On Writing,  publishing

Mentor Program

Yup, Going To Do It…

Over the years, lots of my friends who are long-term writers have unofficially taken on younger writers to mentor. This has been a standard way in publishing for centuries now. And for a young writer to get into one of those positions is pure luck.

Kris and went another way. We started off doing talks at conventions, basically trying to be entertaining and tell younger writers what we wish someone would have told us twenty years earlier. Then we went into the workshops a few times a year on the Oregon Coast, and then into online workshops, which has grown far, far larger than we ever thought.

And in the process, I have tried to be open that I will answer questions from writers, but often I will answer one question and then not know what the writer ended up doing, or feeling like I could have helped more.

Then a year or so ago I started doing the short story and novel challenges for writers and part of that was checking in every week. They had to check in with me and tell me how it was going. And I liked that ability to sort of help a writer for a few months, in a surface way, stay on track, or help them understand why they had gotten off track.

So a while back, Kris and I started talking about doing a mentor program, but, of course, with 2018 and the big move, that wasn’t possible or even a good idea.

But now, as I am ramping solidly back into writing and we are stable here in Las Vegas, and I have cut my amount of work time down substantially (by not being there in Lincoln City and the stores and everything), I feel I can try this now.

So here is the deal.

— I will mentor three writers for one year. (More than likely it will continue on past that year, but I am saying one year for right now to give this some shape.)

— I will answer all questions about publishing, writing, problems with writing and other issues that you need help with.

— I will read all work you want me to read and give feedback. (No matter how much you write. And I will be glad to show you things I have just finished as well if you want.)

— I will make sure all your sales material is up to professional levels. Blurbs, back cover copy, and so on.

— With the help of the fine folks at WMG Publishing if I don’t know an answer. I will help with promotion ideas you are thinking of, or give you ideas to help your sales.

— Allyson at WMG Publishing has offered to do a cover template if needed for a series. I will also help with all covers, series or otherwise.

— If needed, we can set up a Zoom meeting to talk face-to-face on issues. Or help you brainstorm a project if that is what you like to do.

— I will help you structure your writing business to suit what you are needing and doing. Remember, I am not a lawyer or accountant, but I can help you make sure you are ready and your business is working on a basic level.

— You will know a lot more about copyright and magic bakery thinking by the time the year is over. I can promise that.

That’s the basics, but I am sure I am forgetting a lot of things that will come into play in a mentoring situation. If you are wondering about something in this, write me and ask.

The Basic Deal…

As I said, I will mentor three writers. You can be at any level of a writing career, from just starting out to fifty novels published. I will be able to help.

The cost is $3,000. One time flat fee. Why the fee? Because I teach workshops for a fee and honestly doing this much without a price would not be fair to others. And I am a professional and need to be paid at least a little something for my time for a year.

Starts on January 1st. Goes for all of 2019 at least.

First paid to Paypal, first in. I really can’t do that any other way.


Hope this makes sense and you are interested. I personally am excited about being able to work closely with a writer or three for the coming year as a mentor since I am moving back to my own writing so strongly. It will be great fun and a great writing year.



  • Kenny Norris

    Damn, Dean, you cannot tell how tempted I am by this.

    Alas money, for me is a major issue. However I’ll just have to keep going along with the Lifetime Subscription and learn via that and the occasional email questions I ask.

  • Dee

    Holy S#*t.
    I am not a writer – I love to learn but write very little. Always wishing and never doing – but I know some of the commentators here ARE writers – what an opportunity! I want this to be a thing and work well for all involved – so much so that you consider it in the future as well.

  • nosybear

    It’s rare that I’m tempted to try to scrape up that amount of money. For you, Dean, I’d do it.

    Sadly, I just emptied the sofa for another large purchase (car) so money, especially at this time of the year, is stretched reeeeally thin.

    It would be well worth the ticket price if I had it. Good luck to those who do score a spot. I hope you much success studying under such experience.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks for the kind comments. Appreciated.

      And still have a spot open as of Friday afternoon for anyone interested.