What I’m looking for in a mentee

I am over the moon to have been selected as a mentor for WriteMentor’s 2021 Summer Mentoring programme and can’t wait to help a fellow writer take their next brave step towards making their writing dreams a reality.

A bit about me

I am an LGBTQ, disabled and neurodivergant writer from South London who lives and breathes middle grade fiction. I have a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing and an MA in Children’s Literature, but perhaps more importantly I am widely read and hugely enthusiastic about great middle grade books.

I do not have a long and impressive backlist but I know a bit about taking the bull by the horns and getting the job done! I started writing my WiP in February 2020, signed with my brilliant agent by the spring and had a 2-book deal by Christmas. None of that would have been possible without the help and insight of other writers and now I’m keen to give back.

So what am I looking for in a mentee?

First and foremost, I am looking for a Middle Grade writer who feels they have taken their book baby as far as they can. You need to be ready to receive feedback before putting in the hard graft over the summer! Whether you feel the writing industry isn’t for you or you’re chomping at the bit, you must be open to constructive criticism so that together we can make your book shine.

And what about the manuscript itself?

I dip my toe into the Chapter Book and YA pools, but I’m most comfortable in Middle Grade territory. To give you a sense of my tastes, some of my favourite recent reads include the ‘Adventures on Trains’ series, ‘Nevermoor’, ‘The Good Hawk’, ‘Orphans of the Tide’, ‘Malamander’, ‘Voyage of the Sparrowhawk’ , ‘Where The World Turns Wild’ and anything and everything Katherine Rundell! As you can probably tell, I like pacey adventures with colourful casts of characters and loads of heart. Whether your work-in-progress is fantasy, historical or contemporary, I’d love to give it a read. I am particularly keen to work with other #ownvoices writers or on books with great representation so if you think that’s you, please consider submitting to me but if that’s not you, don’t let it hold you back from applying.

And what isn’t for me?

I’m not into sci fi so there if that’s your jam, there’s likely to be someone better placed to work with you than I am.

What’s your mentoring style like?

I’m friendly, honest and approachable. I like to start big by getting beneath the skin of how a story works before delving into the finer detail. If you have a particular need or disability, I’ll be led by you and if there is something in particular worrying you about your manuscript, we can certainly discuss that.

Any pressing questions I didn’t answer here? Get in touch with me via Twitter where I’m @Emilie_London.

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