Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Joy of Mentoring

I think I'm a pretty good teacher of children's book writing. But I think I'm a very good mentor to fellow children's book writers. I don't know that I'm so articulate at generating general guidelines for teaching students how to write. But hand me a particular manuscript and I'm on fire to analyze what's working and what isn't, what's good and what could be great. I've thought about being a "book doctor," but that sounds too clinical and detached, and carries the unfortunate implication that the book is sick and ailing. I don't want to doctor a book, I want to mentor its author.

So I'm thrilled to be participating this spring in SCBWI's pilot mentoring program. I've taken five fabulous writers under my wing, meeting with each one monthly as she works on revising the manuscript she submitted to be part of the program. I don't want to blog about particular mentees and the writing challenges each of them is working through, because I respect their privacy. But some of them are bloggers themselves, and so. . .

Tracy Abell is one of my mentees, and she's going to be reporting on her creative journey on her own blog. Check out her blog to see how she is learning not to "ping-pong" from one emotion to another in her characters. Just from reading her blog you can see what a terrific writer she is already!

I'm also proud to announce that this is my 150th blog post since I began my blog last summer. Thanks for sticking with me, readers!


  1. Claudia, I'm so glad I found your blog after about your 40th entry, so it didn't take long to go back and read from the beginning. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. It's a joy to read both your blog and your books. --Carol Linda

  2. I agree, Claudia. You're a very good mentor!

    Thank you again for taking on me and my project, and for linking here to create a blogathon!