I often like to point out how the SCBWI helps authors through the many programs and services we offer. Now it’s my turn to be on the receiving end of these benefits.
From May through October this year, I will be participating in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor program. Although this program is operated by the wonderful volunteers of the Nevada SCBWI region, it is open to anyone.
Each year, mentors such as Ellen Hopkins, Kathleen Duey, Emma Dryden, Terri Farley, Abigail Samoun, and many others open their time to help mentor two or three up and coming authors. The authors apply with 20 pages of a manuscript they want to work on, an artist’s statement, and a form application. The select two mentors with whom they’d like to work.
Each mentor then selects the authors/manuscripts that they feel most compelled to work on, and the fun begins.
In May, I and the other mentees will meet at Lake Tahoe with our mentors for a face to face intensive weekend. Then, for six months we will work many hours together through email and postal mail, crafting and learning. At the end, another intensive retreat completes the program.
I’ve known other authors who have participated in past mentor programs, and they all spoke so highly of it, I decided to apply this year.
I am so thrilled to be selected. I will be working with Kathleen Duey, a prolific and fantastic author. I have heard Kathleen speak at several conferences, and I love her quiet wisdom and no-nonsense approach to the business of being an author.
I’ll never forget one of her comments the first time I heard her speak—some 12 or more years ago. She said if we’re going to make a living sitting on our butts, we should make sure to get in some movement each day. She described her several mile long rambling walks. Whenever I think I don’t want to exercise, her words come back to me. While that’s not writing advice per se, it is good life advice.
I will try to share some of what I learn through this process through this blog. No matter how long we’ve been writing, we all can continue to learn. In fact, I have found that the more I write and the better I get, the more I still have to learn, because once you master the basics, you can go deeper and more intensely to the heart of writing.
In other personal news, I will be heading to Spokane early in March for a plot workshop with Cheryl Klein. Cheryl spoke in Boise a couple of years ago, and she is one of the smartest, best editors working today. She can dissect a manuscript and figure out exactly what it needs. And she is fun to hang out with to boot. I can’t wait to work through some of my sagging plot elements. And of course, I’ll share when I get back.
So I’ll be working very hard on two separate manuscripts for the foreseeable future. I hope you are as well.