Mentor Program

Mentor Program

Each year, the MWA-NY Mentor Program offers members, unpublished and published, an opportunity to have up to 50 pages of a crime-related novel or short fiction critiqued by an active member of the chapter. At the end of the program, up to two manuscripts that are judged to be the most ready are shown to a literary agent.

The process begins in mid-fall when members of the New York chapter receive a letter of invitation, followed by a kick-off library panel on December 12, at which application forms will be available.  Tickets to this free panel are available here.  At the same time, the Mentor Program committee recruits active members as mentors to critique manuscripts. When the submission process closes on Jan. 30, the committee matches mentors and mentees based on subgenre, and the critique process begins. Mentors and mentees have no direct contact.

The process ends on February 30. The committee emails the written critique to each participant. The critique is anonymous unless the mentor chooses to contact the mentee or invites the mentee to contact him or her. In mid-March, the Mentor Committee closes with a panel discussion to educate mentees about the next steps in the process.

Getting Mentored

The MWA-NY Mentor Program committee invites members of the New York Chapter of MWA, unpublished and published, to submit their work for critique by an active member of the chapter.

For a fee of $25, you may submit the first 50 pages of a completed novel, the first 50 pages of a novel in progress, or one or two short stories totaling 50 pages or less. A slightly shorter or longer submission is fine if a scene or chapter ends a few pages before or after the 50-page limit.

A synopsis of 500 words or less (needed to help us match you to a mentor) is required for novels. The synopsis should describe the whole plot for completed novels and what you know of the plot so far for works in progress. (If you haven’t written a synopsis before, here's an article on how to approach the task. Many more can be found online.)

Writing the Tight Synopsis

If you are submitting short stories, include a paragraph describing each but not a synopsis.

Only crime-related submissions will be accepted.

As in past years, completed novels submitted will be ranked by the mentors as to publication readiness and the committee will select one of the highest ranked to be read by a literary agent.

Please read and follow the submission requirements very carefully or your submission will be rejected.

1) All manuscripts MUST BE submitted electronically. DO NOT SNAIL MAIL anything but the application/release form and your check.

2) Documents must be WORD documents in .doc format. No documents in .docx or .pdf format will be accepted.

3) The deadline for submissions is January 30, 2017.

4) The 50 pages of the manuscript/short story and the synopsis/paragraph must be double-spaced with one-inch margins all around. Use either a Times New Roman or 12-point Courier font. Include your name, the title and the page number at the top of each page.

5) Package the 50 pages followed by the synopsis/paragraph in the same single WORD file with your last name as the file name. Example, Jones.doc.

6) Attach the Word document to an e-mail addressed to Include in the body of the e-mail: your full name, phone number, and e-mail address, another copy of your synopsis and an indication of your subgenre. (Choose from the following – cozy, traditional, hardboiled, thriller, suspense, romantic suspense, noir, police procedural – and use more than one to characterize your work if necessary). Short stories do not require a subgenre.

7) Send to the following address, by snail mail postmarked no later than January 30, 2017, the application/release form available here with both parts completed and a check for $25 payable to MWA-NY. DO NOT SEND YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO THIS ADDRESS.

Erica Obey
MWA-NY Mentor Program
675 Academy St., #4D
New York, NY 10034

Critiques will be e-mailed to you in March. The 2016-17 Mentor Program will close with a panel discussion in March 2017. Topic and location will be announced later.

One final note. The active members of the chapter who serve as mentors do so without payment. (All fees go into the MWA-NY treasury.)  The mentors' only commitment is to critique the work in writing. This program does not involve face-to-face discussion or an ongoing relationship between mentor and mentee, unless initiated by the mentor.

Refer to the chapter website for additional information about the program and e-mail if you still have questions. (NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT E-MAIL YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO THIS ADDRESS.) The e-mail subject should be Mentor Program.

The Mentor Program Committee looks forward to receiving your submission.

Erica Obey, Chair
Chelle Marin