Writing Mentorship  with Whistle Tree Mentors

Whistle Tree Mentors is a one-on-one writing mentorship designed to help you reach your individual writing goals.

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Personalized Calendar and Reading List

Personalized calendar for achieving your project goals and reading lists designed to suit your specific needs.

Intensive Feedback on Your Work

Deep feedback (via Zoom meeting and written response) on up to 50 pages of your work per month.

Earnest Partnership

We learn your work style and are devoted to supporting your writing in the most individualized way.

What It Is:

Whistle Tree Mentors is a one-on-one writing mentorship individually designed to help you reach your personal writing goals. It is ideal for the writer who wants intensive creative writing study, but is unable to or uninterested in committing to an MFA program (we also work with MFA grads). Writers will work one-on-one with Dawn at an intensive pace, without group classes or cohort interaction.

Ideal writing relationships rely on trust. We want you to get to know us as well as we get to know you, so you can feel as comfortable as possible taking writing risks without fear of being judged by your mentor. We build up. We don’t tear down. We critique. We don’t criticize. When we get to know what makes you tick, we can use our understanding to help you become the most powerful writer you can be. Our aim with mentorship is to support your writing in the most individualized way possible.

Who It's For:

Mentorship works best if you have written creatively before on some level, though you need not be published. You simply need to be at any stage of putting together a complete manuscript of any sort. It could be an essay, a series of essays, a short story or a collection, or a full prose manuscript. It’s okay if you don’t have a finished rough draft. In most cases, you do need at least one completed draft of an essay or story, plus a project plan.

Mentorship also works best if you are ready and able to devote time to reading, writing, revising, and deeply discussing both micro and macro-level aspects of your work, with the goal of improving it for publication. You should be prepared to meet all time suggestions (otherwise known as “deadlines”) be eager to work, and open to trying new things.

How It Works:

You apply to the program with a writing sample of about 3000-5000 words and a project summary or plan. Upon acceptance, we schedule our first meeting on Zoom to discuss your project, your writing goals, your previous writing and revising experience and your experience with receiving feedback.

Based on your individual needs and goals, we create a plan that will help you get the best out of our time together.  If you need writing prompts and weekly or daily assignments, we will create ones that work for you. If you just need a bumper lanes to keep you on track, we can do that, too. We can be your cheerleader or your drill sergeant.

Each month you will turn in a "packet" that consists of up to 30 pages of writing, and a separate written reflection detailing the work you have done, changes you have made, and ideas you have for moving forward with your project. The number of pages you turn in is not set in stone and will remain flexible and adaptive to your schedule and writing process.

We will return the manuscript with detailed annotations and written feedback in letter form. We will also discuss your work in depth at one of  two monthly Zoom meetings.

Because reading to study craft is essential, we will follow a reading list. These readings are prescribed just for you and may take the form of essays or essay collections, stories, craft talks or interviews, or anything else that might be a good fit.

We will meet by Zoom ever two weeks:

  • One “Discussion” meeting to discuss readings, thoughts, theories, writing success and struggles, and questions.
  • One “Conference” meeting to discuss feedback on your work in detail.

You can also access your mentor by email or text or phone as needed throughout the six months.


3-Month Mentorship


Best for smaller projects or writers with specific short-term goals

  • One-on-one intensive feedback
  • Personalized writing plan
  • Built-in accountability
  • Zoom meetings every two weeks
  • Tailored weekly goals
  • Unlimited email access to mentor
  • Goal Setting for long-term projects
  • Publication preparation
Apply Now

6-Month Mentorship


Most Popular - For writers working on more than one essay, a book-length project, or who want to do a deep dive into their craft.

  • One-on-one intensive feedback
  • Personalized writing plan
  • Built-in accountability 
  • Zoom meetings every two weeks
  • Tailored weekly, bi-monthly and monthly goals
  • Unlimited email access to mentor
  • Goal setting for long-term projects
  • Publication preparation
Apply Now

Application Deadlines and Deets:

As of March 2021, our mentorship program is full, but we are accepting writers for our waiting list. Spots open up fairly often, so don't let the idea of a waiting list get you down.

To offset COVID-19 chaos, we are waiving all reading/application fees for 2020 through fall of 2021. Whoopie!