I’m now taking on select students for one-on-one mentorship!
For the past four years, I’ve worked as the coordinator of the Your Novel Year program at Arizona State University, an online certificate program for those wishing to write young adult novels. I was a co-founder of the program, created the curriculum for it, and taught many of the classes. Now that the program has ended, I am taking my tutelage to the public!
I love to teach and I have a great passion for helping writers find their voice and work through a manuscript.
Here are some things my students have said about me:
“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 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
“The Novel Year program has opened a whole new world of possibility and community that I am very grateful for. You have been instrumental in guiding us on the journey, and it really means the world when someone believes “you can do this.” Thanks for everything Bill!” – Amy B., Phoenix, AZ
“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
HOW IT WORKS
Writers interested in a one-on-one mentorship are encouraged to apply (process explained below). The mentorship selection process is expected to be highly competitive based on initial interest. I will cap the number of mentees I work with at any one time at four so that mentees will have my full attention. Also, I only want to mentor those I feel I can help. I won’t waste your money or my own time; this is about finding writers whose work matches up with my talents and interests so that I can help them toward their goal of publication. For this reason, those writing science fiction and fantasy are discouraged from applying. I enjoy these genres but they simply aren’t in my wheelhouse, and there are better choices for mentorship for those writers. Email me at the below address for suggestions of potential mentors.
For those writing realistic contemporary YA fiction, especially those with strong voices, I may well be a good match for you. I am also interested in LGBTQ fiction, both YA and not, and I will mentor select adult fiction writers and those writing literary fiction.
The mentorships are month-to-month, and based on the project, we will come up with a proposed plan of action. In my experience, someone who needs a quick polish could need just a month but often needs more time to revise chapters. Someone who has promise but has not studied fiction writing before could well need up to a year. The average mentorship should last between three and six months, I believe. That’s enough time to read and comment on what is already written and work on revisions.
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, I may choose to end a mentorship if I do not feel like I can be useful to the student anymore.
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.
I will respond to applications on a rolling basis, within three weeks, often sooner. Note that as of December, 2017, I am booked through February, 2018. The first availability I have at this moment is March, and it is possible that I will accept an application but propose a date in the future for the start of the mentorship.
The mentorship includes unlimited* overarching and in-line comments, and up to four phone or Google Hangout calls per month (20 minutes each).
Overarching comments are general written responses to material. An example:
In-line comments are comments and suggested edits using Microsoft Word. Bill makes these comments while reading. They include queries for clarification, suggestions, and corrections (grammatical and style-related). An example:
It is expected that you will revise your work during the process, and I will read revised pages as they are ready.
*unlimited means as many pages as requested. However, the writer must understand that more pages will take more time. Some writers will ask Bill to read an entire novel up front. It is reasonable to expect Bill can read up and respond to a novel in a month, but reading revised pages will almost certainly require a second month.
COST: $1,000 per month, payable by check before the start of services for that month.
READY TO APPLY?
Submit application as a pdf. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line MENTOR APPLICATION. I will confirm receipt of the application within 24 hours, and will respond within three weeks.
As stated earlier, I expect that admission will be highly competitive based on the number of slots I have available, so please know that a denial is not a rejection. In some cases, I may suggest an alternate mentorship opportunity.