Previous Writer to Writer Mentees

Jennifer Savran Kelly

Jennifer Savran Kelly

Fall 2014 Session

Jennifer works as managing editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and is from Ithaca, New York. She has written for film and print, and her most recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Grist: The Journal for Writers (Online Companion) and Stone Canoe. She is working on her first novel. Find her on Twitter @savranly or at

Jennifer worked with writer Amy Wallen.

What were your goals for the program?
For almost seven years, I've been writing for my own pleasure, with a few meaningful opportunities to share my work. As a mother of a young child, I've found that my options for formal study have been limited. But I have learned best from other writers' feedback, as well as their writing. When I applied for the Writer to Writer program, I was in the middle of revising my first novel-in-progress and craving formal guidance and a sense of community. Both felt crucial for helping me take the next steps.

What advice do you have for people entering the program next?
Get clear about your goals before you apply, and be clear about them in your application, so that AWP can match you up with the best mentor for you.

What is something you learned from your mentor or this process?
I learned that there are no shortcuts to writing (or revising) a novel, but that if I am willing to go even deeper into the work and remain open to the process, my writing will go further than I imagined it could.

Where do you go from here?
I have more confidence in my writing, particularly my novel-in-progress. I will continue to work through the revision inspired by feedback from my mentor. Then I will send the manuscript out and hope it finds a good home. It feels good to have this support.

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Previous Participants

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