Writing Mentorships with Chelene Knight
When I think about my process for working with authors, the first thing I do is consider my own assumptions and first begin breaking those down by asking you, the author, seemingly obvious questions about your work. Once I’ve done that, I get you to speak about your book as if it already exists. Once I know your non-negotiables and what the book is supposed to do (its purpose), I can then begin to make multiple passes through your manuscript with those key points in mind. With each pass, I note big picture challenges and highlights. I note what moves me as a reader and I note what stops me. These stoppages need to be addressed before any micro edits are suggested. My goal as editor is to help you see the core, to hold it, to feel it, to absorb it, and to make sure your book—in its entirety—is serving the purpose you want it to be serving.
It is my goal to guide you, the author. The questions I ask will get you thinking about your book, its purpose, and your hopes for reader engagement. Often times, authors want their editors to “fix” the problem. This is not the work of the editor. It is my mission to make sure the questions I ask guide the author with care and respect, and that there is a final destination in mind. Picture the author setting off on a journey. I didn’t offer you directions, but instead share the benefits of taking certain routes, my experience with the transportation and even what you might see along the way. With this, you often find things you weren’t expecting and things you didn’t realize you needed until you found them.
Is a mentorship right for you? How will you know? How will it work?
As someone who has been a mentor and has had many mentors, it’s really important to make sure you work with someone with whom you have good energy, and someone who understands your goals. This person easily adapts to the way you communicate best, and approaches you and your work with care.
Often times we think the best writers make the best mentors, and this is not always the case! Working alongside someone who can easily break down information into manageable and digestible chunks is a totally different skill set.
Once we decide to work together, we can set up an initial meeting in person, online, or via telephone to go over your goals as a writer, and your hopes for your manuscript. Together we will build a timeline for those goals and begin drafting a custom outline for the mentorship via google docs. In addition to feedback on your work, I will offer prompts, exercises, and challenges, with the option of monthly online meetings. I will also set us up with our own private Slack workspace where we can chat any time, you can ask questions, and upload your submissions.
In addition to the actual writing, you will have the option to learn more about how to build a plan for social media engagement, how to demystify publishing, build a community and the importance of it, build writer toolkits, and if applicable to you—navigate Canlit as a BIPOC writer. The mentorship will be one hundred percent catered to your needs.
Please fill out the following questionnaire with as much detail as you can, and I will be in touch : )