I’ve done it three times in the past few months and have loved it so much I’ve decided to make it a part of my life. I’ve invited a writer into my St. Paul, Minnesota, home and provided comfortable, private space, meals and mentoring.
The writers who came to me were all previously published, though that is not a requirement. All happened to have recalcitrant manuscripts they had been working on for too long. Two of them brought novels that had grown cumbersome in their complexity, one a picture book that had seen many incarnations. Each wanted a break, a new environment, nurturing, and one-on-one time with an experienced mentor.
And I wanted to dip back into teaching in a quiet way, have the pleasure of sharing my home and meals (I have more house than I need and I love cooking), and simply be of use to a fellow writer. Women only, with apologies to any men who might be interested.
The way I’m framing this venture, now that I’m ready to embark on it more formally, is that the invited writer will arrive on a Monday afternoon and leave on Friday morning. I am ten minutes from the airport and will pick up and drop off. Prior to your coming, I will read your manuscript. No more than 40,000 words, which is approximately 150 pages, or if it’s picture books or easy readers no more than three, and I will provide a brief, written critique before you come. A longer manuscript can be accommodated by judicious summary or we can discuss a different fee arrangement.
While you are here, I will go about my life and my work, but I will provide all meals and be available for further readings and all the consultation and good writer talk you need. If you want to take time off for cultural activities—the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is rich in its offerings—or outdoors ones, I will join you. (During good weather I keep a couple of kayaks on a nearby lake.)
If this invitation appeals to you, check out my website at http://mariondanebauer.com/mentor/mentor.html. If you’re interested, I’ll ask to see a small sample of your work to make sure I have enough to offer you, and after that we can talk about a time. I’ll be offering these one-on-one retreats no more frequently than once a month. First come, first served.
I have been publishing and teaching writers for more than forty years, and this kind of one-on-one mentoring feels like the work that my life has prepared me for. I would love to welcome you and whatever manuscript you are working on into my home and my heart!