After seeing WriteMentor crop up on my Twitter feed over the past couple of years, I decided to get involved this year. I’m very much looking forward to reading all of your pitches, so if after you’ve read the below you think we would be a good fit for each other, please do consider me for one of the mentors you can apply to.
I am the author of five books, a couple of them for children, including a middle grade historical adventure about the Great Fire of London, The Thieves of Pudding Lane. In my day job I am a commissioning editor at Bloomsbury Publishing, though not in children’s fiction – I am taking part in WriteMentor in a personal capacity to help another writer develop their work, and am unable to help you get a book deal (though I can of course offer subjective advice). I have been mentoring writers and editing manuscripts with the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy since 2015.
I am looking for a writer working on a middle grade novel, and as I am offering to work on a full manuscript, you will either have finished a first (or maybe more than one!) draft already, or you hope to have done so before the mentoring period begins. So you won’t be a complete beginner, and will have a broad understanding of the key elements that go into a successful children’s novel: character, plot, conflict, voice, etc. Editing can be a tough process, and I am sympathetic to that, but you will need to be open-minded to get the most benefit from it.
About your book
I have eclectic tastes so would love to be grabbed by something completely unexpected, but would also particularly like to hear from writers working on any of the following:
– a high concept science fiction or fantasy story (real-world or otherwise) with an original and irresistible hook;
– a historical adventure set in a period we haven’t really seen before, or which shines a new light on a period we think we all know about;
– a contemporary story that tackles injustice, big or small;
– a mystery featuring a sparkling, engaging young detective (or duo, or team).
All that said, however, don’t give in to imposter syndrome – don’t rule yourself out because of anything I have written here. I’m open-minded, so if you are too, why not give it a go?