John Kuraoka, freelance advertising copywriter
(619) 465-6100
advertising copywriter mentorship: FAQ

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Copywriter mentorship homepage | Advertising copywriter homepage | Ad blog

Q: What are the prerequisites to apply for mentorship?
A: You should have completed general advertising and marketing classes and a copywriting class. This mentorship program is designed for college juniors or seniors who want to build their portfolios to get jobs as entry-level copywriters. You’ll also need to be able to send PDFs or small JPG files of thumbnails and sketches. And, you’ll need to be able to call me to go over your work, during daylight hours in California. 

Q: How do I apply for mentorship?
A: See full details on the application page, which is the next page. Basically, you’ll send a cover letter, rťsumť, and sample project via email to (no attachments please). For many projects, you will need access to a scanner in order to email thumbnails.

Q: How many applications do you get, and how many do you accept?
A:  If experience is any guide, I will receive anywhere from 50 to 100 applications for the single spot I can offer. I say that not to be discouraging, but to be encouraging. If I canít accept you, that may be more my loss than yours! However, consider that the application is very much a competition.

Q: What are you looking for in a mentorship program partner?
A:  Basically, I’m looking for someone with ideas that get me excited; not someone who produces trite concepts followed by workmanlike writing.

I’m looking for someone who is actively pursuing a career as an advertising copywriter at a hot ad agency; not someone who has already started a career in some other department or field.

I’m looking for someone who’s plugged into the youth market; not someone going through a mid-career/mid-life crisis.

I’m looking for someone who’s creative power is focused; not a whirling scatterbrain.

Iím looking for someone who has been schooled in the basics of advertising concept and copy; not a talented but unschooled person to whom Iíll have to teach Advertising 101.

I’m looking for someone who’s already very good, but who’s willing to work to become even better; not a prima donna.

Q: I applied a while back - why haven’t I heard from you?
A:  Because for a while, other life pressures came to bear with a force that flicked this casual little program right off my desk. That said, Iím ashamed to say that I abandoned it with an abruptness that was ill-mannered and appalling.

Iím back now, but this time Iím committed to limit the mentorship to a single, highly qualified participant - someone Iím excited about working with.

On a prosaic note, the most-frequent reasons for unanswered emails are either sending attachments (my Copywriting Mentorship emailbox automatically deletes applications with attachments), or sending materials to the wrong emailbox (my business emailbox blocks most emails about the mentorship program). In both of those cases, I never receive the email.

Q: How much work do I have to do in this mentorship series?
A: Ten different projects, some with multiple assignments. The syllabus is here. You can see two sample projects here and here.

Q: How much do you charge?
A: My mentorship is free. All I ask is that you put your best effort into each project.

Q: So, what do you get out of this?
A: Well, I like to teach. I like the idea that I’m helping to improve advertising. But, as I said in the introduction, my main reason is that I get to see some fresh thinking from a young rising ad star. I like to think I’m getting a preview of the One Show 2018. And that, in turn, helps keep me fresh.

Q: Do I get academic credit for this?
A: No, but you’ll probably get a stronger book and better skills.

Q: Does spelling and grammar count?
A: Yes. Remember, this isn’t novel-writing, where your work is reviewed by professional readers and editors. This is advertising, a business in which your work is reviewed by clients who typically have no background in writing. Egregious errors damage your professional credibility.

Q: Will you grade my work?
A: No. I offer feedback, criticism, encouragement, and guidance, but no grades.

Q: Do I have to do the projects in order?
A: Yes, the projects must be done in order.

Q: Where do I send my work?
A: . If you have JavaScript disabled, then you’ll have to type copywritingmentor @ hotmail-dot-com into your email program.

Q: What makes you qualified to be my mentor?
A: You can read all about me on my main website. Besides a willingness to step up to the task, my professional qualifications are contained in my online curriculum vitae and awards.

Next: how to apply