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After all, who really cares whether it’s called “speed mentoring”, “speed networking” or “speed matching”?
Obviously I do, and I care because this loose use of words threatens to diminish the extraordinary significance of a true mentoring relationship.
Aspiring writers in George Mason University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program enroll in many courses to learn how to make their writing rich and captivating. The new “speed dating” with literary agents event allowed MFA students and alumni to sit down with agents Jeff Kleinman and Erin Harris from New York’s Folio Literary Management to talk about how to make their manuscripts appealing and marketable to readers.
Those in the program’s fiction, nonfiction or poetry residency are also interested in what to do with their pieces once they’re as polished as possible. Twenty-six writers submitted the first few pages of their manuscripts, along with a query letter or proposal.
They are, no doubt, a fun and effective way to network and gain some valuable insights. In other instances, “speed mentoring” is one part of a broader mentoring program.
Mentors and mentees involved in a long-term mentoring program meet in a social setting.
This proved good practice for them, said Amanda Bender, a third-year MFA creative writing candidate and one of the event organizers.The term and basic methodology is used for two quite different functions.In both cases, I would argue that the use of the word “mentoring” is misplaced.Stein is working on a book called “Capital Cider” about how cider making is tied to the history of America.Kleinman loved the idea, Stein said, and gave him concrete steps to turn his proposal into a manuscript.
“The meeting was beneficial to me and my writing, and I learned a good deal about the sales and marketing of nonfiction manuscripts,” Stein said.