Mentoring Question

Recently, a teacher from an online course offered to help me revise my draft of my second novel.

I asked what that entailed and he told me it would be me sending him 10,000 word packets of my novel for him to review and give feedback on. We exchanged a few emails on the topic, determining the date we would start this mentoring relationship.

I was super excited to have someone take an interest in my work.

Then I sent the first packet and received an email saying that there had been some confusion and we had not discussed the “mentoring fee.”

I was perplexed. I’ve never heard of a mentoring relationship conducted for monetary gain.

Mentoring, as far as I understand it, is usually a symbiotic relationship where the mentor passes on knowledge and gives guidance to the mentee and the mentee usually provides support to the mentor in his career endeavors. But there is no exchange of money.

In these rough economic times, I can  understand someone charging a critique fee, but not a mentoring fee. I think this should all be done upfront. From the first interaction, it should be clear it isn’t a mentor relationship but a paid critique services interaction.

I opted to not pay the fee, which would have amounted to over $1000 for my novel.

He did apologize for not mentioning the fee earlier. I truly hope it was an oversight.

But it left me wondering if this happened to other people or if I did not properly understand what mentoring entailed.

From now on when a writer offers to look at my novel, should I ask how much? I wanted to pose the question to all of you because this was such an outlier in my experiences with the writing community.

Has anyone else had someone try to charge a fee for mentoring?

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4 Responses to Mentoring Question

  1. berry says:

    I have not been in that position but clearly that should have been stated upfront. I think you were misled and that is not fair. Shame on that person. Times are tough for all of us. But, one should not take advantage in that manner. Poor judgment.

    • I I have to agree. When someone asks what does this entail–all details should be laid out especially a fee. I did feel misled (regardless of his intent) and the situation left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

  2. Lucas says:

    Wow I’m glad you were not taken to the cleaners and fleeced on this. $1,000 that is a lot of dough for a “mentor”. Whose to say his advice would even be valid. Lesson learned. I think your idea of taking a healthy skeptical approach to anyone who offers critiquing or mentoring services on line is wise 🙂

    • His price was in line with other well known critiquing services, but they are just that critiquing services. As writers we are so aware of our word usage, I’m shocked that he’d apply the word mentor to a fee based critique. The thing is there are many well known critiquing services out there and also charity auctions where agents will critique your entire manuscript for this price. So if I had that kind of money to blow, I would go the auction route.

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