• Stuart White

#WriteMentor - Post #4 - what happens after you submit?

So you've applied to #WriteMentor? You have, right? Write?

When you apply your application goes into one inbox, then gets forwarded onto your 3 mentors of choice. Each entry also goes onto a master spreadsheet which all mentors can access and makes notes etc on.

There's been a lot of 'THAT'S MINE' and 'this is great, but not for me' or even the odd 'this is submission ready, already!' But there is a lot of dialogue and were discussing your applications, so that even if it's not right for the 3 mentors you applied to, other mentors are looking at those. I can guarantee there will be some people selected at the end, who will be paired with someone who was not one of their original 3. Why?

Well, this brings me onto the Ninja Mentors. So called, because behind the scenes they are looking at ALL of the applications, they are speaking to the other mentors and seeing who has promise but is not right for the original mentor, for example.

They will read behind the scenes, even make requests, so don't be surprised if this happens, and will be selecting in the same way that everyone else is. The Ninja Mentors have been brought in because each of them is desperate to help and we also have far too many applications for our mentors to take on even a small % of the ones that could benefit from mentoring.

The application window will remain open until Friday Midnight (across the world) so don't worry about time zones (yeah!!!) and after it closes I'm afraid that's all folks. We have so many applications to read that we really can't take any late ones. So get them in quick!

After we close, the 30+ mentors will step up their reading even more and will be making requests and deciding all the way up until Wednesday 30th. They will all choose who they want to work with by then. And don't worry if you haven't received any request by then - some mentors might not request at all.

If there are any mentors who both choose the same writer, we will contact that writer to ask their preferred mentor. The mentor who misses out, will then get to work with their 2nd choice. Each mentor will choose 1 writer to work with. (Probably!)

While we are deciding, honestly listen when I say you should go and so something else - get off twitter for a bit, write a new book, edit this one, go on holiday, do something so you don't go crazy waiting for requests and vague hints on the hashtag. I have done this myself in PitchWars and it is no good for anyone. You waste so much time and it has no impact on the result, trust me! If hashtag searches were the criteria, I'd have gotten into every programme going!

So, what happens if you are chosen?

The process is likely to be different for each mentor, depending on your package also, but you will have 3 months - 1st June to 31st August - to polish, rewrite, redraft, edit - basically do what you can to make that manuscript the very best it can be, then it will be time for the Agent Showcase.

Before that though, remember this - the mentoring is exactly that - about learning and improving and getting good advice. The Showcase is a bonus, not an ultimatum or something which guarantees anything. It provides motivation for the writers and is a great platform to get your work in front of agents, while avoiding the agony of querying.

You may impress an agent, you may even sign with one, but the ultimate goal of #WriteMentor is to help you progress as a writer. Sure, we want all the agents, publishers and multi-book deals for you, but we also just want to help others improve.

I hope everyone who is part of the programme grasps this. And my mantra is very much - if you get the processes right and work hard on those, the outcome takes care of itself. Try not to fixate on the outcome of getting an agent, it might mean you lose sight of the immediate goal, which is to improve your craft.

After the announcement, we don't want to just leave you where you were. We want to help every single one of you. So, I will be sending every applicant a copy of the mentors collective craft advice, which will be based upon what we have seen in the applications and areas which could be developed. We hope this will help even those who are not lucky this time.

And we will open a FaceBook group, which will be a platform for CP and critique group formation. There will be an open spreadsheet for people to add their various writing details and you will have the chance to view others and see if compatibility is possible. Obviously nothing is guaranteed with this method but we hope it might help form new connections amongst all of you.

After all, writing alone is a tough life. Writing as part of a larger community is much, much easier, come rejection or acceptance.

I hope this demystifies some of what is happening in the programme. I'm just a very ordinary writer who wants to help elevate others, up to and beyond me. The other mentors have the same philosophy, it's about the writer we are helping, not about us.