RAMP Mentees

RWA's Romance Author Mentorship Program is here to help members RAMP up their writing career! If you've never been published and need some guidance to make your latest manuscript the best it can be, we encourage you to apply to become a RAMP mentee!

As a mentee, you'll be paired with an experienced published author who will work with you through a full manuscript revision over a sixteen (16) week period and discuss the business of writing. At the end, you'll be able to participate in a pitch event with agents and editors and receive free registration for Indie Author Weekend.

Become a Mentee

Mentee applications closed April 21, 2023.


RWA General and Associate-Writer Members who have not been a 2021 or 2022 RAMP mentee.

Applicants must be unpublished.

Applicants must have a completed, polished manuscript at the time of entry. This means the manuscript has gone through the editorial process of individuals who know the craft of writing romance (critique partners, beta readers, a freelance editor, et al). The mentors' job is to work with you to make your manuscript the best it can be, not to edit it from the ground up.

Applicant’s manuscript is not out on submission to an agent or editor.

Application Submission Requirements

Applicants may only submit one manuscript.

Submitted manuscripts must:
  • Be a work of original Romance Fiction, which means the work contains a central love story, and the resolution of the romance must be emotionally satisfying and optimistic
  • Be complete and have gone through the editorial process of individuals who know the craft of writing romance (critique partners, beta readers, a freelance editor, et al), with a word count totaling at least 40,000 words
  • Be previously unpublished
  • Not be published until after the RWA Pitch Showcase has ended, if the applicant is selected as a mentee (this only applies to the manuscript submitted for RAMP, not to any other works by the author)
  • Not be out on submission to an agent or editor until after the RAMP Pitch Showcase has ended, if the applicant is selected as a mentee (this only applies to the manuscript submitted for RAMP, not to any other works by the author)

Submission Materials

Applicants must upload the following on their application, each as separate PDF Files:

  • Story Summary (one page, single-spaced, 12-point font, 1" margins)
  • First 3 chapters (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1" margins)
  • Full manuscript (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1" margins. Please note: you are asked to supply the full version of their manuscript so that RWA staff can verify that it is complete per requirements. The full manuscript will not be shared with anyone outside of RWA staff and will be deleted upon verification.
These files will be sent to all mentors to whom you identify as the ones you want to work with. They should not be personalized to any mentor. Incomplete applications will not move forward in the RAMP process.

Mentors may request more material or ask follow up questions to help with their selection.

The Process

Before the mentee application opens, potential mentees will be able to review the bio and wish list of participating mentors. Once applications open, mentees will be able to select up to five (5) mentors to whom they wish to submit their work. Not all mentee applicants will be accepted by a mentor.

Applicants must complete an application and submit the required materials as listed under Submission Materials. The mentors will review the application, story summary, and first three chapters of the completed manuscript during a period of four weeks before selecting a mentee with whom they wish to work.

For RAMP 2023, mentees will be announced on June 9. All applicants will be notified via email of their status no less than 24-hours prior to the announcement of selected mentees.

Selected mentees will then work with their mentors over the course of 16-week. The goal at the end of this period is for the mentee to have a manuscript and collateral materials that are ready to submit to an editor or agent, or ready to go to a copy editor or proofreader before self-publication.

What to Expect from Your Mentor

Minimally, we expect mentors to:

Perform one edit round on the full manuscript and provide feedback to the mentee in a mutually agreed upon format

Perform one edit round on either a query letter, 50-word pitch, and/or a back cover blurb, depending on mentee’s preference

Answer questions about the business of writing, publishing, and reaching their indie-author or traditionally-published goals.

Optionally, mentors may elect to perform a final read-through of their mentee's manuscript before the showcase begins.

The Big Events!

RAMP Pitch Showcase

RAMP will culminate in a pitch showcase.

During the week-long RAMP Pitch Showcase, mentees will submit a 50-word pitch to a group community forum. Participating agents and editors will be able to review the pitch and request more materials from those that interest them.

Indie Author Weekend

RAMP mentees who complete the full sixteen (16) weeks will receive free registration to RWA’s Indie Author Weekend.

This 2-day, virtual mini conference is an opportunity to gain a realistic working knowledge of what goes into self-publishing a romance novel, develop strategies to set yourself up for success, meet some major players who are important pieces to self-publishing, and get straight answers to your questions about self-publishing a romance novel that sells.

Important Mentee Dates for RAMP 2023

April 3: Mentee submissions open
April 21: Mentee submissions close
June 7: Applicants notified of their status
June 9: Mentees announced
June 10: Zoom meeting with mentors and mentees
June 12: RAMP 2023 begins
July Date TBA: Pen2Paper/RAMP Mixer at RWA Annual Conference
September 25: Email invitation sent to join pitch forum
October 2, 2023 - October 6, 2023: RAMP Pitch Week (RAMP mentees post 50-word pitch)
October 9: Agents and editors review pitches up until November 3
October 21, 2023 - October 22, 2023: Indie Author Weekend

2023 RAMP Mentees

Alice Vossbrinck
Anika Stephen
Annie Marcus
Ashley Sanders
Ashley Wilson
Claude Laplante
Deana Willis
Deb Wesselmann* 
Helen Aitken
M.J. Gates
Joan Lovett*
Kathryn Hively
Leau Macy
Leslie Vollard
Marsha McDonald
Melissa Phillips
Mindy Kinnaman
Renee Colwell
Sam Netzband
Susan Francis
William Cowie

*Manuscript Co-authors