What is the mentorship program?

The Editor-Writer Mentorship pairs upcoming writers from underrepresented groups* with experienced book publishing editors!

 

Our Editor Mentors provide substantive feedback to help raise a strong manuscript to its best position for submission to potential agents and editors. This is an opportunity to learn from the knowledge of experienced acquiring editors. This program is free of cost due to the generosity of our volunteer editors. 

 

Meet our 2020 Editor Mentors & Announcing our 2020 Mentees!

For our 2020 program, The Word proudly partners with five Mentor-Editors from Macmillan Publishers (click for full bios!):

Alyssa pic.jpg

ALYSSA

REYNOSO-MORRIS

2020 Picture Book Mentee

Celia Author photo.jpg

CELIA 

VIRAMONTES

2020 Picture Book Mentee

SaraK.jpg

SARA 

KAPADIA

2020 Middle Grade Fiction Mentee

Swetha S - Picture.jpg

SWETHA S.

2020 Young Adult Fiction Mentee

Paulino_Jeanne_NURJ_Headshot.jpg

JEANNE PAULINO

2020 Adult Fiction 

Mentee

 
J.Anderson_Photo.png

JESSICA ANDERSON

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan Children's)

2020 Picture Book Mentor

KMHeadshot-copy.png

KATE MELTZER

EDITOR

Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Children's)

2020 Picture Book Mentor

TiffanyLiao.jpg

TIFFANY LIAO

SENIOR EDITOR

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan Children's)

2020 Middle Grade Fiction Mentor

Brian-head-shot.png

BRIAN GEFFEN

EDITOR

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Macmillan Children's)

2020 Young Adult Fiction Mentor

Headshot_Sylvan-Creekmore.png

SYLVAN CREEKMORE

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)

2020 Adult Fiction 

Mentor

(commercial/romcom/

literary/fantasy/

historical)

2020 Program Details 

Application deadline

Applications for our 2020 program are being accepted April 20, 2020 (8:00am US Central Standard Time) through May 16, 2020 (11:59pm US Central Standard Time).

Eligibility

Aspiring or upcoming writers from underrepresented groups (see explanation below) with a completed, unpublished manuscript in the picture book, middle grade, young adult, or adult fiction categories may apply. Applicants may apply in only one category.

How to apply

Download the full application instructions.

More about underrepresented voices

How do we focus our search for underrepresented voices? We promote the inclusive representation of experiences in literature, including a diversity of experiences based on: racial, cultural, ethnic, or religious identity; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical, cognitive, or emotional disability; socioeconomic adversity; and personal experiences of adversity or injustice. 

 

*We recognize that personal experiences of adversity occur in many forms and we believe that the impact of each must be respected. To guide the use of our resources, we focus on experiences that lack representation in literature, based on our best knowledge and research. 

Additional program information

Mentors and mentees will determine their contact schedules and frequency based on the needs of both parties. All mentors and mentees will be provided guidelines and resources to help promote productive working relationships. The mentorship relationship does not guarantee publication of any completed work and mentors are not expected to provide any referrals to acquiring agents, editors or others. The program’s goal is to support the development of the mentee writer’s work.

FAQs

Is this opportunity only for #ownvoices submissions?

 

We recognize that the perspectives of individuals from marginalized backgrounds will influence their works in a variety of ways. We further recognize that identity is a complex question. We therefore do not have any subject-matter limitations for this opportunity.

 

I’ve read the explanation of “underrepresented voices” but I’m still not sure if my background fits within the underrepresented category. Should I submit?

 

Our mentorship is focused on providing support for individuals whose background has proved a challenge to their writing path and entry into the publishing space, as well as focused on stories that are underrepresented among published books. We ask that you consider whether your your identity and background have offered challenges on your writing path, and whether you think that your work will contribute to our mission to achieve greater inclusivity among those groups that have been regularly marginalized. If based on those considerations you believe that your work is the right fit for this program, we welcome your submission. 

 

Is this opportunity open to agented writers or writers who have been previously published?

 

We don’t require that a writer be unpublished or unagented. Given the high volume of interest and need, we do ask all writers to consider whether you are truly in need of this opportunity. 

 

The manuscript for which you are seeking feedback must be unpublished. 

Can I submit to more than one category? 

 

Applicants may only submit one manuscript for consideration per application year. Applicants should not submit multiple manuscripts, even if in different categories.

 

Does my manuscript have to be complete for me to apply? 

 

Yes, your manuscript must be complete. If you are chosen as a finalist, you will be required to submit your complete manuscript for the Editor-Mentors to evaluate and chose their mentee. This mentorship program is meant for authors who are looking to prepare a manuscript for agent or editor submissions, which requires a completed piece of work. 

 

For picture books: What if my manuscript is less than 10 pages? 

 

You should submit your entire manuscript in your initial application materials if it is less than 10 pages.

 

For picture books: Should my manuscript include directions on page breaks and art direction? 

 

As long as your manuscript does not exceed 10 pages, and meets all other formatting requirements listed in the application instructions, it can be formatted in whatever way you feel best communicates your vision.  

 

For my pitch, should I include comp titles? 

 

Write your pitch in whatever way you think will best represent your manuscript. What you choose to include is up to you as long as it does not exceed the word limit set in the application instructions. 

 

Is there a specific file name I should use for my PDF? 

 

There are no specific requirements for your file name as we will be renaming all applications with a generic number to ensure anonymity. Be sure, however, that no part of the actual document has any personal identifying information. 

 

Can non-US citizens or non-US residents (international applicants) apply?

 

You are welcometo apply for our mentorship program regardless of your location. Keep in mind that all of our editors are located in the US, and so if you are chosen as a mentee, when it comes to scheduling times to chat, meet, and do critiques, you'll have to be a lot more flexible with their schedules. But if that's not a problem, then please apply!

 

Can co-authors submit?

 

We unfortunately can only accept submissions for one writer mentee.

 

The Editor-Writer Mentorship in the news!

Read more about the mentorship and what it has mean to our past mentees over at Publisher's Weekly!

Screenshot_2020-03-30 Literary Organizat
 

Past Mentors

Main-Website-Pic-AS.png

ANDREA SPOONER

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

2019 Picture Book Mentor

Main-Website-Pic-AL.png

ALVINA LING

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

2019 Middle Grade Fiction Mentor

Main-Website-Pic-NG.png

NIKKI GARCIA

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

2019 Young Adult Fiction Mentor

Main-Website-Pic-AO.png

AMBER OLIVER

Harper/Harper Perennial

2019 Adult Fiction Mentor

Andrea.png

ANDREA DAVIS PINKNEY

Scholastic

2018 Middle Grade Fiction Mentor

Taylor.png

TAYLOR NORMAN

Chronicle Books

2018 Young Adult Fiction Mentor

Nan.png

NAN GATEWOOD SATTER

Independent Book Editor

2018 Adult Fiction Mentor

Past Mentees

Denise headshot.jpg

DENISE ADUSEI

2019 Picture Book Mentee

MG MENTEE Dionna L Mann.jpg

DIONNA L. MANN

2019 Middle Grade Fiction Mentee

Rosario Martinez_profile.JPG

ROSARIO

MARTINEZ

2019 Young Adult Fiction Mentee

SamuelBWPrint-101.jpg

SAMUEL KÓLÁWOLÉ

2019 Adult Fiction Mentee

NJB pic.jpg

NADINE JOHNSON

2018 Middle Grade Fiction Mentee

MS pic.JPG

MALEEHA SIDDIQUI

2018 Young Adult Fiction Mentee

© 2020 The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary, Inc.

757 E 20th Ave. Ste. 370-335, Denver, CO 80205

A 501(c)(3)

Non-Profit Public Charity Organization 

Donations made to The Word are tax deductible

as permitted by law.

Featured by: 

5280-logo.png
KGNU-News copy.png
PW logo.png
Shelf Awareness.png
poets writers.jpg
303-Magazine-Logo-WHITE.png