Why only women?
First and foremost because it started as a conversation between a group of women and grew organically from there. Add the fact that women writers are still reviewed and paid less than their male counterparts in the UK and it seemed like a good way to level the playing field slightly. That said we sincerely hope that the peer mentoring model will be adopted by other groups too.
Why is it free?
There is no shortage of paid for writing development opportunities out there. These have value and many of our mentors also work for projects that charge a fee but we know that many writers starting out can’t afford them. The WoMentoring Project means that access to this opportunity is decided by a writer’s talent not their bank-balance.
When you say ‘women’ what is your definition?
The WoMentoring Project is open to all writers who self-identify as women.
How do you verify mentees cannot afford to pay for mentoring or other opportunities in the normal way?
We don’t have means testing in place at application stage and, in keeping with the ethos of the project, it’s taken on trust that applicants are unable to afford paid-for mentoring.
Why does it take three months to find out if I’ve been successful?
Mentors are forwarded their applicants to review and choose a successful applicant. Therefore, our mentors need time to receive and review applications to ensure they are selecting the best candidate. Our mentors are also busy women who are generously volunteering their time around many other commitments so please be patient.
The website could be easier to navigate/why don’t you have an online application form?
This is what happens when you send a novelist to do a web-developer’s job! Website design is expensive and we just don’t have the resource at the moment. But if you are (or know of) a web-developer who would be willing to donate some time to make the website prettier and whizzier then we’d love to hear from you.
Are your mentors professionally trained?
Some are experienced and trained mentors, many simply have years of experience in their field and some are debuts just starting out who have recently been in our mentees shoes who are happy to offer support.
I’ve emailed a question to you how long will it take to get a reply?
WoMentoring is run entirely on the basis of volunteered time –this is how we keep it free for all of you! – and that includes the admin behind the scenes. We’ll do our best to answer quickly but please be patient. If it’s a short question (with a short answer!) why not tweet us @WoMentoringP
How can I help or support the project?
If you would like to become a mentor on the project please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spread the word
Please feel free to shout about us if you like what we’re doing. You can blog, tweet (#WoMentoring) or write an article – again, get in touch on the email address above marking it ‘press query’ in the subject line.
We’d like to set up a ‘time to write’ bursary to be awarded to our most promising mentee within the next twelve months. If you’re an organisation, business or individual who would be interesting in sponsoring the WoMentoring Project Bursary please get in touch.
How does the matching process work?
In most cases mentors are selecting their own mentees and so their criteria for selection will be as diverse as our mentors are – though writing ability and the genuine requirement for free mentoring will be a standard across the board.
Will preference be given to literary writers over genre or commercial writers?
Our mentors span almost every genre so we’re sure there is something for everyone!
What if I am successful but after meeting me/my mentor feels it is isn’t a good fit?
Ideally, this would be discussed between mentor and mentee. However, if required the WoMentoring project manager will act as an impartial third party to aid the discussion.