2022 Mentorship Program
Applications for the 2022 Mentorship Program are now closed.
The Mentorship Program is an initiative of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta designed to help promising emerging writers make the transition to the next stage of their careers. The program will take place from January through April 2022.
We will accept up to eight apprentices to work with mentors this year, including one pairing for the Mary Bell Scholarship, which will be awarded to an emerging woman writer 50 years of age or older.
The program is intended to meet the needs of emerging Alberta writers for guidance, collaboration and encouragement. This is not an introductory creative writing course; it is a one-on-one pairing of apprentices and mentors. The program is an intensive, hands-on opportunity intended to provide a disciplined and focused period of work for emerging writers.
Both mentors and apprentices will be selected by an independent jury. Apprentices will be selected before mentors. There is no guarantee that all genres will be included in the final pairings. Decisions for the mentor applications will be made on the basis of the best match between apprentice and mentor. Individuals who have participated in this program as mentors in the previous year (2021 program) are not eligible to apply.
Deadline: Applications must be received by 12:00 pm November 5, 2021.
Successful applicants will be notified in November 2021.
The Writers’ Guild of Alberts is committed to equity and inclusion in its programs and encourages applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals.
The 2021 participants were:
- Josephine Boxwell worked with mentor Kate A. Boorman on fantasy fiction
- Bret Crowle worked with mentor Peter Midgley on short noir fiction
- Berend McKenzie worked with mentor Julie Sedivy on nonfiction memoir
- Barbara Parker worked with mentor Sheri-D Wilson on poetry
- Sharmila Pokharel worked with mentor Marcello Di Cintio on nonfiction
- Lauren Seal worked with mentor Rayanne Haines on a YA novel in verse
About the Program
I think that the most valuable thing about the mentorship program is the opportunity for an emerging writer to get support and guidance. Writing is a lonely affair and especially so for a writer struggling with their first manuscript. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to read our work and ask the pertinent question — keys turn, worlds open, narratives find their direction. Another set of eyes is essential for work to improve and often emerging writers don’t know where to look for the right person. The WGA provides a tremendous service of matching mentors and authors with their stories. I think with this continued program we will see many more Alberta writers finding publishers.
– Mentor, 2016
Working with my mentor has taught me how to build a story from the hook through the climax. The mentorship was a much more motivational and thorough process than my Creative Writing Certificate through Humber. Having been given this gift from the WGA through the Canada Council meant that I could take my work as a writer seriously for the very first time and put my writing first. I was an “emerging voice” with the tutelage and support to see this project through to the end. I feel that I am closer than I've ever been to getting a book in print after a few short stories and other courses under my belt, this mentorship was the push over the hump that I needed. I have a finished draft of my novel thanks to the WGA's program that I am now sending out to publishers. I will keep you posted!
– Apprentice, 2016
The Writers' Guild of Alberta’s Mentorship Program, modeled off of similar programs, matches mentors with apprentices for a mentorship taking place January-April. The program is designed to meet the needs of emerging Alberta writers for guidance, collaboration and encouragement while senior writers receive short-term employment and an opportunity to sharpen their mentoring/teaching skills. The focus of the mentorship will be on instruction in the craft, and to a lesser extent, the business of writing. There is no cost to the apprentices.
Mentors and apprentices are expected to have an initial meeting in person. Subsequent meetings may take place in person or by telephone or email as distance may require. Mentors are expected to devote 15-20 hours a month to program work while apprentices commit to a minimum of 20-25 hours per month. A public reading takes place after the mentorship is completed.
The WGA gratefully acknowledges the support of the RBC Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton, City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development, Edmonton Arts Council, and the John Gillese Fund.
The WGA is also grateful for mentorship program donations from Ted Bishop, Jacqueline Guest and Brenda-Ann Marks.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $154 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 154 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays