I Have GOOD NEWS
More slots for mentees!
I thought this would make a good headline for today’s piece because, God knows we could all do with some good news at the moment.
It’s hard to stay positive when we are bombarded with bad news, I’m trying to keep in mind a post I wrote a few weeks ago, which you can find here. It’s a reminder from a Chinese parable that what we know now is just a slice of a bigger picture, whether that is good or bad yet, none of us know.
However, what I have to announce today is definitely good news. Regular subscribers may remember way back in October when I launched my mentoring scheme for working class writers. You can read why I launched it here, but the main reason was that as a council estate-born kid myself I know there are not many opportunities for people like us, that we need all the help we can get — for free, because many of us can’t afford courses and or to pay editors and people to read manuscripts.
So I decided that for one year from October I would mentor one working class writer a month. I have enjoyed it so much and found it so rewarding. It has been great to help writers unlock their work, or suggest ways that they can approach it from a different angle when they get stuck.
Mentees get a 30-minute one-to-one zoom with me once a week for the month that we are working together. They also get access to my private Facebook group where we discuss writing and keep each other motivated. Some of my mentees have also set up a workshop where they critique each other’s work in a safe space, and it has been wonderful to watch that grow.
One of the things that has been most enjoyable are our monthly zoom meet ups with all the mentees together where I organise another author to come and chat to us. Last month it was Donna McLean, author of Small Town Girl.
Usually I charge £250 for a month of mentoring, but unrepresented, unpublished working class writers get this free if their application is picked form the pile each month.
Back in October a mystery sponsor paid for two more mentees to receive help, and I’m delighted to say that she has again generously sponsored two more people, so for April and May I will have space for TWO mentees per month rather than one.
To tempt you to apply, have a read of what my mentees from January and February have to say about the process:
“I was lucky enough to be Anna’s January mentee, and what a perfect way to start my writing year. Our weekly chats over the month ranged from you-can-totally-do-this-style pep talks - which, as a working class writer, I need a fair few of - to really practical ask-anything sessions about craft and tricky issues I was having with my current work in progress. Whatever I was struggling with, Anna had something at her fingertips to help me: a plot device, a blog post, an inspirational line that I’d immediately write down and stick up on my pinboard to keep me going through those ploddy writing days. Anna’s reputation is incredible, but she’s so warm and generous with her advice it felt like talking to a wise friend. Working with Anna has given me clarity and confidence as well as opened the door to a fab community of writers through her mentoring alumni Facebook group. Our little gang cheers each other on from the sidelines and keeps us accountable with our writing. We also Zoom with a guest author organised by Anna each month; this month we had the honour of chatting with Donna McClean about writing memoir. I’m in my writing element and I feel like I’ve found my people. Anna, THANK YOU. And if you’re thinking of applying, DO IT!” — Laura
“I was lucky enough to be Anna's mentee for the month of February. I was eager to be chosen as I knew I needed help progressing within my novel, as I'd hit a bit of a wall, and I know how wonderful a writer Anna is. During my sessions with Anna, she helped me realise what aspects of the writing process were barriers for myself and gave very constructive feedback and tasks for me to use before our next session, then we would check on my progress. Within just a few short weeks, I went from being stuck in a rut and unsure of how to even proceed, to having several chapters of the novel written and feeling excited about my WiP again. Anna is incredibly focused, friendly and generous with her knowledge and experience. I always left each meeting incredibly motivated and I definitely feel that Anna has invigorated my passion for my novel again.” — Julie.
If those testimonials don’t persuade you to apply, nothing will!
So remember, in April and May I will be offering not one but TWO spots of mentoring thanks to our generous sponsor. 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 April or May 2022 so you need to get your applications in before the end of either March or April. I’m afraid I will only be able to reply to the applicant who is successful, and this is only open to those in the UK and Ireland at the moment. If you are unsuccessful this month, try again for the next month (the same goes for those who have applied since October – you can reapply however many times you like), and subscribe to this newsletter so you see my next prompt here first.
My email address is: email@example.com
I can't wait to hear your stories!