WRW is delighted to announce the 2016 Nancy Richard-Aker Award recipient is Hope Ramsay. The award recognizes an outstanding mentor.
The nomination letter says it best.
Have a hole in your plot? A scene wandering around in search of a point? A character who could use a little flushing out—or
maybe a complete overhaul? Or maybe your trouble is a POV that jumps from head to head like lice in an elementary
Well, if you’re lucky enough to know our nominee for the Nancy Richards‐Akers mentoring award, you’re halfway to a
solution. Those of you who attended September’s meeting got a dose of Hope Ramsay’s wisdom when she presented a
workshop on using archetypes to deepen character. That day gave just a flavor of what working with Hope is like. Funny and
quick to laugh, Hope cuts through the weeds choking a story so it can breathe and grow into its strongest form.
A couple of years back, Carol Hayes, Keely Thrall, and Hope Ramsay trekked to Berkeley Springs for a writing retreat.
Looking back, we’re not sure how the three of us happened to come together that weekend‐‐we chalk it up to fate, kismet,
lucky accident. The three of us left that retreat equally impressed with one another and agreeing to form a loose group of
What was not equal though‐‐what makes this arrangement something more than colleagues picking each other’s brains‐‐is
Hope’s practical knowledge of the publishing industry and seriously enviable craft chops.
Hope knows that there is more than one way to write a book‐‐that, in fact, there are as many ways as there are writers and
books. She makes clear that the tools, strategies, and approaches she shares are her ways of thinking about character and
plot, and that they won’t work for everyone. But she’s been endlessly willing to give of her time, applying her knowledge of
craft‐‐and love of stories‐‐in ways that have helped the two of us expand our understanding of our own writing, and we are
so very grateful.
With Hope’s help, Carol came to see her manuscript in new ways: to think about scene and sequel, to realize she didn’t
need to say the same thing three times, and that she could and should trust her reader. And with Hope’s guidance, Keely
unsnarled her GMCs in her manuscript, beefed up the emotional angst, and made the black moment a true moment of
despair. Hope’s good council not only helped Keely improve the story…it gave her the confidence to start the query process.
Keely is delighted to report that her Hope‐infused manuscript has received an R&R letter from her target publisher.
Hope, thank you. For your open‐hearted generosity, for your “each one, teach one” spirit, and for saying yes to that fateful
Berkeley Springs weekend. We’re honored to call you friend and proud to call you mentor.
Carol Hayes and Keely Thrall