Friday, May 4, 2018

Mentee Application (2021 Edition)

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 might be a teen mentor for poetry and speculative flash fiction... depending on the term.

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 your application to 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.*

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 ?

  5. Will/could you offer a mentor program for disabled &/or neurodivergent people who are newbies/beginners to writing? For me specifically, I am interested in pursuing #ownvoice storytelling b/c there’s little to none available that I saw myself in as a child up until now (25). I have combined type ADHD, so I have a million ideas and need some guidance (hopefully from someone with ADHD who’ll understand) who can help me. I need a program and mentor that will provide mentorship that works with my brain not against it (which is how the few programs I’ve seen so far are structured). I think and create differently and I need someone who’ll understand that and not treat or make me feel like a burden. Sorry for rambling. Fingers crossed you offer a newbie mentorship someday soon.

    1. Greetings,

      The program is for new and emerging writers to work with a more established one, so you'd qualify. You don't need any specific education, published books, or anything of that nature. Please, don't feel intimidated. This program is to help people write cleaner, edit better, publish more, gain confidence, etc. It's not for people who are already professional.

      As far as finding a mentor with certain disabilities and/or neurodivergences, I'm sorry we can't match people with the exact differences. But, our mentors have worked with this program a number of years and are good people.

      One of the reasons this program came into being was because there is hardly anything for us. Workshops aren't accessible. Classes tell you they don't "get" your Crip Lit or Neurodiverse Novels. We may not all have the same diagnosis... but, we understand. At least, in a way.

      Again, please apply! If we don't get enough applications, we have to close down the program. The program that is, honestly, made for people who long for somewhere inclusive where they can learn. If that's you... I hope you consider joining us.