Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Mentor Program: An Overview

We need applications from disabled/neurodivergent writers with multiple marginalizations.  Please, please apply.  We want this to be an accurate representation of our community, not just white, not just cishet, not just Christian.  We want everyone comfortable enough to apply.


The H.U.P. Mentor Program will give promising new/emerging disabled and/or neurodivergent writers one-on-one attention from an established disabled and/or neurodivergent writer in their field.  The mentee doesn't have to have a completed, novel-length manuscript to polish, but can also ask to be mentored on querying agents, writing a book proposal, submitting to literary magazines, revising short stories, pitching articles, etc.  

The program will take place from August 1st to September 30th.

Mentors and mentees must agree to a minimum of two interactions a week.  All correspondence will be done via phone, e-mail, Skype, Facebook, etc.  Mentors and mentees will list on their application which methods of correspondence work best for them.

This program is free. 

How it works:

The window for mentor applications will be from February 10th through April 7th.  Chosen mentors will be contacted by April 15th, and a post listing the mentors will go up on the blog soon after.  The post will have each mentor's name, photo, genres worked in, experience, methods of communication, etc. Each mentor will choose if they want their disabilities and/or neurodivergences on their entry.

On May 5th, applications will open for mentees.  Mentees can select up to two potential mentors to apply to.  If the mentee meets the requirements for the program, their application will be given to the selected mentors.  Mentors will review their applicant pools and make a choice.  Mentors will be aware of each other's progress and choices so no one picks the same mentee.  By July 20th, everyone should be notified of the mentors' decisions.


Mentors must have some type of publication history (it doesn't have to be a published book, magazine contributions are fine) and/or three years of teaching or professional editing experience... minimum.  No degree required!  If you've been a mentor to other writers before, please mention it.  If your editing business has lead to a client getting a book deal, let us know! Self-published authors will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Mentors will be asked what types of writing they have experience with.  They will also be asked what aspects of writing and publishing they're "good at" and which parts they hate.  If a poet is a pro at submitting but can't help organize a chapbook, tell us!  The more specific you are, the better.

Mentors may select two people to teach/help.  Click here for more information.

Mentors who've participated in past years and want to mentor again should just email us and say so.


No one applying to be a mentee should have published full-length books in the genre they're applying in, a current mentor, or an agent.  (Self-published books might be permissible, depending.)

As of 2020, mentees may hold advanced degrees.  If your major (or minor) was in creative writing, literature, or other related fields, you must have obtained your degree at least twelve years prior to the starting date of the program.  Unrelated degrees have no time restrictions.

A writing sample in the genre you're seeking a mentor in is required along with the application.  Five to ten pages of prose (double-spaced) or three to five poems will suffice.

Mentees should have a clear goal in mind when applying and should state the goal:  A cozy mystery polished, pitches to magazine editors refined, query for a memoir ironed out.

If a mentee was able to pitch to mentors in previous years but didn't get chosen, their application will be given directly to their potential mentors to review.


Application questions can be emailed as an attachment or questions can be pasted in the body of an email.  If someone needs another method, I'll try to oblige.

I understand certain people hope to work with someone with a similar disability or neurodivergence, but that won't always be possible.  Not every genre of writing will have mentors with every disability or neurodivergence.

I considered giving mentee applications to mentors stripped of personal information.  But, that won't guarantee everyone gets a fair shot... having a rich diversity of people will.

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