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RAMP Mentees

RWA's Romance Author Mentorship Program is here to help members RAMP up their writing career! Whether you've never been published and need some guidance to make your latest manuscript the best it can be, or you've had some experience publishing but new to writing romance or making a transition to a new romance subgenre, we encourage you to apply to become a RAMP mentee!

As a mentee, you'll be paired with an experienced author who will work with you through a full manuscript revision. At the end, you'll be able to participate in a showcase with agents and editors and an Indie Author Weekend with authors who are indie publishing superstars and other experts.

Become a Mentee

Mentee Application

Mentees will be announced on June 22.


Mentee Guidelines


Eligibility


RWA General and Associate-Writer Members are eligible to apply.

Applicants can be published or unpublished, but the submitted manuscript may not be previously commercially published.

Applicants must have a completed, polished manuscript at the time of entry. This means that the manuscript has already gone through your normal editorial process with individuals who understand the craft of writing romance, whether that's working with critique partners, beta readers, a freelance editor, etc. 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.
 
Who should apply to be a mentee? 
Wondering whether RAMP is for you? Becoming a RAMP mentee could be a great benefit to the following members:

Unpublished writers looking for extra guidance and opportunity to make the leap to published
Published writers who are new to writing romance or are coming back to writing romance after a long break or making a transition to writing a subgenre
Writers who feel confident in their knowledge of craft, revision, the business of publishing, etc., are encouraged to apply as mentors!

The Process


Before the mentee application opens, potential mentees will be able to review the bio and wish list of selected mentors. Once applications open, mentees will be able to select up to six (6) mentors to whom they wish to submit their work.

Applicants will be required to provide a summary and first three chapters of a completed manuscript, which the mentors will review over a period of approximately four weeks before selecting a mentee with whom they wish to work. Not all mentee applicants will be accepted by a mentor.

For RAMP 2022, mentees will be announced on June 15. 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-weeks to revise the full manuscript, a query letter, a 50-word pitch, and/or back cover blurb. 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 will culminate in two main events: a RAMP Pitch Showcase and an Indie Author Weekend. Mentees are highly encouraged to participate in both events, no matter what publishing path they are considering.

Traditional Showcase 

During the week-long RAMP Pitch Showcase, mentees will submit a 50-word pitch and the first page of their revised manuscript via email to a dedicated RWA email address. Participating agents and editors will be able to review the submission and request more materials from those that interest them. 


Indie Master Class

The Indie Author Weekend will take place Saturday, October 15, 2022 and Sunday, October 16, 2022, and will be an intense weekend of education with prominent indie published authors and other experts. Although others can register for the event, RAMP mentees will attend the weekend event at no cost.  

Speakers and panelists for the Indie Author Weekend will be announced soon!


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 normal 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:
  • Summary (one page, single-spaced, 12-point font)
  • First 3 chapters (double-spaced, 12-point font)
These files will be sent to all mentors to whom you submit. They should not be personalized to any mentor. 

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

Mentee applicants will also be 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. 

Important Mentee Dates for RAMP 2022


April 13, 2022: Mentor apps open
April  28, 2022: Mentor apps close
May 5, 2022: Mentors announced and their wish lists posted
May 5, 2022: Mentee submissions open
May 18, 2022: Mentee submissions close
June 22, 2022: Mentor/Mentees announced
July 29, 2022: RAMP Mentor/Mentee Mixer at the RWA Annual Conference
October 8, 2022: Mentor PR/Marketing Master Class
October 10, 2022 - October 14, 2022: RAMP Pitch Showcase
October 15, 2022 - October 16, 2022: Indie Author Weekend 

Why Become a Mentee


“I thought the RAMP Mentee Program would help me learn the shortcuts to becoming a published author. Instead, I learned there was so much more I needed to learn. The mentor I teamed up with became my teacher, editor, motivator, and my friend.

My mentor took the time to comb through the chapters of my manuscript and helped me create a vivid world for my characters and chapters that wove a far more powerful story. My mentor taught me how to dissect my writing, troubleshoot, and problem solve. I've used knowledge garnered from my mentor to help other writers as well. The RAMP Mentee Program was an invaluable experience. My mentor gave me better tools than my professors and editor.” -- Oshi Moore
 
“First, you work with an experienced author who has been where you are and knows what you are going through and the challenges you face. Not only do you get a one-on-one critique of your entire manuscript (not just the first three chapters as with most contests or critique prizes), but also it's not just a 'one and done' - your mentor may read and reread your ms three or four times, helping you improve each time. They not only point out common errors and/or weaknesses but offer advice on how to fix them. You'll end up with a polished ms with a good chance of passing the first step in agent/editor submissions.

Second, you also get help with the challenging one-page synopsis and blurb, which you will learn how to distill into their essential elements.  

Finally, at the end of the mentoring sessions you have a chance to present to an editor or agent a polished ms with an enticing blurb and synopsis.

I was very lucky in my mentor, who also happened to be an editor and requested my ms after the Showcase finished. We are now in the middle of final edits and the plan is for publication in August. I enjoyed the RAMP experience very much and learned a lot. Thanks for this opportunity to encourage others to take part.” -- Susan Haire



Community

RAMP Mentee Forum

 
Each mentee class will have access to a dedicated, permanent forum to interact with fellow mentees, sharing advice and encouragement during the run of the program and beyond.

Selected 2022 Mentees will have access to their forum beginning June 16, 2022.


Mentee FAQs


Do I need to be an RWA member to apply? 
Yes. Eligible mentees must be RWA General or Associate-Writer Members. 

Will you accept mentees with manuscripts in XYZ subgenre? 
This will depend on the mentors who are selected. It's our goal to have a variety subgenres represented among the mentors, including YA and Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance. 

Before the mentee applications open, we will post the mentors' "wish lists," which will detail what types of novels they're eager to assist with. Mentee applicants will be able to review those and submit their manuscripts to the mentors who look like they'll be the best fit.

Is there a fee to apply? 
There is no fee associated with RAMP. 

What should a summary include? 
A summary should be a simple synopsis of your story so that mentors have an idea of what they'll be reading. It does not have to be a formal query/synopsis. 
 
What if more than one mentor selects my manuscript? 
In the event more than one mentor chooses the same mentee applicant, the committee chair will check the application to determine the order in which the mentee lists each mentor (i.e. 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice). The mentor who placed highest on the mentee’s list will mentor that mentee.

Does the first three chapters include a prologue? 
You may submit your Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2, or you may submit Chapters 1-3, whatever makes the most sense for your manuscript.

If I know I will be indie publishing/traditionally publishing, can I still participate in the RAPM Pitch Showcase/Indie Master Class?
Yes! We encourage all mentees to take advantage of both events for the experience and knowledge they will gain about both types of publishing.

What if I can't get in touch with my mentor or am having other issues? 
Contact RAMP@rwa.org

If I'm not selected, will I be informed? 
All applicants will be informed of their selection status via email no less than 24-hours before mentees are announced.