Imposter syndrome is real and I feel it acutely now. I’ve volunteered to be a mentor for PB Rising Stars!
I’m really excited, but considering I signed my first PB contract (first kidlit contract) in 2021 it feels a bit soon to be mentoring. Some mentors opted to accept applications from agented writers. I however chose to only consider unagented writers given that I am so new to the industry. The querying process is something that I feel somewhat qualified to speak about and confident in my ability to help guide someone in the early steps of the process.
I’m eager to share what I’ve learned in the last 2 years in the hopes that it can help someone else. I’ve felt unbelievably supported by the kidlit community. I couldn’t have made it this far without the team that I’ve put together and also with the help of kind strangers along the way. When I look at my Mentor Page, I can’t believe how far I’ve come and need to remind myself to focus on that.
Being a mentor will be a learning experience for me (and hopefully the mentee as well). Even just answering the questions for the application was a chance to reflect on what kind of picture books I’m making and what I hope to make. While I’m a natural fit for other Jewish creators, I think that I’m in a position to help anyone with a similar focus to me no matter what their particular lens may be.
Here’s some other things I had to think about:
Erica’s strengths are…
Telling hard historical truths in a gentle way, finding the heart in a story, and telling big stories in small spaces.
What Erica is looking for…
Erica is looking for someone who is interested in pursuing a career in traditional publishing. She especially enjoys working on stories that highlight the uniqueness of a particular culture or tradition. She particularly is drawn to untold stories and stories that tackle difficult historical truths. She’s looking to help someone revise manuscripts and look towards the next steps (querying process).
A Note from Erica:
“Know your niche – Know who you are and what kind of stories you’re uniquely positioned to tell!”
If you’re looking to grow in the industry, consider applying. There are some great mentors to choose from!
Imposter syndrome is real in this industry no matter where on the journey you are.