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#writementor 2020

#writementor 2020

I’m proud and excited to be a #writementor mentor for 2020!

I was one of the first group of mentees back in 2018. I worked with the genius Lindsay Galvin and ended up signing with an agent who spotted me in the showcase. Last year I returned as a mentor and it was an amazing experience that I can’t wait to repeat!

This year I’m asking for Middle Grade submissions only – I’ve realised this is where my strengths lie.

I’m offering a full manuscript package. I’ll read your entire book and give you structural and big-picture notes. I’ll be there to brainstorm and bounce things off as you work on your edit. Before the showcase, I’ll go through your first chapter, synopsis and query letter with you line by line to make sure it gleams. If there’s time, I can have a second look at your manuscript to look over the changes and perhaps do some line editing – no pressure, though! It’s going to be a busy few months and I’d rather we got the story rock-solid than rushed through to prose-level edits.

I will mostly be working via email or slack, giving you inline notes as much as possible for clarity.

When reading the submissions I’ll be looking for a really active protagonist who drives the story and faces real problems, both internal and external. I enjoy most genres though I don’t know very much about high fantasy (wizards and dragons and mages, etc). I particularly love strong friendships, awful baddies, happy endings, humour, ghosts, witches, all things spooky, unreliable narrators and high-concept stories.

Don’t worry if your book doesn’t meet all (or even most) of those criteria – often the best books are the ones we didn’t know we were looking for.

Books I’ve enjoyed recently include: A Pinch of Magic, The Secret of the Night Train, Ghouls of Howlfair, The Secret Deep

My perfect mentee will be someone who feels ready to move into the professional publishing world and is willing to do the work to get there. I will be completely honest with you about any problems I see (though I will be sure to let you know what I love, too). Please be willing to make changes, but be reassured all the decisions remain yours. I hope we can develop from colleagues to friends and I will be cheering you across the finish line when you get that book deal.

PLEASE NOTE: The mentor-mentee pairings are due to be announced the same day my debut book is released. That might mean my mentee doesn’t hear from me for a few days – please sit back and enjoy the glow of being selected, and I will be in touch soon.

Because the timing isn’t ideal, I can’t promise feedback to everyone who applies to work with me. Thank you for trusting me with your work, and I look forward to bumping into you around the writing community!

If you have any questions, the best place to find me is twitter @jennispangler1

First reviews for The Vanishing Trick

First reviews for The Vanishing Trick

Delighted to get these two wonderful reviews on The Vanishing Trick!

Sometimes you pick up a story and you know from the very first line that it’s special. This is one of those stories.  – Michelle Harrison

The proofs will be out in the world by the end of the month. Meanwhile I’ve had a sneak peek of the art work and it is INCREDIBLE!

I can’t wait to get this story into the hands of readers at the end of April. You can pre-order your copy here:

#Writementor 2019!

#Writementor 2019!

I’m so excited to be taking part in writementor this summer as a mentor. I’m offering a full manuscript package – I’ll work with you on the whole book, as well as the synopsis and query letter. If you don’t know about the scheme, please go to their website and take a look. The summer mentoring scheme is FREE and an incredible opportunity for children’s writers looking to go pro.

I was one of the first batch of mentees in this amazing scheme and it made all the difference. The amazing Lindsay Galvin took me under her wing and pushed me to make my story the best it could be. I’ve made tons of new and lovely writer friends, and I met my wonderful agent, Lauren Gardner, through the agent showcase.

I’m thrilled to be able to give something back to #writementor this year as a mentor and give another writer some support and help.

Please check below and see if I might be a good fit as a mentor for you:

Please send me:

  • Real world settings with a touch of magic
  • Historical fiction
  • Humour that goes beyond gross-out jokes
  • Unreliable narrators
  • Happy endings
  • Ghosts, witches, things that go bump in the dark
  • Friendship, bravery and standing up for what’s right
  • Casts as diverse as the real world

I don’t expect any entry to tick every box, but if you have two or three of these in your story, I want to see it!

I’m not generally a fan of romance focused stories, high fantasy, or anything with lots of violence – never say never, but I’m probably not the best mentor for these works.

Mentoring Style

My mentee and I should be a team. I’d like to work with someone who is open to making big changes on their work, and put in the hours. On the other hand, I don’t expect them to take all of my suggestions – it’s up to them to decide what makes their book stronger. I’m happy to brainstorm and kick ideas back and forward. I’ll be your cheerleader when editing feels hard. I’ve done lots of critiquing and beta reading so I’m ready to help whether you need to work on the bones of the story or the smaller prose level issues. Be warned: my feedback tends to be wordy, so you shouldn’t be intimidated by tons of comments.

You can never have too many writer friends who understands the ups and downs of this business. I hope the mentoring period will only be the beginning for us!

I prefer to connect via email or slack/whatsapp etc, though if my mentee is local I’d love to chat about your book over coffee, too. I’m also a huge fan of snail mail so you can expect a little encouraging something through the post (if you’re cool with that!)

Since I graduated the mentoring scheme last year, my experience with querying, writing the dreaded synopsis, getting an agent etc is all fairly recent. I’m definitely not an expert in these things, but I can be a sounding board.

Any questions? You can find me on twitter @jennispangler1 – I’m always happy to chat.

If you’re still undecided about applying, please give it a go. The community is very warm and supportive and it has been an incredible experience. Apply. Pick me!

P.S. My own mentor Lindsay Galvin is mentoring again this year, and whoever she picks will be very very lucky. Check her wishlist out.