Do you mentor early career writers?

Periodically, I get people asking if I’ll mentor them. I don’t, because my schedule is tight enough that I don’t feel like I can take on another job and do it justice. But I know that there are people who do and it occurred to me that I could just ask y’all if you’re one of those writers who is willing to be a mentor.

Mentoring is really important, not just in writing, but in all walks of life. Every great individual has had a mentor: Steve Jobs had Robert Friedland, Bill Gates had Ed Roberts, Kanye West had Jay-Z, the list goes on. Even big businesses are beginning to realise the importance of mentorship when it comes to employee progression and development. In fact, a lot of companies adopt a mentoring software platform to encourage the idea of mentoring within the workplace. I can’t stress enough just how useful mentoring can be for people. It’s not that I don’t understand the importance of being a mentor, I just do not think that I could do the role justice with my busy schedule, and it would be unfair on the people that are seeking my help. That’s why I thought I’d ask some of you if you are interested in mentoring a young writer.

(And I should say that I think that this is a service and that mentors should be compensated for their time. That might be a barter thing, but no one should feel entitled to instruction for free.)

Anyway, if you have acted as a mentor and are open to new mentees, here’s a thread where you can hang out your shingle. Tell folks, who you are, what your specialty is (ie SF novels, fantasy short stories, structure, etc, and a link to more information.

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6 thoughts on “Do you mentor early career writers?”

  1. To help make it easy to scroll through mentors “shingles,” if you have questions about the mentor/mentee relationship, just reply to this comment rather than starting a new comment.

  2. Thanks Mary.

    I am willing to coach budding writers who are in need of mentoring. I got my mentoring from the writers I met at online creative writing critique groups, offline critique groups and international writing workshops. It is unlikely that I’d have sold my debut novel, but for the feedback I got from these maestros.

    I have published a novel, several short stories and non-fiction pieces in several newspapers and literary journals including Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Long Story Short, LitMag, Fiction 365, Saraba, and Tribes Write. Awards and prizes include the 2014 ACT award semi-finalist, Cecilia Unaegbu flash fiction contest and farafinablog’s Voice of America flash fiction contest.

    I may not be able to accept all the writers who will contact me, but can offer referrals.

    Some of the projects I have helped edit in the past include Search, a short story selected by Bailey Prize winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie, for the Farafina Trust Writing Workshop; Social Studies, named Finalist at the Witivism Prize 2015; and The Dream by Charles Opara which was nominated for The Fiction Desk Newcomers Awards and for which I provided developmental feedback. I have also done many other editing and consultation works.

    I look forward to working with budding writers who are willing to put in the hours.

    See http://creativewritingnews.net/editing-services/ for more details. Or contact me at creativewritingnews@gmail.com or chiomaiwunze@gmail.com.

  3. Thanks for this venue, Mary!

    I’ve got several years of editing and mentoring experience focusing mostly on romance and erotica but actually spanning many genres (including non-fiction and poetry!)

    Contact is at PolyKathleen@gmail.com

  4. There were more formalized mentoring programs back when I worked at The Associated Press, so I’ve done it before. As a novelist, I’ve tended to offer critiques via Worldbuilders in a more “official” capacity, but I’m pretty mellow about hanging out with newer writers at cons, answering questions and the like. (NOTE: Easily bribed with beer.)

    So while I don’t have a heap of time for full-on mentoring, I’m happy to answer questions and such. I write historical fantasy, a bit of SF and horror, a little humor and whatever else seems fun at the time. Oh, and the whole journalism thing.

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