Five Questions About Our Mentoring Program

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

1.) How is the mentoring program different from editing and coaching?

The mentoring program includes the best elements of a semester of an MFA program. Besides one-on-one instructor time, mentoring includes reading

assignments of other works of fiction that exemplify the style and results the writer seeks. Mentoring also includes handouts and suggested reference works to read (and acquire for your library) on the art and craft of writing, based on the writer's goals. Mentoring also includes helping the writer over road blocks and detailed editing and feedback. All in all, mentoring is well-suited for writers seeking to learn more about the art and craft of writing and the writing life, including publishing.

2.) How do I know if I'm a good candidate for mentoring?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in an MFA program and want to give it a test-drive?

  • Am I looking for a balance of one-on-one instruction with generating and/or revising my own work?

  • Am I interested in reading other works of fiction that exemplify the style and results I'm looking to achieve?

  • Do I want to learn more about the art and craft of writing and the writing life, and how to incorporate what I learn?

3.) How is this program similar to the MFA mentoring component?

Here are the cross-over elements between mentoring and an MFA program:

  • Regular submissions of 10 to 12 new and/or revised pages of writing every week to 10 days.

  • Suggested weekly reading assignments of other works of fiction that match the writer's goals.

  • Suggested weekly assignments of craft reference works that match the writer's goals. Detailed editing of and feedback on each submission.

  • A total of up to 40 to 50 pages of new and/or revised writing over an average of two months.

  • Three Zoom meetings with the instructor on the writer's progress and the art and craft of writing and the writing life.

4.) What can I expect from the Zoom meets?

Each of the three Zoom meets is an hour or so in length. Here's what you can expect from each meeting: Zoom 1: - A discussion of your project, your writing goals and the best way to for you proceed over the coming weeks. - A submission schedule. - A discussion on any particular areas of challenge or needed development. - General Q&A. Zoom 2: - A discussion of how your writing is coming along. - A discussion of any particular craft elements you find challenging.

- A tutorial showing you how to revise and develop your project. - General Q&A. Zoom 3: - A discussion of your project, your next writing goals and the best way to for you proceed after mentoring. - A discussion of any particular areas of ongoing challenge or needed development. - General Q&A, including publishing.


5.) Could I manage this program with a full or part-time job?

Westport's mentoring program was created to resemble the low-residency MFA program, whose format is especially suited for those with other work-life commitments. Also keep in mind that you and your instructor set your schedule and can adjust it as you go through the program. **If you have any other questions, please reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help.

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