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Catching up with 2018 Editor-Writer Mentee Nadine Johnson

Last spring, writer Nadine Johnson opened her work and her soul to Editor-Mentor Andrea Davis Pinkney, as the recipient of the Middle Grade Fiction Mentorship in The Word's Editor-Writer Mentorship Program. Today we ride along for a bit of their journey.

1) Which fictional mentor did your Editor-Mentor most channel? 

Andrea reminds me of Claire Huxtable – she is so kind, but she gets straight to the point and her advise is on point. I loved that about her.

2) What surprised you about your writing or yourself during your mentorship? 

I didn’t think I could do more with the story, but I was able to stretch the main character and hone in on her voice. I realize there is always another level to reach, but sometimes you need outside help to get there.

3) On a long day of writing or querying, what sage advice from your Editor-Mentor will be floating around in your mind? 

I will always ask myself, “Is that what the character would really say?” when writing dialogue. 

4) Will you share with us what you've been working on? Give us your one-line pitch of your manuscript. 

Me and My Drum is about a twelve-year-old girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her estranged father’s reappearance in her life all while trying to become a member of an all-boys drum corp.


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