Lauren Soloy won a mentorship with Lori Richmond in the Writing With the Stars contest. I asked Lauren to share some of her experience.
The months I spent under Lori’s mentorship were some of the most productive, educational, and exciting weeks of my life. It was so incredible having someone to answer ALL of my many, many questions – someone who has been through it before, and who was completely willing to be honest and open (and also very, very patient!)
The format we decided on was to meet over Skype for an hour every other week, with lots of emails in between. We decided right off the bat that we would spend the first three sessions (over 6 weeks) going over my dummies and getting them ready for submission. This was such a wonderful process, as Lori’s experience at thinking through page turns and pacing was invaluable. She was also open to reviewing some of my less-polished manuscripts, and gave me lots to think about as I go through the revisions (which I’ll be doing for a while!)
The next three sessions we mainly focused on the submission process itself, so Lori helped me get organized, write query letters, and figure out how to navigate each agent’s submission processes. By the end of the mentorship, I was actually hitting send on my first-ever round of submissions. I would never have gotten there as quickly as I did without all of Lori’s help – I had originally been planning on beginning the submission process by the end of 2017, and I was full of apprehensions and questions about the whole process. Lori not only had me submitting in April, but just knowing that she believed in me gave me a huge boost of confidence. Also, now that I’ve been through it, I am far less intimidated by the whole thing!
At the same time, we began the second track of sending out illustrated postcards to various publishers and art directors. Again, Lori helped me figure out how to organize these submissions, and also helped me figure out an image to use for my postcards, and cheered me on as I prepared to mail them out.
Now I feel much more confident, and have a pretty good idea of my next couple of steps. Also, I have systems in place for submitting to both agents and publishers, which is an incredible feeling. I am so grateful to Tara and Becky for starting this contest, and to Lori, for everything! Maybe the best part of all is, I have a wonderful new friend!
You can see Lauren’s craft at https://www.meandmypencil.com/
Thank you again Lori for your generosity and participation. Lori’s next book, Bunny’s Staycation (Mama’s Business Trip) is due out in February 2018 and looks adorable.