So here’s an idea where…

So here's an idea where I could use some help with planning. At various conventions I've talked with folks about setting up a mentorship program through the SLF. The idea would initially be to hook up semi-pro and pro writers with beginners to offer advice and answer questions, strictly on a volunteer basis. Structurally, it might look something like this, using a sample SH writer as an example:

SLF Mentorship Program

  • Ben Rosenbaum agrees to be one of our mentors. We add his name to our list of mentors on the SLF website, and assign him five (or ten?) mentees, beginner writers who have indicated an interest in joining our program. We create a yahoogroups mailing list for them, to facilitate communication. The mentees are encouraged to ask Ben any questions they want, for the next three (six? twelve?) months. The mentees understand that they shouldn't expect Ben to read their work or offer critiques; this is not intended to be a workshop relationship.

  • To encourage conversation, our facilitators sends Ben (and the other mentors) a common writerly question every month (week?), which Ben does his best to answer thoroughly. Since our mentors like to talk a lot, we figure they won't have any trouble answering their questions.

  • At the end of the time, the facilitator asks Ben for his evaluation of the experience, and asks the mentees for their (confidential?) evaluations of Ben and of the experience overall.

That's a rough sketch of the idea. What do you guys think? At a minimum, we'd need to find a volunteer facilitator, and I'd ideally like at least two folks: one to handle the administration aspects of creating mailing lists, adding and removing folks, keeping track of when people are joining and leaving the program, updating the web page -- and the other to send out regular questions to the lists and monitor them, trouble-shooting as necessary.

One thought on “So here’s an idea where…”

  1. This sounds like a cool idea! And while I’m tempted to volunteer for your mailing list/web page facilitator, I’m just as tempted to sign up as a mentee. Decisions, decisions.

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