Vicky Fang won a mentorship with author Peter McCleery in the inaugural Writing with the Stars 2017 season. Here are a few words from Vicky about her experience.
Well, here I am, a 2017 WWTS mentee sneaking in my blog post with the 2018 class. What took me so long? In truth, I did write a blog post last year, but I was too embarrassed to post it. I overthought it A LOT… mostly because I didn’t want to write something so lame that it would be an embarrassment to my amazing mentor, Peter McCleery.
But now I find myself, one year later, in a position where I owe so much to my experience with the WWTS mentorship that I have to say THANK YOU!
When I applied for WWTS, I had very little idea of how to write an actual story. I had manuscripts, but not really stories. This mentorship truly opened my eyes to the craft of storytelling. Peter reviewed my manuscripts, identified the ones he thought had potential, and pointed out what he saw as my strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
I spent the next couple of months struggling quite a bit. I churned out some half-hearted manuscripts that never really made it past an early draft. And I started to feel dismal, like I was wasting this amazing opportunity because I was so incapable of writing anything, let alone anything decent.
But Peter was patient and waited for me to get through it. He took the time to help me past creative blocks, pointed me to resources to help my craft, and gave spot-on feedback that forced me to improve. His guidance enabled me to turn concepts into actual stories. He shared his insights and experience from pitching his hilarious book series, Bob and Joss Get Lost! (if you haven’t read them, go get these books now!). And I got to watch the exciting and eye-opening process of his debut book launch.
With Peter’s help, I finally had a breakthrough and drafted a story we both really liked. I continued to hone and revise that manuscript, with the help of critique partners, agent reviews, and editor feedback until—finally, it led me to my amazing agent, Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency. And last month, I signed the contract for that very same story, now set for publication in fall of 2020!
In the past year, I’ve continued to grow and explore as a writer. I love being a part of the kidlit community. I have several other projects in the works, from board books to early chapter books. The WWTS mentorship continues to be a strong part of my writer life, with the 2017 crew keeping in touch and providing each other with updates and support.
None of this would have been vaguely possible without the amazing opportunity that WWTS provided, the hard work and generosity of Tara Luebbe, and the talent and generosity of Peter McCleery. I am a writer today in huge part because of this program and these people. THANK YOU.
Before I overthink this, it’s time to hit send.
Thank you Vicky.