Apply Now for Free Writing Mentoring
Aspiring working class writers read on...
Today, a takeover on my substack from the mentees I have been working with for the month of October.
Regular readers will know that in September, I announced I was offering free mentoring for working class aspiring writers. As a council estate girl I know only too well that opportunities are rarely handed to people like us, and we don’t necessarily have the resources to afford them. So I decided that for the next twelve months I will offer one free spot on my mentoring programme per month. In that month, mentees will get four one-to-one zooms with me, as well as a group zoom with the other mentees and a ‘mystery guest’ appearance from another published author. They also get access to our closed Facebook group, a supportive community of like-minded aspiring writers where I am on hand for writing advice, posting resources, or as an accountability monitor.
I was lucky enough that my initial tweet reached a sponsor who made it possible for two other aspiring writers to join in October – a HUGE thank you to our sponsor who I hope realises just what a difference they have made to the writing lives of two talented people (and a plea for any other sponsors to come forward!).
Now is the time to apply for mentoring in November. But before I tell you how to do that, here are some testimonials from my October mentees about how the experience has been for them:
“Anna’s mentoring sessions have been a great addition to my week. Writing can be isolating and it has been wonderful to chat and reflect on my work with someone who understands. In each session, Anna asked for an update on my progress and what issues or concerns I'd been facing that week. In every instance, Anna was friendly and supportive, and it really felt like a catch-up with a friend. When I had questions, Anna relayed her own insightful experiences and examples from other published authors. It was reassuring to hear that experienced writers have been through similar situations. Anna also set up an online community to bring together the other writers in her mentorship sessions. This has provided a welcoming environment to share progress, ideas, and concerns as we move forward. I look forward to the community growing and meeting even more like-minded writers.”
“The past few weeks with Anna have been so incredibly helpful. I came to this mentoring workshop with very little confidence in what I was putting down on the page and generally, just feeling a little lost.
“From the beginning, Anna has been there to answer any question I had whether that be: “Help I have no idea what I’m doing.. Does this even work?” And even: “I’m on my period and can’t find the energy to write, is that normal?” .
“With her knowledge and expertise, Anna has been a wonderful mentor throughout. Guiding me, not only with technique and suggestions on how to continue to build the world and its characters but also, providing the support to help me find confidence in myself and the story I’m telling. Always reassuring, kind, and knowledgeable I cannot recommend her enough. If anyone is thinking of applying for her next mentorship, please do!”
“Being mentored by Anna has been a fabulous experience. Chatting and picking the brains of a professional writer is an outstanding opportunity for any novice writer but especially for a working class writer like myself.
“We have had three zoom meetings so far, covering everything an inexperienced novelist would want/need to know, from ‘show don’t tell’ to ‘chapter lengths’ to ‘finding time to write’ to ‘killing your darlings’ to ‘finding your voice’ to my favourite so far 'having permission to write shit’ - plus much, much more. Anna is encouraging and motivational, and with her honest feedback and eye for detail she is a joy to listen to and spend time with.
“In the space of just three meetings, (with two more to come) Anna has already improved my writing process for the better. Writing can be such a lonely process, but with Anna to call on, it really does feel like a professional writer has got your back.
“These opportunities do not come around very often, so my advice would be, apply for a spot on this terrific course - it will change you as a writer - it did me.”
Ok, I’m blushing. But what I hope you can see from their very complimentary testimonials is just what a difference it has made to their work, and most importantly their confidence.
So, here’s how to apply for November:
For now, I’m only offering this to those in the UK and Ireland, you must be over 18 and have a work in progress you need some help with. It can be memoir, non-fiction or fiction. The mentoring will last for one calendar month, so that will be four online meetings one-to-one, one group session, and access to our closed Facebook group community where you will find writing advice, encouragement and get any questions answered in between our sessions, and hopefully another appearance from a ‘mystery guest author’.
If you would like to be considered, please email outlining for me in no more than 300 words your current writing project, why you feel you need help, and a little of your background. As I said, this is open to unpublished, unrepresented aspiring writers from working class backgrounds only. We will be working together in November 2021 so you need to get your applications in before October 31st. I’m afraid I will only be able to reply to the applicant who is successful. If you are unsuccessful this month, try again for December (the same goes for those who applied for October – you can reapply however many times you like over the next twelve months), and subscribe to this newsletter so you see my next prompt here first.
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can't wait to hear your stories!