Good mentors are hard to find, especially in the famously isolated career as a writer. There are many great books and websites out there that offer invaluable expertise for beginner writers. However, true mentorship is not just answering the occasional question. True mentorship is an ongoing personal relationship in which the mentor sees more potential in you than you see in yourself. They draw you out.
One of Write Canada’s main pillars of strength is mentorship. It has played an instrumental role in the career and success of many writers, personally and professionally. Many new writers attend Write Canada for the first time very insecure, some not so sure they are writers at all. After a submerged weekend of learning, connecting and encouragement, many new writers leave the conference with their heads held high, declaring that they ARE indeed writers.
Author Darlene Butts wasn’t sure what to expect from her first conference, “Everyone at Write Canada was so approachable and has given me way more information than I had expected, I never felt dumb asking a question, never felt awkward raising my hand, or sharing my work.”
Most of the seasoned writers and literary professionals, who attend Write Canada, don’t mentor out of duty. They do it out of passion. Last year I had the privilege to interview Karen Ball, the owner/operator of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC, a literary agent with the Steve Laube Agency, and a best-selling, award-winning novelist and popular speaker. We talked about her role as a mentor.
“What God has called me to is not to fix people or to fix their writing, what he has called me to is to capture their vision and passion for what the writer is trying to do and I help them birth it. To come alongside of them and say ‘these are the tools you can utilize more effectively to communicate to your readers, and these are the guidelines you can use to sharpen and refine what you are doing.’ And then I get to watch them FLY! To walk into a bookstore and see the finished product and know that I had a hand in it, it’s such a gift!” – Karen Ball
Whether you are a beginner or professional writer there is a fulfilling role for you to play in the circle of mentorship. Get involved in this rewarding experience this year at Write Canada.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin