It was, as they say, a tough decision. First to make a shortlist and then to make a final choice on the writers that would be mentored this year. The novels that were sent in represented a wide range of voice and style from social issues to high fantasy. But each and everyone on the shortlist had really fantastic standout qualities and the real problem was not being able to offer mentorship to the entire shortlist. I know how it feels to not been offered the thing you have worked and hoped for and the only advice I have to give is to get to work on the next thing now! It is not a platitude in this instance to say that all the writers – and you know who you are – have to keep working and keep submitting their work for competitions and support like this mentorship program as it really is only a matter of time before the answer comes back yes.
As for the selected writers work will begin soon. They have been matched to fabulous editors who are going to work with them on polishing their manuscripts and early in the summer we shall have a round of meetings and introductions to help the authors widen their understanding of the publishing industry and where they might fit in it.
I shall blog the progress of the workshop and would like to start by thanking all the authors who submitted their work. You are great! Keep writing. Readers need to hear your voices.