Archives: Blog

The WoMentoring Project

It’s hard trying to be a writer. There’s a lot of scribbling into a void, hoping that someone, somewhere will one day want to read it. It’s difficult to know when you should give up and when to power through. And, the publishing world is a tough industry to navigate.

Kerry Hudson (Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma) knows this. To try and combat these issues and address the gender imbalance inherent in the literary world, she set up the WoMentoring Project.

Want to know more? Read on:

WoMen3The WoMentoring Project exists to offer free mentoring by professional literary women to up and coming female writers who would otherwise find it difficult to access similar opportunities.

The mission of The WoMentoring Project is simply to introduce successful literary women to other women writers at the beginning of their careers who would benefit from some insight, knowledge and support. The hope is that we’ll see new, talented and diverse female voices emerging as a result of time and guidance received from our mentors.

The WoMentoring Project is managed by novelist Kerry Hudson and all of our mentors are all professional writers, editors or literary agents. Many of us received unofficial or official mentoring ourselves which helped us get ahead and the emphasis is on ‘paying forward’ some of the support we’ve been given.

In an industry where male writers are still reviewed and paid more than their female counterparts in the UK, we wanted to balance the playing field. Likewise, we want to give female voices that would otherwise find it hard to be heard, a greater opportunity of reaching their true potential.

Sound good? Here’s some details on how to apply:

Applicant mentees will submit a 1000 word writing sample and a 500 word statement about why they would benefit from free mentoring. All applications will be in application to a specific mentor and mentees can only apply for one mentor at a time.

Find out more by visit the WoMentoring Project or check them out @WoMentoringP.

WoMentoringIllo3WebIllustration by Sally Jane Thompson

The Perfect Conditions for Writing

Would you like to write in an immaculate, sun drenched office? Prose pattering gently onto the blank page as you sip freshly brewed coffee, perhaps?

Nabokov’s wife apparently enabled his writing career to the extent that she was a wife, a cleaner, a cook, a babysitter, etc etc, [read all domestic and traditionally female roles], as well as a secretary, editor and substitute teacher. (More in this by Koa Beck.)

There are numerous articles on writing full-time – normally exploring the struggle of getting motivated, the worry about earning enough and the necessity for discipline. Then there are the subsequent plaintive responses from those who manage to squeeze writing around work, family and everything else.

If you’re writing full-time, you have the pressure to produce; without the excuse of being tired from work, or having had a rough day in the office. You also have endless opportunities to procrastinate. (You have them just as much if you’re fitting writing around work, but you also know that you’ve stolen that time and it must be staked out with sharp pointy things and noise-cancelling headphones.)

The real truth of it though, is that you’re never going to have your ideal writing conditions. There will always be something else you can do.

You’ve just got to sit down and write.


(Which is why I’m writing this, of course.)

Want to Buy a Book?

You could buy Words and Women One, an anthology of short prose by women from the East of England. The collection is composed of short stories, creative non-fiction and memoir. Plus, it’s really pretty.

And, my story ‘Persepone’ is in it. Along with 20 other pieces – so you’re sure to find something you like. (Read a nice review of the anthology.)

You can buy it from Unthanks Books, Amazon, or your local bookshop.

Look- A Real Book!

Look- A Real Book!

© 2021 Rowan Whiteside