CWIP’s Mentorship Program: Connecting Leaders and Learners

By Nichole Reber on Saturday, October 14, 2017
Learn more about becoming a CWIP mentor or mentee.

Maybe you underestimate your own abilities to serve as a mentor. You don’t believe you’re enough of a success story to share your insights with others. You don’t have enough time or don’t know how to be a mentor. Chances are, you’re the perfect addition to Chicago Women in Publishing’s Mentorship Program.

Join our free kickoff event from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 19 at 404 Wine Bar. At this members only event, potential mentors and mentees can ask questions and meet other interested members. Mentees and mentors will then have until Tuesday, October 31 to sign up.

After that mentees are welcome to attend events but are not guaranteed a one-on-one matchup. Because the program receives a significant amount of interest from mentees, the Mentoring Program needs more mentors to sign up by completing the Mentorship Program Application here.

Jeff Fleischer leads the program as Mentorship Director. He’s almost always mentoring at least one person—and often mentoring multiple people. In this Q&A with CWIP’s Social Media Manager, Nichole Reber (NLR), Jeff discusses small time requirements and big rewards, how the program plays out, and a success story.

NLR: What do you get out of being a mentor? What kind of experience do you have in mentoring?
JF: When I first moved back to Chicago out of college, I really had to navigate the "how do I get started in X/break into Y" side of a writing and editing career. At the time, I thought it would have been useful to have people who'd been there and could help answer those kinds of questions. So, when CWIP asked me to be part of the mentorship program, it seemed like a good way to be that resource for others.

NLR: How many hours or days do you anticipate mentors will have to devote to this?
JF: At minimum, mentors only need to commit a few hours per quarter to the program. For the one-on-one matchups, they should meet with their mentee at least once in person, and answer occasional e-mails, but it isn’t a large time commitment. There will also be four mentorship events during the course of the year (one each in October, December, March, and May), and it would be great if mentors could attend as many as those as their schedule allows.

NLR: In what ways have you seen mentees succeed through this group?
JF: One mentee had a fantastic book manuscript and just needed some help with the process of writing a query and finding an agent. She’s since done both, and the book is coming out soon. Other mentees have found freelance work or jobs through their mentorship connections, started the process of submitting their work to publications, or made career changes successfully.

NLR: How will the Mentorship Program run differently this year compared to last year?
JF: The big change this year will be having more events where mentees can network with multiple mentors. Also, as always, we’re looking for more mentors for the one-on-one matchups and are going to set a deadline for mentees to enroll so that matchups can be more effective.

Take advantage of this exclusive networking and learning opportunity. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar and come find out what our Mentorship Program has to offer. Bring your business cards and network with some of Chicago’s top publishing professionals.

For more information about the Mentorship Program Kickoff, visit our website. Questions? Email Jeff at

Register Online Here

When:  Thursday, October 19, 6:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Where: 404 Wine Bar, 2852 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657


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