Personal Mentoring Program

We all need expert help sometimes. If you're a freelance writer in need of expert advice, you're in the right place to get it. Can't break into the magazine market? Need help making a query sing? Want to know the steps toward getting a nonfiction book published? If you need career advice and don't know where to turn, or simply want a chance to connect with a professional writer who can answer your questions, sign up for the personal mentor program.

Who will mentor me?

ASJA mentors are all writers with years of professional experience in a variety of publication markets. You can get an idea of the scope of members' expertise by browsing our Member Directory. When you sign up for a personal mentor we'll match you with a member who has experience in the area you want to know about. The more specific the information you provide when you sign up, the better we can match you with an expert in your field of interest. All mentors will have Professional membership. 

How is my session scheduled?

After you sign up, we will locate an appropriate mentor and give him or her your preferred contact information. You will hear from your mentor within a week to arrange a time of mutual convenience for your phone conversation. Your mentor will then call you at the appointed time for a 30-minute conversation.

What can I ask my mentor?

Just about anything related to nonfiction writing. It's a great idea to write out a list of questions to cover ahead of time. The better you prepare for this session, the better use can be made of your session time.

How much does it cost?

Each 30-minute session with an ASJA mentor is $50. Payment by credit card and you can sign up online, right now. See below for the link to the signup page.

What if I have other questions?

Contact the ASJA office at (212) 997-0947 during East Coast business hours, or write to: asjaoffice @ Please put "ASJA Mentoring Program" in your subject line.

I'm ready, now what?

Sign up! »

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson