Catherine Friess won a Writing the Stars mentorship with author Lori Degman. Here are a few words from Catherine about her experience.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Tara for organising the #PBWWTS contest and to Lori for choosing me as her mentee. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw my name on Twitter, it was a wonderful surprise!
I applied for a mentorship with Lori because I felt that I needed help with my rhyming picture books, and her picture book Cock-a-Doodle Oops is so easy and fun to read. I enjoy writing in rhyme and although I knew that I needed to make improvements I wasn’t sure how. Lori gave detailed comments in her critiques and showed me how and where my rhymes didn’t work. I now feel that I have a better understanding of how to write in rhyme.
At the beginning of our mentorship Lori and I had a Skype call, which gave us an opportunity to get to know each other and decide how we could use our time. At first we focused on the story that I had originally submitted. We also worked on a novelty picture book based on a poem that I had written, which I had put away in a drawer while I decided whether it would work as a book. Thanks to Lori, both stories are now ready to submit.
Lori also critiqued picture book pitches as well as more of my picture books. Her comments were insightful and led to changes, which also led to me rewriting two picture book endings. She also suggested where I could submit work and how/where I can get more information about the US market, and it was useful for me to learn how US submissions can differ to those in the UK. When critiquing, Lori also indicated where I could change British English to American English so that I can tailor my submissions where necessary.
I have really enjoyed working with Lori and her critiques have helped me to move my work forward to a point where I can start submitting. Being chosen as her mentee gave my writing confidence a huge boost and we achieved a lot in three months. Lori is lovely and very easy to work with, and it’s fabulous to have made a new writing friend too! :o)
Thank you Catherine!