Friday, May 4, 2018

2020 Mentee Application (Open May 5th-June 27th)

Notes and Eligibility (application questions begin after this section):

All mentees must be neurodivergent or disabled.

Only people 18 and over can pitch general mentors, but there is a teen mentor for poetry (maybe flash fiction) this year.

Mentees may not have an agent of any kind, published full-length books in their applied-for genre, or a current mentor. *Self-published books might be a different story.*

If a mentee has traditionally-published books in a genre, they can't apply to a mentor of that genre.  Mentees can have up to two books published in an unrelated genre... no more.  Mentees must disclose published books on their applications.

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 (of the project or genre you want mentoring in) must be included with the application. *Up to ten pages of double-spaced prose or five poems.*

Adult applicants will be allowed to pitch two mentors. Your sample and application will be forwarded to who you choose (if you make it beyond the first round).

If able, please attach documents as PDF to:
Questions should be sent to us via email, in blog comments, or on Twitter @HandUnPen

Mentee Application




Website/Social media:

Age (for those under 18):  

Any degrees or publication credits?

What is your disability/neurodivergence?  Can our mentors know?

Describe what you want mentoring in (submitting poems, fantasy novel editing, etc.)

What are you most hoping for in a mentor besides competence and help?  Do you want a cheerleader, someone who imposes strict deadlines, something else?

Which mentor(s) would you like to pitch?

Why choose this program over a different method of help, mentorship, research, etc.?

What are your preferred methods of correspondence?  Email? Skype? Facebook? Phone calls?  Something else?

Is there anything else you'd like your potential mentor to know?


  1. Hi there, this looks like a great scheme. Is it open to writers outside the US? I notice all the mentors are from the U.S.

    1. As long as you are a disabled/neurodivergent writer (writing in English) who meets the requirements, you can apply. It doesn't matter where in the world you reside.

  2. Can you tell me what you mean by "pronouns" please?

    1. Pronouns are "he/him", "she/her", "they/them", etc.
      Are you male, female, or enby?

  3. What do you mean by advanced degrees?

    1. I'm not sure this is the fit for me; maybe someone can advise? I got sick with a long misdiagnosed illness that robbed me of years soon after receiving my BA at 39. I spent literally years recovering enough to re-learn the language and my former writing skills. Along the way, I lost most of what matters to people living in a capitalistic, material-driven society, but since possessions other than good health and peace of mind never meant much to me, I survived that challenge. My longing is to write about my experience and ongoing struggles and hopefully help someone else along the way now that I'm 55+ and technically disabled, but I've had to subsist in 'survivor mode' without family or any substantial support. I'm searching for a kick-start.

    2. Just to answer you on here: Advanced degrees include a master's and a doctorate. You can have a bachelor's and still apply. Nothing above that, though.
      So, it seems like you'd be eligible to apply.

  4. Any idea when the selected mentees will be notified ?