Hourly Mentoring Services: $45 per hour*

The one-on-one, pay-as-you-go, mentoring service is scheduled one hour at a time. Mentoring sessions may involve brainstorming, problem-solving, and informal discussions about chunks of a work-in-progress. Writers have the option to schedule more meetings, if desired, at the end of each meeting. Payment is required in advance of each meeting with the mentor.

The Hourly Mentoring Service is perfect for writers of all levels looking for:
•   Personal interaction/conversation/consultation with a writing coach
•   Information and instruction through one-on-one discussion
•   Suggestions, instruction, information, and brainstorming
•   Feedback on a small excerpt of a work-in-progress
•   Flexible scheduling that matches your personal schedule and process
•   Pay-as-you-go meetings requiring no long-term commitment
•   Help with beginning, continuing, or completing a work-in-progress
•   Assistance with the business of writing including building a platform, marketing, and formatting manuscripts for submission to traditional publishers or for self-publishing

Please note:
The hourly Mentoring Service is not intended for complete Manuscript Reviews which require a higher level of engagement, time, and input by a reviewing consultant. Find out more about Manuscript Reviews here.**
•  Mentors and consultants make every effort to help the author strengthen the current manuscript but they, and the Carnegie Center, make no guarantees that the author’s manuscript will be acquired by a publisher, or that it will achieve a specific level of sales.
•  Mentor, consultants, and the Carnegie Center have no ownership interest in the author’s work; the author retains all rights, including copyright.
•  Opinions, feedback, critiques, and reviews reflect the experiences and preferences of the mentors and consultants. The author determines what content in the sessions resonates with their project and writing style.
•  The Carnegie Center is not responsible for mentor or consultant comments or the content of sessions and reviews.

How to schedule an Hourly Mentoring Service session with a mentor:
1. See below for full bios and email addresses for Carnegie Center mentors.**
2. Contact your chosen mentor by email with a brief description of your project and the type of mentoring help you are seeking.
3. Once you have scheduled the meeting, pay for your session online by clicking HERE. Please specify your mentor in the ‘notes’ section during checkout.*
4. If you schedule additional hourly Mentoring Service sessions with your mentor, be sure to pay in advance for each session.*

*If you would like to request a reduction of fees based on financial need, you may send your request via email to the Coordinator of Author Services, Marcia Thornton Jones, at mjones@carnegiecenterlex.org.  Include a brief explanation of your financial need in the body of the email.


Available Writing Mentors:

Sylvia Ahrens is a retired English professor who loves all aspects of writing and believes there is a writer in everyone. She has degrees in English Literature, Creative Writing, and Women’s Studies from Western Kentucky University. Her latest book is Reckless Pilgrims from Broadstone Books.

Sylvia is available for mentoring in: poetry, women’s writing, editing, revising, and proofreading. If you are interested in meeting with Sylvia, send her an email at ahrenss@lindsey.edu

Barbara Alfaro is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Playwriting for her play Dos Madres. A graduate of Goddard College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Barbara is the author of Theatre Mad, a collection of short comedies, and Catbird, a book of poems. Mirror Talk, her memoir about working in theatre, won the IndieReader Discovery Award for Best Memoir.

Barbara is available for mentoring in: memoir, poetry, and playwriting. If you are interested in meeting with Barbara, send her an email at barbara.alfaro6@hotmail.com.

Robin Baskette is a freelance proofreader, copy editor, and technical writer. She has a background in engineering and math education. She started her own consulting business, where her work includes editing, technical writing, and education writing. She is a graduate of Purdue University and Eastern Kentucky University. Robin has published magazine articles and she is working on a young adult novel.

Robin is available for mentoring in: general writing skills, proofreading and editing, and non-fiction (memoir, articles, academic papers, and technical writing). If you are interested in meeting with Robin, send her an email at mail.rbaskt@yahoo.com.

Liz Carey is a journalist, author and freelance writer living in Lexington. A graduate of Miami University, she worked as a reporter for 20+ years, winning more than 30 local, state, and national awards for her writing and reporting, before setting off on her own as a freelance writer. Currently, she writes about rural health, Appalachian culture, the transportation industry, workers’ compensation, and Kentucky arts and entertainment. The rural health reporter for the Daily Yonder–a national news outlet focusing on rural issues–Carey has focused lately on the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the growing rural mental health crisis, the opioid crisis, the rural health care system, and vaccine distribution. She is the author of two books – Hidden History of Anderson County, published by Acadia Press, and My Little Zombie, which she self-published. Additionally, she has ghost-written six biographies.

Liz is available for mentoring in: nonfiction writing, magazine and newspaper writing, ghostwriting biographies, and researching and writing about history. If you are interested in meeting with Liz, send her an email at lizcarey@twc.com.

Erin Chandler holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and Masters in Theatre from University of Kentucky. Her memoir, June Bug Versus Hurricane was published in 2017. Her original play of the same name was produced at the Lost Studio in Los Angeles, prompting Nick Cassavetes to write a screenplay based on her book on which Erin worked as script doctor. Her collection of essays, Cinderella Sweeping Up came out in 2019. Erin is founder and editor of Rabbit House Press, where she published the critically acclaimed Bad Sex in Kentucky and others. Erin lives in Versailles and teaches creative writing, memoir, playwriting, and screenwriting. Find out more about Erin at ErinChandlerAuthor.com or RabbitHousePress.com.

Erin is available for mentoring in: memoir, essays, screenwriting, playwriting, and building promotional materials. If you are interested in meeting with Erin, send her an e-mail at erinchandler22@aol.com.

Amanda Davis is a teacher, artist, writer, and innovator who uses her words and pictures to light up the world with kindness. Amanda is the author of the award-winning picture book, 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag, Moonlight Memories (summer, 2023) and a yet to be announced forthcoming title. She also has poetry and illustrations featured in The Writers’ Loft Anthology: Friends & Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children. You can learn more about Amanda at www.amandadavisart.com and on Twitter @amandadavisart and Instagram @amandadavis_art. 

Amanda is available for mentoring in: picture books, picture book dummies, pitches, queries, and nonfiction children’s books.  For Mentoring: If you're interested in meeting with Amanda send her an email at amanda@amandadavisart.com.

Tracee de Hahn is a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. A frequent instructor in topics related to writing, editing, and “getting published,” she enjoys helping writers identify their path and set a course for success. She has experience across the gamut of publishing, from Big 5 and Indy houses to self-publishing. She has also created, authored, and edited a range of magazines for major universities. Her latest book is A Well-Timed Murder, the second in the series from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. Currently she is working on a mystery set in Kentucky.

Tracee is available for mentoring in: YA and adult fiction, writing for magazines, and topics in non-fiction (arts and humanities). If you are interested in meeting with Tracee, send her an email at Contact@traceedehahn.com.

Leif Erickson is an English professor who has taught composition, creative writing, literature, and other Humanities courses for nearly 20 years. Leif has been passionately obsessed with language and has come to view writing as a way of liberation. In the classroom (and to anyone who will listen), he takes joy in demystifying the writing process and encouraging students to view writing as a practice that enables them to enjoy the best life possible. Leif holds a BA in English from Georgetown College, an MA in American Literature & Rhetoric/Composition from Eastern Kentucky University, and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Murray State University. His work has appeared, among other places, in Kentucky’s Twelve Days of Christmas and Kentucky Monthly magazine.

Leif is available for mentoring in: creative nonfiction; other types of nonfiction (i.e. academic writing, journalism, magazine writing, etc.); fiction; improved reading skills & habits; general writing technique and craft; analyzing literature and other writing; and proofreading/editing. If you are interested in meeting with Leif, send him an e-mail at leifericksonky@gmail.com.

Jessica Handler is the author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, winner of the 2020 Southern Book Prize and a nominee for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. The novel is one of the 2019 “Books All Georgians Should Read,” an Indie Next pick, Wall Street Journal Spring 2019 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 2019 pick, and a Southern Independent Book Sellers Association “Okra" Pick. Her memoir, Invisible Sisters, was also named one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read,” and her craft guide Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss was praised by Vanity Fair magazine and has been the focal text for grief writing workshops in the US and overseas since its publication in 2013. Her writing has appeared on NPR, in Tin HouseDrunken Boat, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, BrevityCreative NonfictionNewsweek, The Washington Post, Oldster, Full Grown People and elsewhere. She lives in Atlanta.

Jessica is available for mentoring in: literary fiction, memoir, personal essay, and narrative nonfiction (No YA, children’s books, poetry, or romance/fantasy/sci-fi). If you are interested in meeting with Jessica, send her an e-mail at jessicahandler@comcast.net.

Lisa Haneberg has an MFA from Goddard College and is a fiction and nonfiction writer. She has published over fifteen nonfiction books and the first two books in her mystery series. She’s worked with agents, publicists, six traditional publishers, and has self-published print and e-books. She started blogging in 2004 before it was cool and is active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Lisa did a 9,400-mile solo motorbike tour to promote one of her books.  She lives with her husband and two dogs in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit her website at LisaHaneberg.com.

Lisa is available for mentoring in: revision, author platform, self-publishing, nonfiction book proposals, blogging, Facebook pages, marketing strategy, publishing process. If you are interested in meeting with Lisa, send her an e-mail at lisa@lisahaneberg.com.

Marcia Thornton Jones is an award-winning author who has traditionally published more than 135 books for children with sales totaling more than 43 million copies worldwide. Her works include Woodford Brave, Ratfink, and Champ. She is also the co-author of seven popular series including “Keyholders” and “The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids” for which she is an executive producer of the live-action series optioned by Bardel/Rainbow. She is also the co-author of the re-imagined graphic novel series “Adventures of the Bailey School Kids” published by Graphix by Scholastic Inc. Marcia lives in Lexington, Kentucky where she is the coordinator of the Carnegie Center Author Academy, and the after-school tutoring program associate. She also teaches writing, serves as a workshop facilitator, is a frequent presenter at schools, and mentors adult writers. In addition to the graphic novel series, her other recent books include Writing Kids Books: The Ultimate Guide, and the e-release of her mid-grade novel, Ratfink, both exclusively found on Amazon.com.

Marcia is available for writing in: picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade fiction, and journaling. If you are interested in meeting with Marcia, send her an e-mail at marciajones@att.net.

Lisa Kerr is a children's book author, playwright, educator, and essayist whose work has been featured in magazines and publications including Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Bustle, and more. She is the author of the nonfiction picture book, Wake, Sleepy One: California Poppies and the Super Bloom (West Margin Press). She lives in Central California. Find out more about her at lisakerrbooks.com.

Lisa is available for mentoring in: picture books, middle grade nonfiction, memoir, romance, and general fiction. If you are interested in meeting with Lisa, send her an email at thelisakerr@gmail.com.

Claudia Love Mair is the author of about a dozen books, including The Amanda Bell Brown Mysteries and Don’t You Fall Now, a memoir. She has an MFA in Writing at Spalding University, and she teaches writing at Carnegie and elsewhere. She serves as the coordinator of the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative at the Carnegie Center.

Claudia is available for mentoring in: fiction, memoir, and inspirational writing. If you are interested in meeting with Claudia, send her an e-mail at claudia@carnegiecenterlex.org.

William “Bill” McCann, Jr.
is a playwright, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and a co-founder and president of Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. His full-length play Boats Against the Current, was first produced at Flashback Theater, Somerset, KY in 2019. He has edited two anthologies of plays by Kentucky playwrights and a total of 37 one-act plays altogether. Three of his short plays have been published, one of those, Strained Pears, was runner-up in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s 2020 Roots of the Bluegrass 10-minute Play Contest. Mr. McCann has been a Playwright Mentor at the Carnegie Center since 2014. Since 2019, Mr. McCann has been the arts columnist of the Winchester Sun. He lives in Winchester with Jeanine Grant Lister, three cats, and Halligan the Wonder Dog. You can find out more about Mr. McCann on his website WHMcCann.com.

Bill is available for mentoring in: playwrighting. If you are interested in meeting with Bill, send him an e-mail at wmccann273@gmail.com.

Tina Parker is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Lock Her Up published by Accents Publishing in 2021. Tina grew up in Bristol, VA. She is a long-time Kentucky resident and advocates for poetry across the state: she is the former President of the Kentucky State Poetry Society and a juried member of the Women of Appalachia Project. To learn more about her work, visit www.tina-parker.org or follow her on Instagram @tetched_poet

Tina is available for mentoring in: poetry. If you are interested in meeting with Tina, send her an email.christinapar@gmail.com.


Doris Settles has a long career as a writer and photojournalist. She holds a B.S. in English/Journalism and M.S. in Instructional Design and has taught writing classes for years. She has served as a mentor in the UK Writing Center, and developed the first completely online English 101/102 sequence. She has written for newspapers and magazines, managed her own desktop-publishing business, and wrote her own “expert” book, which was both self-published and traditionally published. She is a frequent speaker at state, regional and national conferences on the topic of school safety and Digital Literacy.

Doris is available for mentoring in: writing the expert book, writing nonfiction, magazine and corporate writing, and public speaking. If you are interested in meeting with Doris, send her an e-mail at dorissettles@gmail.com.

Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s
author, and a published author in the Foreign Language educational market. Her picture books
ROOM IN MAMI’S CORAZON  (HarperCollins 2024). Ana is a member of  SCBWI, Las Musas
Books, and co-founder of LatinxPitch.  You can learn more about Ana on her website. 

Ana is available for mentoring in: picture books. If you are interested in meeting with Robin,
send her an email at asiqueira1307@gmail.com

Jason Sizemore is a three-time Hugo Award-nominated editor, writer, and publisher who operates the science fiction, fantasy, and horror press Apex Book Company. He is the author of the collection of dark science fiction and horror shorts Irredeemable and the tell-all creative non-fiction For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher.

Jason is available for mentoring in: science fiction, fantasy, or horror writing, copy editing, revising, developmental work, and proofreading. If you are interested in meeting with Jason, send him an e-mail at jasonbsizemore@gmail.com

Christine Van Zandt is a professional freelance editor with 12+ years experience helping writers achieve their publication goals. Working from Hollywood, California, she knows what it takes to succeed in today’s marketplace. Her education includes a master’s degree in English literature with a specialization in children’s literature. Christine is also an award-winning author; her traditionally published work for adults and children includes a nonfiction picture book, fiction short stories, and both fiction and nonfiction articles. Find out more at christinevanzandt.com and writeforsuccessediting.com.

Christine is available for mentoring in adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction books, short stories, articles, book synopses, book proposals, and query letters. If you’re interested in meeting with Christine, send her an e-mail at christinevanzandtmentor@gmail.com

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and writers and readers of all levels.

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