Well, not really.


I put forward my name to support other women writers as part of the splendid Womentoring Project – but not without a certain amount of tummy-jiggling anxiety. As soon as I saw the call, I definitely wanted to help. I know how much a few kind and honest words can mean – yet I felt something of an imposter.

This is how my mind rumbled on:

OK, I am a woman. And I do have a smidge of experience. But I am one of The Great Unpublished [barring a few short stories and poems]. So far,  I’m an also-ran, a runner-up, a we-really-like-your-work-but-it’s-not-for-us writer. I bet they want someone better – a real, proper author.

It made me hesitate.


But then I remembered the whiteboards. You see, I was a primary school teacher way back when interactive whiteboards first came in. I didn’t have much idea – and in the way of these things, it was fitted at the end of of August as the class came in early September. I hadn’t the chance to get one toenail ahead of the children, never mind a step.

It worked out fine. Being pretty much ‘equal’ with the pupils really worked. They helped me, I helped them. There could be no ‘this is the only way to do it’ rigidity – we experimented together. I call that a good result.

Two young share hot drinks over a laptop. One is black, one wears a headscarf.

I wish I was as young as these two!

The same with my brief but oh-so-rewarding stint as a Graduate Editorial Assistant at West Dean College. I had just completed my MA IN Creative Writing – and I got the chance to work with the next ‘batch’, so-to-speak. There are few better ways of interrogating and consolidating your hard-won knowledge than explaining it to someone else. Especially if they are smart and motivated and questioning.


So I have offered my services. I’ve left it open-ended – I am happy to negotiate with any mentee I get to suit her needs. It turns out that I do have some things to share – I review books for two sites, I volunteer with British SCBWI,  and I am a writer, after all.

Please visit The Womentoring Project to learn more  about being a mentee – or a mentor.

Illustrations copyright Sally Jane Thompson

One thought on “Fraud!

  1. Pingback: Ten-Minute Blog Break – 22nd April | Words & Pictures

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