Mentoring with Mari Mancusi, A WRIT Opportunity

Mari Mancusi

On Friday afternoon, I took advantage of Mentoring Sessions offered by the Writers Track to meet with author Mari Mancusi. Mancusi primarily writes middle grade and young adult books and transitioned from journalist to full-time author earlier in her career. She walked me through how she handled those changes, and how she could envision accommodating both a writing career and a day job as a prelude or alternative to making the switch.

I especially liked her thoughts on changing genres and prospective reader groups to serve as palate cleansers between projects when creativity stalls for whatever reason. She also advised me on how to pitch a first-in-a-series book while stressing that the book also had potential for success as a standalone.

When I hear good advice from a successful author, I decide to read the books that signaled their success. I intend to read more about Mancusi and sample her work, beginning with her website.

Author of the article

Amy L. Herring (Louise Herring-Jones) writes speculative fiction, with a preference for historical fantasy and alternate mystery. Her stories, appearing in fourteen anthologies, include “The Poulterer’s Tale” in God Bless Us, Every One—Christmas Carols beyond Dickens (Voodoo Rumors Media, 2019). Amy is a NaNoWriMo co-municipal liaison. She also coordinates the Huntsville (Alabama) Literary Association’s writers’ group. Visit her online at