The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is thrilled to announce the new Mary Bell Scholarship, which honours a writer, sister, and dear friend who passed away from COVID in December 2020. In alignment with the way in which writing became a significant part of Mary’s life, this scholarship is offered to support one professional one-to-one mentorship for an emerging woman writer 50 years of age or older as part of our established Mentorship Program.
The Writers’ Guild Mentorship Program, established ten years ago, matches a selected emerging writer with a professional writer for one-on-one mentorship for four months. Recipients receive 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.
Mary worked as a social worker in the field of corrections with a special interest in incarcerated women and violence against women. Mary was also one of the founders of Edmonton Working Women, an advocacy group focusing on women’s labour issues. Over the years Mary lived her feminism to the greatest extent possible, enacting her political beliefs, and turning her energies toward supporting and working for women’s rights.
A group of family and close friends chose to create the writing scholarship as a legacy project because of the significant role writing came to play in Mary’s life over the last 15 years. She took advantage of multiple courses and participated in writing circles to skillfully capture her lived experiences and those of others through poems and stories. As a milestone in her writing journey, Mary launched her book, The Secret and other Stories, in 2018.
2022 Mary Bell Scholarship Recipient
The recipient of the 2022 Mary Bell Scholarship is Brenda Gunn, who will be paired with mentor J. Jill Robinson. Read more about Brenda HERE.
To find out more about the mentorship program, visit: writersguild.ca/programs-services/mentorship-program.
The goal of this project, in Mary Bell’s name, is to establish an Endowment Fund in perpetuity. Should the fund not reach this goal, the Writers’ Guild would disburse the contributed funds for as long as they last.
For anyone wishing to donate to the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program, in memory of Mary Bell, please forward your donation as follows: Online go to https://writersguild.ca/support-us/ Go to the box DONATE NOW. There is a dropdown screen where you can choose Mentorship Program in Memory of Mary Bell.
To make your donation by telephone or mail:
Phone: 780-422-8174 Toll Free in Alberta: 1-800-665-5354 Fax: 780-422-2663 (Attention: Writers’ Guild of Alberta) Writers’ Guild of Alberta Main Floor, Percy Page Centre 11759 Groat Road NW Edmonton, AB T5M 3K6
A charitable receipt will be forwarded to you in recognition of your generosity.