Writing Mentor: Unlock Your Writing Potential with Kathryn Aalto’s Expert Mentorship

 

“Colleagues are a wonderful thing. But mentors, that’s where the real work gets done.” — Junot Diaz

Discover the art of storytelling with Kathryn Aalto, a seasoned writing mentor. Working with Kathryn with elevate your communication skills in writing and speaking, through personalized guidance and transformative mentorship.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is the process of guiding another person to support their personal and/or professional development. Through their experience and perspective, mentors pass wisdom onto their mentees to help them grow and to fulfil their potential. Exceptional mentors lead by example and lift their mentees by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

What do writers gain from a mentor?

Having a writing mentor can be important for several reasons, as mentors play a crucial role in a writer’s development and success. Here are ten key reasons why having a writing mentor is valuable:

  1. Guidance and Feedback: A mentor can provide valuable guidance on writing techniques, storytelling, and other aspects of the craft. Constructive feedback from a mentor can help writers identify areas for improvement and refine their skills.
  2. Learning from Experience: A writing mentor often has years of experience in the writing industry. Learning from someone who has faced challenges, navigated the publishing world, and honed their craft can save aspiring writers time and help them avoid common pitfalls.
  3. Motivation and Accountability: Writing can be a solitary endeavour, and staying motivated can be challenging. A mentor can offer encouragement, motivation, and accountability, helping writers stay focused on their goals and maintain a consistent writing practice.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Mentors often have established networks within the writing community. Through a mentor, writers may gain access to valuable connections, writing groups, writing retreats, and potential opportunities for collaboration or publication.
  5. Career Development: A mentor can provide insights into the business side of writing, helping writers understand the industry, market trends, and how to navigate the publishing process. This guidance is particularly valuable for writers looking to establish a long-term career in writing.
  6. Personalised Support: Every writer is unique, with individual strengths and challenges. A mentor can offer personalized support tailored to the specific needs and goals of the writer, addressing areas that require improvement and helping them leverage their strengths.
  7. Emotional Support: Rejections, self-doubt, and creative blocks are common challenges for writers. A mentor can offer emotional support, helping writers navigate the emotional highs and lows of the creative process and offering encouragement during difficult times.
  8. Skill Development: A mentor can help writers identify areas where they can develop and enhance their skills. This may include guidance on scene creation, character development, essay or book structure, dialogue, or other technical aspects of narrative nonfiction.
  9. Inspiration and Creativity: Mentors can inspire creativity by sharing their own experiences, providing insights into the writing process, and offering new perspectives. This can help writers overcome creative blocks and generate fresh ideas.
  10. Continuous Learning: Writing is an evolving craft, and a mentor can introduce writers to new trends, tools, and techniques. Through ongoing mentorship, writers can engage in continuous learning and stay updated on the changing landscape of the writing industry.

In summary, a writing mentor serves as a guide, supporter, and source of wisdom for aspiring writers. The relationship between a mentor and mentee can be mutually beneficial, fostering growth, development, and success in the world of writing.

 

What is my speciality?

From page to stage, my mentees benefit from my specialism in both narrative nonfiction and narrative performance. I bring my experience as New York Times bestselling writer and extensive public speaking background to people seeking to transform their nonfiction and presentations through the power of storytelling. Often mentoring is a hybrid of mentoring/coaching/teaching and should not be confused with psychological therapy, which requires specific training in psychology. I work with people around the world on writing query letters, book proposals, essays and essay collections, narrative nonfiction manuscripts, long-form journalism, and prose poetry as well as public speaking, book tours, and more.

How do mentoring sessions work?

Write to me at kathryn@kathrynaalto.com to discuss your project and aims. You may also like to meet me through Zoom.  Each mentoring session includes feedback on up to 20 pages of writing plus a one-hour discussion on Zoom. Sometimes what is needed is talking and active listening. Meetings are upbeat and enjoyable — a mix of listening and learning.

What is the tuition? 

A package of eight sessions is £1500. If you need four sessions, please contact Kathryn. Payment plans are also available.

 

“You know the saying. ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears…’ After a 20 year creative hiatus to raise my daughter, I was ready to get back to writing but floundering. A Google search for a writing retreat brought me to Kathryn’s site and I had found my teacher. A year later, I have published my first essay and written the draft of a novel. In class and one-to-one mentoring, Kathryn taught me the elements of effective writing, introduced me to a treasure trove of writers who use those elements so beautifully, and helped me find and develop my unique writing voice. She also connected me to a community of writers where I have made lifetime friends. The rest of the saying goes: ‘When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears.’ I have a feeling I will be studying with Katy for a while yet as she has so much to give.” — Francesca, New Hampshire

“Kathryn has an uncanny ability to understand who you are and where you want to go as a writer and unlock your potential step-by-step with patience, respect, and eloquence. She is a creative, fun, and resourceful teacher and artist who won’t hold back from you her insights into the inner workings of the publishing world. She’s a gem of a mentor.” — Onur, Washington, D. C.

“Kathryn is an exceptional teacher. As a best-selling author, she knows the publishing industry first-hand. And she is highly adept at refining one’s technical skills without stifling a writer’s voice. Without her mentoring, I would be stumbling along in the dark along my path to publication. Her guidance, support, and knowledge are game changers.” — Lise, Los Angeles, California

“Kathryn was a fabulous mentor at a time when I needed it the most. I was working on the manuscript of my first nonfiction book, and Kathryn had recently finished Writing Wild, which has a similar structure to mine. She provided wonderful advice about how to balance different chapters, how to better tell a story, and always reminded me to be specific rather than vague. Kathryn gave me courage to pursue interviews with higher profile people than I would have otherwise approached, and boosted my confidence as a writer. Our weekly call gave me goals, a schedule, and kept me accountable in my writing process. Because of Kathryn, I had a clearer sense of what makes a full-length nonfiction book work and how to get there. Working with her while I was in the final stages of my manuscript dramatically improved my final product and gave me skills that I will carry with me for my writing career.”-McKenzie Long, California, This Contested Land (University of Minnesota Press)