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Fall 2019 Semester Mentorship Program for Teen Novelists with Michelle Schusterman

Program Begins August 26, 2019

APPLY BY AUGUST 12, 2019


We are very excited to offer a limited enrollment 16-week Novel Mentorship Program with award-winning novelist Michelle Schusterman for the Fall 2019 Semester!

Michelle is the author of over a dozen novels for kids and teens, including both series and standalones published by Penguin Random House, Scholastic, and Disney Hyperion. Her most recent novels include the creepy-twisty fairy tale-inspired middle grade SPELL & SPINDLE, a Junior Library Guild selection hailed as "an excellent melding of horror and heart" in a starred review from Kirkus, and the YA contemporary THE PROS OF CONS, an ALA Rainbow List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers selection.

This limited enrollment program will accept a maximum of six motivated teens (grades 8-12) writing full-length original novels. This is an immersive course designed to help aspiring young authors to finish their manuscripts, with guidance on all stages of the process, from plotting and world-building through revising, as well as identifying next steps in the self-publishing and traditional publishing processes.

This is also an opportunity for teens to enhance their college applications and resumes with a published author as a mentor who can provide recommendation letters, assistance entering novel writing competitions such as the Scholastic Art & Writing Contest, advice on finding a literary agent, and more!

The Ideal Applicant for this program has at least fifty pages/25,000 words of an original novel. (Please note that this doesn’t necessarily mean a completed novel; it may only be half or even the first quarter of the story!) If you’re a teen who lives and breathes books, who writes and/or reads fanfiction obsessively, who dreams of sharing your own stories and characters with the world, who wants to give and receive feedback in a professional critique group setting, who’s curious about a career as an author—this is the program for you.

How it works:

Once you’re accepted into the mentorship program, you will schedule a one-on-one session with Michelle (in person or via Skype) to discuss your goals for your novel, as well as your writing process. Together, you’ll create a plan for the next sixteen weeks. You’ll submit your first pages a week prior to the first seminar in late August.

At the first seminar, you’ll get to know your fellow novelists and their stories. Michelle will lead a discussion on craft and common writing issues, then everyone will have the opportunity to share some of their writing with the group for feedback. At the end of the seminar, you’ll receive your first pages with Michelle’s critique. A week after this seminar, you’ll have another one-on-one with Michelle to discuss the critiques and your plan of action. This process will repeat for the next three months.

This 16-week Novel Mentorship consists of the following:

  • One-on-one mentoring with a published author

  • Monthly seminars/workshops with other teen novelists

  • Personalized roadmap for achieving your project goals

  • Accountability

  • Access to mentor via email

  • Monthly critique of pages, including line notes and a detailed edit letter

  • A private portal within Wet Ink to share encouragement and resources with fellow teen novelists

Monthly Seminars:

  • These will be 3-hour in-person seminars with ability for mentees to join in remotely (will be recorded in case student is unable to attend)

  • 45min-1hr lecture by mentor

  • Writing exercises/activities customized to address writers’ specific needs and goals

  • Roundtable discussions on writing and publishing topics

  • Feedback from the group

  • Assistance submitting to the Scholastic Art & Writing contest in the novel category or any other novel-writing contest for teens (optional)

  • There will be four meetings total. The final meeting is a wrap-up session.

 Mentor’s Monthly Input:

  • One-on-one Skype sessions to discuss individual monthly goals and progress

  • In-line comments on submitted manuscript pages

  • Feedback letter addressing manuscript pages

  • Available to answer questions and provide encouragement via portal and email

  • Lectures on craft topics and writer’s life advice at seminars

Mentee’s Monthly Responsibilities:

  • Students send pages to mentor based on individual project goals negotiated with mentor

  • Attend monthly seminar (remote access and recordings available)

  • Process reflection letter discussing achievements and areas of growth for the month

  • Participate in group discussions online via portal

  • Offer feedback and encouragement on fellow students’ writing

  • Participate in a monthly one-on-one Skype session with mentor to review individual progress and areas of growth

Application Process:

Complete Application Questionnaire at the top of this page and submit a ten-page writing sample using standard manuscript format to michelle.schusterman@gmail.com. Please title the email “Teen Author Mentorship Program Application.”

Tuition Payment:

Full tuition payment for the 16-week program is $1,900. Accepted writers must commit to the full 16-weeks and plan to attend each seminar session and meet all assigned deadlines. Once accepted into the program, writers can pay the tuition in full or in two equal payments of $950 (1st Payment made by August 26th, 2nd Payment made by October 1st).

Important Dates:

  • 8/12: Application Deadline August 12th.

  • 8/19: Acceptance to Program Announced

  • 8/25-8/29 First one-on-one meetings via Skype scheduled

  • 9/1 First submission deadline

  • 9/8 Seminar 1-4pm

  • 9/17-9/21 One-on-ones via Skype

  • 10/5 Second submission deadline

  • 10/13 Seminar 1-4pm

  • 10/15-10/19 One-on-ones via Skype

  • 11/10 Third submission deadline

  • 11/17 Seminar 1-4pm

  • 11/19-23 One-on-ones via Skype

  • 12/1 Fourth submission deadline

  • 12/8 Final Seminar Wrap-up

  • 12/9-12/13 Final one-on-ones via Skype

Additional Program Information:

  • Tuition is $1,900

  • Class size limited to 6 writers

  • Program Dates: August 19, 2019 to December 13, 2019

  • Seminars meet at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Remote students will be able to dial in. If a student can’t make a seminar they will need to watch the recorded seminar on their own before their next scheduled one-on-one.

  • NOTE: Shifting some dates around may be necessary but any changes will be communicated well in advance, if possible.  

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this program.


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Mentor Michelle Schusterman is the author of over a dozen novels for kids and teens, including both series and standalones in several genres. Her most recent novel, a dark fairy tale-inspired middle grade entitled SPELL & SPINDLE, is a Junior Library Guild selection and was hailed as "an excellent melding of horror and heart" in a starred review from Kirkus.  She co-authored the young adult novel THE PROS OF CONS, a YALSA 2019 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee, praised as "an entertaining and sometimes slapstick testament to the power of friendship" in a starred review from Publisher's Weekly