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WWTS Mentee Update: Leigh Anne Carter

Leigh Anne was the lucky recipient of a mentorship with Author/Illustrator Melissa Iwai and author Denis Markell. Her are a few words from Leigh Ann about her experience.


As an author-illustrator, I was very honored to receive the mentorship with both Melissa Iwai and Denis Markell. My mentors provided illustration and writing advice on my manuscript.

We met over Skype, and while you may think two-on-one critiques of your work would feel overwhelming, I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful, candid, and helpful Melissa and Denis both are. They guided me to focus my manuscript down to my main theme, advised me to amp up the emotions in the language, and also told me what was and wasn’t working in my illustrations. Not once did a reassurance go wasted, and my shaky author-illustrator legs found solid ground to stand on. My manuscript is now well on its way to being a completed dummy, which I will be querying soon to agents.

Another great thing about being on Skype was that Melissa was able to share on camera some of the stories she was working on—seeing another illustrator’s visual thinking was an added benefit of this mentorship.

The check-ins were great incentives to work extra hard, find the perfect word, and create the perfect image. Each time I got great advice, and that made me strive harder with each revision. Having a team behind my story and supporting my efforts was the icing on the cake.

Thank you, Melissa and Denis, for sharing your time, your talent, and your guidance.

Thank you so much, Tara and Becky, for all of the hard work that goes into creating this mentorship program and giving us the opportunity to grow and learn!