As promised, I am writing a little about the fact that I recently applied for a writing mentorship offered through the Quebec Writers’ Federation–whose Sean Michaels just won one of Canada’s most prestigious and lucrative writing awards, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Yes, I have lofty goals, but a writer has to start somewhere, right? Besides, the mentorship program was one of the features that interested most me when I discovered the Federation, and I waited a long time to be able to try my hand at it.
Now, it was an interesting application process, which required a one page cover letter and 8-10 pages of my novel, both of which had to be presented anonymously. I believe the mentors are in the process of being chosen, so I had no idea who I was pitching to, or if there will even be a mentor keen on working with the type of story I presented, so I felt kinda blind. Still, it might have helped to not have a specific audience in mind because I went about writing my cover letter in the same way I usually write my blog posts: in my voice and with the same level of openness and sincerity. I wanted them to meet ‘me’ on paper. Time will tell if this proved the right thing to do, but it felt right to me, anyway.
As for the story (and cover letter), I was lucky to have the editing help and feedback of Cairo Amani, who is never afraid to say what she thinks. In the end, I think I ended up producing a strong pitch.
Will my efforts pay off? Who knows? But it was a great opportunity to practice presenting myself, my writing point of view, and my story, something every writer has to keep doing. Cuz you never know when it just might pay off. 😉
Thanks for reading! Have you been mentored? How did you find that person, and was it a successful pairing? Please share!
And, for those who are interested in writing about the Other, Cairo will be guest blogging about that in a few weeks. To see her last post, click here.
Have a great rest of the week, everyone!