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6-Month Novel Mentorship Program with NYT Bestseller Melissa Marr, Join List For Next Class
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6-Month Novel Mentorship Program with NYT Bestseller Melissa Marr, Join List For Next Class

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Mentorship will return in 2021

Get notified when this program returns----->

We are very excited to offer a limited enrollment 6-Month Novel Mentorship Program with award-winning, internationally bestselling, NY Times and USA Today bestselling novelist, manga, graphic novel, short fiction, and picturebook writer Melissa Marr! The program will accept no more than THREE motivated writers.

The Ideal Applicant for this program has the discipline to be an online student and an interest in writing commercial fiction for children, young adults, or adults. This program is not suitable for writers of memoirs, non-fiction, fanfiction, poetry, or inspirational texts. While those are all fine, they are not Melissa’s areas of expertise. The course is a recommended for commercial fiction in the following categories: contemporary fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, thriller, YA novels, middle-grade, graphic novels, short fiction, or picture books. These are all genres or categories Marr has written with either award or commercial success (or both).  If you are curious if your text matches, reach out and ask!

Writers at the beginning of their writing journey and those who have written several pieces are welcome to apply.

Applicants are those writers who are looking for an intensive experience without the cost of a top flight graduate program or the need to travel. As a parent and full-time writer the last decade, Melissa understands the difficulty of attending in person or low-res programs.  When she first taught university (before writing), she taught night and online classes for students just like you. Her last two university teaching positions (at Vermont College of Fine Arts and at USMC Base Camp Pendleton for deployed sailors and Marines) were also designed to reach students who chose to learn at a distance.

Interested applicants will want to be a part of a thriving and intimate fiction cohort and understand that growth in craft requires critique, consistent work, openness to revision, and an eagerness to grow.  Accepted applicants will agree to be punctual in submission of work. This is in fairness to Melissa, the other students in the course, and themselves.

NOTE: If you are more than 6 days late without prior approval of an extension with Melissa, you will forfeit that month’s submission. We will resume our time the next month.

How it works:

Once you are accepted into the mentorship program, you will schedule a one-on-one phone call with Melissa to discuss where you are and where you want to be. Together you’ll create a work plan for the next six months. Based on that discussion, you’ll submit a packet of pages (20-40 pages of double-spaced prose or equivalent). That packet should contain a mix of two to three projects that may include novels-in-progress, picturebooks, sequential text, or short stories. NOTE: a picture book is the equivalent of 8-10 pages of prose, and each page of script is equal to two pages of prose. So, a 24-page picture book (typically 300-700 words) is the same as 8-10 pages of a novel.

After the first month, you will re-submit 20 pages of revised material and 20 pages of new material (or you may submit 20-40 pages of new material revised to reflect the notes provided on the last submission as well). If the new material reflects the same errors that were noted on the prior moths submission, we will pause on new material to address revision tactica. Revision is writing, so feedback on only the drafts will not advance your work as efficiently as revision and drafting together will.

Each student will receive a personalized monthly due date.  In that monthly submission, you will also send a letter (2-4 pages) detailing the craft topics you’re exploring, a list of books read for the purposes of studying the market and the craft used in those books, and your areas of concern and of victory that month. Sharing your own sense of victory is as important as sharing the areas of challenge. This is not an easy career, and to succeed in any way requires noting the successes as well as the difficulties.

There will be 6 submissions from you, and there will be 6 phone calls and letters from Melissa. In these responses, you will gain craft information, revision tricks and tips, and individualized feedback on the pages you submit, as well as personalized reading suggestions in the area(s) you are exploring.

This six-month Mentorship consists of the following:

  • One-on-one mentoring via phone

  • Personalized roadmap for achieving your project goals

  • Accountability

  • Access to mentor via monthly conversation for questions for six months

  • Monthly critique of pages, including line notes and a detailed edit letter

  • Personalized readings and assignments based on your specific development needs

  • Access to a community of dedicated writers

  • Continued access to the portal after the end of the term, potentially to include future students who complete the next mentorship.

 Mentor’s Monthly Input:

  • One-on-one phone call to discuss individual monthly goals and progress

  • In-line comments on submitted manuscript pages

  • Feedback letter addressing manuscript pages, accountability update and critical analysis of any assigned readings

  • Based on each month’s accomplishments, mentor will suggest new readings or exercises to aid in growth

  • Available to answer questions and provide encouragement via portal and monthly letter

Mentee’s Monthly Responsibilities:

  • Students send pages to mentor based on individual project goals negotiated with mentor

  • Process reflection letter discussing achievements and areas of growth for the month

  • Participate in group discussions online via private portal

  • Based on individual needs, mentor may assign articles or craft books to aid mentees growth in specific areas

  • Participate in a monthly one-on-one phone session with mentor to review individual progress and areas of growth

Application Process:

Complete Application Questionnaire at the top of this page and submit a ten-page writing sample using standard manuscript format to Please title the email “SAMPLE: Writing for Young Readers & Teens Mentorship Program.”

Tuition Payment:

Full Tuition for the 6-month program is $2,900. Accepted writers must commit to the full six months and meet all assigned deadlines. Once accepted into the program, writers can pay the tuition in full or in two equal payments of $1,450 (1st Payment made by October 5th, 2nd Payment made by November 5th).

Important Dates for 6-Month Young Readers & Teens Mentorship Program:

  • 10/1 Application Deadline

  • 10/6 Acceptance to Program Announced

  • 10/8 First one-on-one meetings via phone scheduled

  • 10/15 First Submission Packet Deadline

  • TBD One-on-Ones Via phone

  • 11/15 Second submission Deadline

  • TBD One-on-Ones Via phone

  • 12/15 Third Submissions Due

  • TBD One-on-Ones via phone

  • 01/15 Fourth Submissions due

  • TBD One-on-Ones via phone

  • 02/15 Fifth submissions Due

  • TBD One-on-Ones via phone

  • 03/15 Sixth Submissions Due

  • TBD Final One-on-Ones

Additional Program Information:

  • Tuition is $2,900

  • Class size limited to 3 writers

  • Program Dates: October 2020 to March 2021

  • NOTE: Shifting some dates around may be necessary but any changes will be communicated well in advance, if possible.  

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this mentorship program.


Mentor Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally (Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, et al) as well as domestically (on the NY TimesLos Angeles TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal). Accolades include starred reviews on numerous books (in PW, SLJ, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal), YALSA Popular Paperbacks, IRA Notable Book Pick, Book Sense Pick (YA and adult), Good Morning America Summer Pick for Teens, Scottish Book Trust, Red Maple finalist (in both Ontario and Manitoba), and Goodreads Good Choice Award (Horror), RWA RITA award (YA).  In addition to novels, Melissa has co-edited several anthologies, as well as published short fiction, manga and prose non-fiction. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, Graveminder for adults, and her debut picturebook Bunny Roo, I Love You. Upcoming books include her first children’s book that will feature her photography as well as her words (2021), a historical fantasy middle-grade series (2020 & 2021), and a sequel to Bunny Roo (2021).  She currently lives in Arizona when she’s not off wandering.

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