Mentorship

Need help with your novel? Bill enjoys working one-on-one with select writers!

From 2013 to 2017, Bill worked as the director of the Your Novel Year program at Arizona State University, an online certificate program for those wishing to write young adult novels. He co-founded the program, created the curriculum, and taught many of the classes. Since then, he has accepted one-on-one mentorships with writers seeking publication.

Bill loves to teach and has great passion for helping writers find their voice as they work through a manuscript.

HOW IT WORKS

Writers interested in a one-on-one mentorship are encouraged to apply (process explained below). There is no application fee at this time. The mentorship selection process is competitive; Bill caps the number of mentees he works with at any one time at three so that mentees get his full attention.

Bill only mentors those he feel he can truly help. If for whatever reason (writing style, subject matter, genre) he doesn’t feel confident that a mentorship will help you, he will politely decline. His goal is to help writers improve their craft and hopefully get published in a highly competitive marketplace. For this reason, those writing science fiction and fantasy are discouraged from applying.

Bill is especially interested in those writing realistic contemporary young adult fiction, especially those with strong voices. He is also interested in LGBTQ fiction, both young adult and not, and he mentors select adult fiction writers and those writing literary fiction.

The mentorships are month-to-month. Based on the project, a plan of action is agreed upon. Those needing a quick polish on a second draft might only need a month; someone new to novel writing who has just finished a first draft will often need at least six months to be ready to query agents; and someone who has promise but has not studied fiction writing before could well choose to work with Bill for more than a year. The average length of mentorship is about six months. That’s enough time to read and comment on what is already written, work on a plan for revision, and read new pages.

Since it is month-to-month, the proposed plan of action is just that: a proposal. Writers may opt out after any month, for any reason. Similarly, Bill may choose to end a mentorship if he feels like he is not sufficiently helping the student in meeting their goals.

Writers apply by sending in up to 10 pages of prose, preferably the first 10 pages of a novel-in-progress, as well as a one-page cover letter explaining the project, giving some background, and describing the writer’s goals.

Bill responds to applications on a rolling basis, within three weeks, often sooner. If he is booked, he may accept an application but propose starting at a future date.

The mentorship includes overarching (pertaining to plot, character, prose) and in-line (line edits) comments, and up to two phone or Google Hangout calls per month (20 minutes each).

It is expected that you will revise your work during the process, and Bill will read revised pages as they are ready. It is not reasonable to expect Bill to do more than read an entire novel in a month. A second month at the very least is necessary to read and respond to revised pages.

COST: $1,000 per month, payable by PayPal or check before the start of services for that month.

TO APPLY: Submit application as a docx or pdf. Send to bkonigsberg@gmail.com with the subject line MENTOR APPLICATION. You will receive confirmation of receipt of the application within 24 hours, and he will respond within three weeks.

As stated earlier, please understand that this is a competitive process. A rejection is rarely personal; it is usually based on availability and connection to the material. In some cases, Bill may suggest an alternate mentorship opportunity.

“Bill is the kind of coach you want in your corner. In his work as a mentor, he has one mission: to help you make your work the best that it can be. As my loudest cheerleader, he always couches his feedback, which is always constructive and honest, with relentless optimism. He’s always willing to talk about those sticky plot points, and more than once, he’s coached me out of the darkness when I’ve felt like I was in over my head. His advice always uplifts me, and simply put: I am a better writer because of his help. I am eternally grateful to him.” —Joey S., Washington, D.C.

“Bill is a master at guiding you to the truth of your writing–showing you where there is room for improvement and helping you get to the best version of your story. He does all this while always making you feel like he is in your corner, your ally, ready to take on the words with you, and though he is straight-forward with his feedback, his every suggestion is served with such a warmth, it’s like taking advice from a friend. I never left a mentoring session with Bill feeling down on myself or my work, which is such a gift.” —Donna B., Scottsdale, AZ

“My mentorship period with Bill Konigsberg was a rich experience.  His attention to detail in his reading of my work was supportive, detailed and always helpful.  Bill’s expertise and knowledge were critical in keeping my novel on track.  My writing flourished under his guidance, and I now have a full-length manuscript nearing completion.” —Janet H., California

“It was my pleasure to work with Bill as I navigated the process of writing my first novel. In the early stages of drafting my manuscript, Bill challenged me to consider issues such as point of view, backstory, and character development in ways that, had I been writing without his guidance, would never have occurred to me. He encouraged me through the difficulty of writing the middle of the novel, doing everything from suggesting strategies for moving the plot forward to helping me process my own feelings of doubt and fear about the purpose of my writing. As I moved into the final drafts of my novel, Bill spent hours helping me fine-tune and polish the manuscript. He supported me through the process of querying agents and provided much-needed perspective and clarification on the business side of writing. Writing a novel is both an intellectually challenging and emotionally vulnerable experience; Bill’s mentorship is supportive of both. When I begin work on my second novel, I will absolutely reach out to him for mentorship again.” —Katie D., Phoenix