be useful in many ways from improving craft, feeling like you have someone to guide you, and some even offer agent rounds as one way of getting in front of agents. Some of these programs can be stressful due to time constraints, but overall there can be many benefits from joining a program.

With Pitch Wars mentee selection on the horizon, I wanted to put a resource out for other mentorship programs. I'm sure I missed a few so if you know of any please let me know and I will add it to the list. While some may be jumping right into querying, others may still want a mentor for varying reasons. As a teacher my first year of teaching I was assigned a teaching mentor. It wasn't to get the job (I had that) but it was a person to show me the ropes, to check in with, to show my lesson plans to...because what the university classroom said and taught was very different from what an actual classroom is like.

Some things to consider

I'm sure many of you have considered these, but I wanted to list them any way.

  • Research the program you are applying to. Every program runs differently whether there might be an agent round or not, maybe it's just a one on one mentorship with no community offering, some may have a community of mentees, and there might be varying time lengths.

  • Do you have the time to dedicate to the program fully?

  • What are your expectations, especially for things you can control? Do you want help with just your manuscript or do you want to learn craft more? Do you want that mentee community support or will working one on one with someone be just as good for you?

  • Are you mentally prepared to participate at this time? Life happens, we can't control it. Stress can pile on whether we are writing in #Nanowrimo, self-editing, querying, or working on a new project. Where are you at currently?

  • Is your family on board? Different mentorship programs have different degrees of stress and timing. Some may work better for your familial and work situations than others. Make sure to check in and have the conversation.

Your writing journey is your own and if you feel a mentorship is something you'd truly love and feel would be helpful for you, here is a list of programs to look into. I don't know the ins and out of all of them, so make sure to do your research. And if I missed any, let me know so I can add them.

List of Mentorship Programs

  • Author Mentor Match –Provides mentorship for middle grade, young adult, and select adult projects and typically opens to submissions in January each year.

  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) – AWP’s Writer to Writer mentorship program is a members-only mentorship program. Applications are typically due by January each year.

  • Avengers of Colour- Avengers of Colour is a writing mentorship to help unagented writers of colour with the writing, querying and publishing process. Usually opens in the summer.

  • Diverse Voices Inc Mentorship- The DVinc Mentorship Program is a 6-month period (June 1 - December 1) during which published and agented book creators who identify as marginalized will volunteer to mentor other self-identifying, un-agented and marginalized book creators, one-on-one.

  • Editor Writer Mentorship: Aspiring or upcoming writers from underrepresented groups with a completed, unpublished manuscript in the picture book, middle grade, young adult, adult fiction, or nonfiction categories. Runs in Spring

  • Latinx In Publishing – Applications for this mentorship program open in the fall and pair an unpublished/unagented Latinx writer with a published mentor.

  • Pitch Wars – Pitch Wars provides a mentorship period for adult, young adult, and middle grade authors with applications typically opening in early fall. Has an agent round.

  • RevPit- Usually begins in March. (they are redoing their website, so their about you section is down currently)

  • The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) – Many SCBWI chapters offer mentorship programs for fiction and nonfiction children’s books.

  • We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) – WNDB’s mentorship program selects mentees from underrepresented communities. Applications usually open in fall.

  • Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) – WFWA’s twice annual mentorship program opens in the fall for those writing women’s fiction.

  • WriteMentor – WriteMentor provides a monthly paid mentorship service, but also provides a free summer program that opens to applicants usually in April.

Writing Resources:

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