2021 WGA Mentorship Program
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 takes place from January through April 2021.
In January 2021, twelve Alberta writers began their participation in the WGA’s annual mentorship program. 2021 marks the tenth year for the program, which pairs emerging writers with established Alberta authors to develop the emerging writer’s literary work, and also to provide support and encouragement. This program has seen many of its participants grow and succeed as published authors.
This year's participants are:
- Josephine Boxwell will be working with mentor Kate A. Boorman on fantasy fiction
- Bret Crowle will be working with mentor Peter Midgley on short noir fiction
- Berend McKenzie will be working with mentor Julie Sedivy on nonfiction memoir
- Barbara Parker will be working with mentor Sheri-D Wilson on poetry
- Sharmila Pokharel will be working with mentor Marcello Di Cintio on nonfiction
- Lauren Seal with work 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 five mentors with five 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.
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