6-Month Online Genre Novel Prep & Drafting Mentorship Program with Amber Royer
Click here to apply by September 7, 2020
Program Begins September 21, 2020
We are very excited to offer a limited enrollment 6-Month Online Genre Novel Writing Mentorship Program with science fiction author Amber Royer, author of the Chocoverse Science Fiction Trilogy. Her short work has appeared in Amazing Stories magazine. Amber has been a writing instructor for over 14 years and holds a MLIS from UNT. This is an immersive course designed to guide motivated writers from the idea stage, through development of the story and world, to drafting a manuscript (or, in cases of limited schedules, a significant portion of a manuscript).
Genres Amber works with include: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Romance (no erotica), Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult (including genre YA). Amber focuses first on sound psychological character creation, and will help you ensure that your characters are displaying agency right off the bat, which will ensure that your story has the kind of momentum agents and editors are looking for.
NOTE: You do not have to live in Dallas to Participate in this Program
This program will accept the FIRST TEN applicants.
The Ideal Applicant has the discipline to be an online student and the desire to complete a initial draft of a novel during the program. The goal is to have a full draft (or, on a more limited schedule, a significant portion of one) at the end of the six months. Participants should have enough of an idea to get started writing during the first month, but should expect to hone and develop that idea during the mentorship.
Open to beginning and advanced writers. Basically to anyone wanting to learn efficient ways to shape a story and how to draft it to minimize the need for re-writing. Participants will hone their skills in writing craft, and in observation of the world around them, and will learn how to look at their stories from numerous angles.
This mentorship is an intensive experience without the cost of a top flight graduate program or the need to travel. Interested applicants will want to be a part of a thriving and intimate 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 Amber, the other students in the course, and themselves.
NOTE: If you are more than 6 days late without prior approval of an extension with Amber, you will forfeit that month’s submission. You will be able to resume submitting the next month.
How It Works:
Upon acceptance into the mentorship program, you will schedule an initial one-on-one call with Amber to discuss your writing and your goals, allowing Amber to get a sense of your previous experience and attitude toward feedback. Together, you’ll create a work plan for the next six months.
Each month there will be a three-hour seminar using Zoom conferencing software. This will include:
- Lecture by mentor
- Roundtable discussions on craft topics
- (as time allows) Writing and planning exercises
There will be seven meetings total. The final meeting is a wrap-up session.
There will be weekly assignments to complete worksheets from Amber’s Story Like a Journalist Workbook for Novelists. These will encourage you to consider different aspects of the characters and world you are creating to focus your writing and make them feel/behave like real people and places. You will need to purchase a copy of this workbook.
There will be a chat thread for participants to discuss amongst themselves what they find useful in the worksheet exercises.
Participants receive monthly personalized deadlines to turn in pages for critique. Amber will give extensive feedback and advice within the submitted pages, as well as how the direction those pages take fits into the manuscript as a whole. Any questions/concerns about the critique will be handled via follow-up emails. Amber may recommend craft books or articles, or recommend novels or short stories that she thinks will help the writer.
The number of pages due will depend on the participant’s project, and whether the participant intends to complete the manuscript within the 6-month time frame. Amber will send the participant a breakdown of how the page goal lines up with expectations set out in the initial conversation. This can be revised at any time during the mentorship, if needed. In that monthly submission, participants will also send a letter (2-3 pages) detailing the craft topics they are exploring, notes on books they will have read during that month (whether directly related to the project or not), and questions/concerns/comments that arose that month. Participants are also encouraged to share breakthroughs and positive developments.
Participants will choose a book each month that has been published within the past year in the same genre as their manuscripts. They will write reports on their chosen books according to a monthly prompt, covering such topics as character agency, use of tropes, level of setting details, etc.
A private portal within Wet Ink where the cohort can share encouragement and resources will have a shared folder for participants to place their reports . Everyone will be encouraged to engage in text-based chat discussion of the books and of what they are learning.
Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook for Novelists by Amber Royer (release date April 21)
Wired for Story by Lisa Crom -- https://www.amazon.com/Wired-Story-Lisa-Speed-Paperback/dp/B00E2RKFKW/
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks -- https://www.amazon.com/Story-Engineering-Larry-Brooks-dp-1582979987/dp/1582979987/
Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress - https://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Characters-Nancy-Kress-dp-1582973199/dp/1582973199/
This Six-Month Mentorship Consists of the Following:
- One-on-one initial consult via phone, Skype or Zoom
- Personalized calendar for achieving your project goals
- Access to mentor via email for six months
- Monthly critique of 20 – 30 double spaced pages, with some line edits but focusing on bigger-picture notes and questions (done in Microsoft Word using Track Changes)
- Personalized readings and assignments based on your specific development needs
- Access to a community of dedicated writers via the WetInk portal
Mentor’s Monthly Input:
- Emails that discuss individual monthly goals and progress
- In-line comments and critique on submitted manuscript pages
- 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
Mentee’s Monthly Responsibilities:
- Send pages to mentor based on individual project goals negotiated with mentor (Max 30 double spaced pages for critique)
- Process-reflection letter discussing achievements and areas of growth for the month
- Participate in group discussions online via private portal
- Read a current book in the same genre as manuscript and complete a report. Also read any articles or craft books mentor may assign to aid growth in specific areas
- Participate in email conversation with mentor to review individual progress and areas of growth
Complete Application Questionnaire at the top of this page and submit a ten-page writing sample using standard manuscript format to email@example.com. Please title the email “SAMPLE: 6 Month Novel Prep and Drafting Mentorship with Amber Royer”.
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 September 21st, 2020, and 2nd payment made by November 1st, 2020).
Important Dates for 6-Month Novel Prep and Drafting Mentorship with Amber Royer:
- September 7, 2020 - Application Deadline
- 9/21 - 9/25 -- Initial consults via phone/Skype/Zoom scheduled
- 10/6 First Seminar 1-4pm (Building and Exciting Premise)
- 10/19 Packet #1 Due
- 11/2 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #1
- 11/3 Second Seminar 1-4pm (Building Realistic Characters)
- 11/16 Packet #2 Due
- 11/30 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #2
- 12/1 Third Seminar 1-4pm (Building an Exciting Plot)
- 12/14 Packet #3 Due
- 12/28 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #3
- 1/5 Fourth Seminar 1-4pm (Your Story’s World)
- 1/19 Packet #4 due
- 2/1 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #4
- 2/2 Fifth Seminar 1-4pm (Finding the Meaning in Your Work)
- 2/15 Packet #5 Due
- 3/1 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #5
- 3/2 Sixth Seminar 1-4pm (Managing Dialogue and Point of View)
- 3/15 Packet #6 Due
- 4/29 Latest you’ll receive feedback from Amber on Packet #6
- 5/4 Wrap Up Seminar 1-4pm (Q&A and Thoughts for the Group)
Additional Program Information:
- Tuition is $2,900
- Class size limited to 10 writers
- Program dates: September 21, 2020 to May 4, 2020
- 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 Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series (available from Angry Robot Books). She has been teaching creative writing to writers of all genres for over a decade in North Texas for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. In the summer, she does camps and workshops for teen writers. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes. You can find her blogging about creative writing technique and people she’s met who do craft chocolate over at www.amberroyer.com.