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March 2011

Past Mentors of the Year

2010: Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren

2009: Donita K. Paul
Donita K. Paul

2008: Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson

2007: Linda Kozar
Linda Kozar

2006: Lena Nelson Dooley
Lena Nelson Dooley

From Your President: Mentoring

Soon ACFW members will be able to nominate people for the Mentor of the Year Award.

I was recently asked to write an article for the Love Inspired insert section for February’s Charisma Magazine. I was excited to get an opportunity to write about one of my favorite subjects—mentoring.

Soon ACFW members will nominate people for the Mentor of the Year Award and I thought this would be a good time to talk about mentoring. It will give you time to think about the people who have helped you along the way in your writing career.

What is a mentor?

My dictionary defines a mentor as someone who is a wise and loyal advisor, a teacher or coach. Mentoring can exist in any occupation and fortunately we have mentors in the writing business—people who have lent their expertise to help other writers in their careers.

How to mentor

There is no one way to mentor. It should fit the needs of both people involved. What the person being mentored needs will vary, but trust between the two people is critical. This kind of relationship doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while to build.

When setting up a mentoring relationship establish the ground rules at the beginning. How long the relationship lasts will depend on the two people, but this may be a parameter that is set at the start, as well.

Why mentor?

Why would you mentor another writer? I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you why I like to. Long ago someone helped me when I first started. I wouldn’t be where I am today without that person—actually several people. Being a mentor requires time and commitment. Be aware of that before you agree to be a mentor.

I’ve been writing more than 30 years, but you don’t have to be a long time writer to be a mentor. Just remember you can help anyone who isn’t as far along in a writing career as you are. Mentoring is your chance to give back.

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