Mentoring: what's on offer?

After meeting you at one of our insight days, and getting to know you and your work, we will ask 10 exceptional writers to join our year-long mentoring programme, starting in December 2017. These 10 writers will bring a new, different voice to books and publishing and will have the potential to be commercially successful.

As a writer on our mentoring programme, you will be offered:

One-to-one support from an editor

You'll be matched with an editor who has experience working with other authors writing in your genre. Their support will include: 

  • Helping you shape your manuscript to make it as strong as it can be. This will include giving you constructive feedback on what's working and where you could improve, as well as thoughts on new opportunities for you as a writer.
  • Giving you confidence in your own voice.
  • Thinking about how your book might sit alongside other published books in the market and recommending other books to read.
  • Sharing insights on your book’s target audience and how to reach them.
  • Helping you submit your manuscript to literary agents or introducing you to other editors in Penguin Random House who may be interested in publishing your work.
  • Giving you experience of writing to deadlines and writing with direction over an extended time period.

You will meet one-to-one with your mentor at least six times over the year. We'll make sure that at least three of the meetings with your mentor will take place in person at one of our London offices (don't worry, we'll cover travel costs from any UK address). The other three meetings might be held over the phone. We expect that each meeting will last for about an hour.

An introduction to the local support available for writers

We'll connect you with our partners Spread the Word (London), Literature Works (Bristol) and New Writing North (Newcastle). They will let you know about the brilliant support they offer locally for writers and can introduce you to networks and activities in your area, as well as acting as a long-term contact point and resource. 

Getting to know a literary agent

Literary agents are a really important part of the publishing process, acting as the key link between authors and publishers. Many publishers, including Penguin Random House, won't accept manuscripts from writers who don't have a literary agent. To give you an insight into what literary agents do, we'll set up a one-to-one coffee with an agent. If you're based outside London, we'll schedule this to coincide with one of your mentoring sessions. 

How do I apply to the mentoring programme?

Fill out our application form to come along to one of our insight days. At our insight days in London, Bristol and Newcastle we'll get to know you and your work, especially through the one-to-one feedback sessions with our editors. We’ll then shortlist the most promising writers for the mentoring programme from each insight day and ask you to send us your full manuscript. We will also arrange a short phone call with all our shortlisted writers to understand a little more about why you want to apply and what you want to get out of the mentoring programme.

We will then announce our final 10 mentee writers at the beginning of December.