Hello, WWTS applicants!
I was so wonderfully overwhelmed as I read your applications and your manuscripts that before I was even a third of the way through I knew I had to email Tara and ask if she’d allow me to write a short post. Thankfully, she agreed. So here I am.
First, I want to say: WOW. You guys have outdone yourselves. And I mean that with all my heart.
I was completely blown away by your humor, your heart, and your passion for books and writing. You shared heartfelt, imaginative ideas and strong, wonderful writing. You’ve shown that you’ve paid your dues as evidenced by the looooong list of classes, conferences, and workshops you’ve attended. And you touched my heart with your backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, and favorite books. Your personalities and determination came through loud and clear. You guys are doing all the right things. Keep it up!
It was an absolute honor to read your work, and I promise I did not take my job lightly. A great deal of time was spent reading and rereading and thinking and considering (and obsessing over!) each and every application and manuscript, and I have no doubt that the other mentors did the same.
As I read, I made notes. I added stars next to manuscripts. Cripes! You should see all the stars! I’m sure the other mentors will agree that narrowing the list down to one mentee has been challenging and difficult (almost impossible!). I tweeted earlier that I wish I could take you all, and I wish I could.
When it comes right down to it, what I really want to say is this—and I mean it from the bottom of my heart—even if you are not chosen as a mentee this time, PLEASE believe me when I say that you are ALL worthy. And I don’t mean that in a “rah-rah,” “chins-up” way. I mean it sincerely. You guys have SO much talent. You’ve worked hard and dedicated yourselves to your writing—and it SHOWS. Your applications and manuscripts affected me so strongly; I couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell you what reading your work meant to me.
I’m excited about being a mentor. I sure don’t claim to know it all, but I’ll assist my mentee in any way I can. Kidlit folks are the kindest, most giving people, and I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of this great community and a part of WWTS. I believe that we never stop learning, and I can’t wait to see what I learn from you guys!
One last note: Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!