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Writer's Room => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: sarah-dollar on June 24, 2021, 05:49 AM

Title: Seeking a mentor
Post by: sarah-dollar on June 24, 2021, 05:49 AM
Hi people! I'm looking for a mentorship. I came close to being picked for Write Mentor but was pipped at the post. I have had several near misses with my picture book manuscripts. A bit of agent interest (more work requested before rejection) and I've made it to longlists and shortlists of competitions.
But here I am. Still unagented. Missing the mark. Help!
Where can I go to find mentorship, even if I have pay for it? Any advice would be great.
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: Vijaya on June 24, 2021, 09:32 AM
:welcome Sarah and congratulations on coming close with your stories! The best mentorship I had was at the Institute of Children's Literature:  I loved the way their courses are structured because you are working one-on-one with your instructor and at your own pace.

There is also the 12x12 PB community you could try:  I've not done this but know many people who have because of the built-in critique and support group.

Write on! Oh, and some of my best mentors are the books I read. All best as you work on your craft.
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: Vijaya on June 24, 2021, 10:26 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention I've mentored hundreds of writers through ICL and privately. The private ones usually happen through personal relationships. And I'd say that most of us hang out here and share what we know because it's a way of giving back. You're in the right place.
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: sarah-dollar on June 24, 2021, 12:05 PM
Thank you so much for your reponse :-)
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: dkshumaker on June 24, 2021, 01:57 PM
I think the Nevada region of SCBWI often has mentorship programs, and you don't have to be in that region to apply.

My other advice is to keep working on new stuff, getting critiques, and querying. I know exactly how you feel. Around 2013 - 2015 I started getting personalized rejections, revise/resubmit requests, and then requests for more work. So many so close calls, but no offer ever made. I found a mentor through a connection at an SCBWI event. Essentially an editor who got downsized out of her job at a publisher and went into consulting for a bit. She read five of my manuscripts, we chatted on the phone a few times, I revised, she reread them, etc. Was very encouraging and even referred me to an agent. I paid quite a bit for it. And while she was helpful, those stories never got me the agent or editor contract I thought I was so close to.

About 2 years later I finally got an agent with a completely new story.  I guess what I'm trying to say is there is no "magic" one thing.  If you keep working at your craft and keep putting yourself out there, I believe it will happen. "Close" can mean months, maybe years, unfortunately. A lot of it is hard work, but a lot of it is also luck and serendipity, which of course the hard work and querying contributes to.

Hang in there! It does sound like you are so close. :-)
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 24, 2021, 09:08 PM
I think I've had my best mentors from hanging out here and attending local events. I'm still not agented, but I write work-for-hire and people are beginning to seek m out instead of me applying for things. Formal mentorships can be costly with no guaranteed return. Keep learning and creating. And good luck.
Title: Re: Seeking a mentor
Post by: JodyJS on June 25, 2021, 04:44 AM
Hi Sarah,

You've received good advice here. If you find yourself looking for someone to provide editorial critiques, you can check out my website. I've helped loads of PB authors. Good luck!