As the 2021 MM Mentorship comes to an end, we would like to look back on the past six months with our eight brilliant mentees.
After reviewing applications from over 1,500 applicants, places were finally awarded to eight talented writers: Gamu Nhengu, Gabrielle Griffiths, Harry Godfrey, Bridget Shirvell, Kwan Ann Tan, Sara di Fagandini, Tanesha Grant, and Soula Emmanuel.
Since then, our mentees have participated in a series of industry insight sessions with editors, agents, published authors. In the first session, our very own director and literary agent Madeleine Milburn provided an insight into pitching and submissions. Our mentees then had a chance to meet our International Rights Department, who gave them an introduction on translation rights, and our Film/TV Agent Hannah Ladds talked them through the exciting book to film process.
This year, an exciting new session was hosted by former Bloomsbury publicist Emma Bal, talking through the twists and turns of a book’s marketing and publicity campaign. Our mentees also heard from MM Agency’s bestselling author Emma Stonex, who took part in a Q&A session providing enlightening insight into the author-agent relationship, the submission and editing process, finding creative inspiration, and much more.
As with our inaugural programme, each mentee was guaranteed representation by an agent, and they have been working together editorially to prepare their manuscripts for submission. Earlier this month, we were overjoyed to announce the first deal of the 2021 cohort after Soula Emmanuel‘s stunning Wild Geese was snapped up by Footnote Press. Footnote is a pioneering new literary imprint of Bonnier Books focusing on migration, identity, separation, resistance, and reclamation. Look out for Soula’s debut, an intimate and moving story about old flames, old lives, and the pursuit of second chances, publishing in 2023 as one of Footnote’s lead titles.
Although we are now at the end of the 2021 Mentorship, the journeys of these eight writers are just beginning, and we can’t wait to follow and support them through submission and beyond. We are excited to be celebrating their efforts with an anthology that will showcase their work. If you are an editor who would like to get a taste of their writing, please do get in touch!
We are so thrilled with how far our mentees have come since the start of this programme, and are proud to continue championing new and underrepresented voices. Applications for the 2022 MM Mentorship Scheme open on June 1st, so keep an eye on this page for more information!