Indigenous Mentorship Program

Write With the Guidance of Experienced Writers

The SWG Indigenous Mentorship Program allows developing Indigenous writers (apprentices) to work in a supportive environment under the guidance of professional writers (mentors). The mentor provides the apprentice with supportive, culturally appropriate one-on-one instruction in the craft of creative writing. 

There is no cost to apply for this program and there are no participation fees.

The program runs from January to April each year. In 2023, the program will run from January 1 to April 30 with the Apprentice Reading in early May, cohosted with the SWG's Mentorship Program.

Deadline for 2023 Program

Applications must be emailed to

  • Mentor applications are due by October 4, 2022 (midnight)
  • Apprentice applications are due by October 4, 2022 (midnight)

Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt within 2-3 business days. If you do not receive a confirmation, or have questions, please email or call 306-244-0107.

How does the program work?

The mentor provides the apprentice with one-on-one instruction in the craft of creative writing. The program is open to Indigenous writers in all genres and will be tailored to the apprentice's individual needs. Two pairs will work to develop the best methodology for working together and spend approximately 20 hours a month in collaboration through email, phone, face-to-face and online meetings. The program runs from January 1 to April 30 each year.

The focus of the program is craft development, manuscript preparation, the business of writing and editing. Apprentices should not expect to have a completed manuscript by the end of the program. At the end of the program, the apprentices will give a public reading of their work.

Criteria for Indigenous mentors

The SWG is seeking experienced Indigenous writers in all genres to participate in the Indigenous Mentorship Program. Mentors who have previously participated in the SWG Mentorship Program or Indigenous Mentorship Program are welcome to apply.

Mentors will be selected based upon the following criteria: 

  • the possession of a significant body of published work;
  • experience as a teacher, workshop leader, mentor, writer in residence, or editor; 
  • the ability to commit time (15-20 hours per month) during the mentorship period; and 
  • preference will be given to those who self-identify as Indigenous or Metis and are Saskatchewan residents. Out of province applicants will be asked to explain their connection to the Saskatchewan Indigenous writing community.

Mentors will receive an honorarium of $2,800 for their participation in the program from Jan-Apr. Selected mentors will choose their apprentice from applications submitted to the SWG.

Mentor guidelines

There is no application form for this program. Please send the following material by email:

  1. A cover letter which includes the following:
    • all your contact information (including mailing address, primary phone number and email);
    • a specification of the genres or types of writing you will be willing to work with; 
    • a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested in the program.
    • an explanation of what the apprentice could learn from you and your experience working as a mentor, teach or other relevant experience
    • please self-identify as Indigenous; and
    • confirmation of Saskatchewan residency or an explanation of your connections to the Saskatchewan Indigenous writing community
    • confirmation that you are able to commit the required time to this program
  2. A literary CV/resume (maximum 5 pages)

Criteria for Indigenous apprentices

The SWG is seeking emerging Indigenous writers who wish to develop their skills in the craft of creative writing. Eligible applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • a body of work of sufficient quality to benefit from the program;
  • a work in progress when they apply;
  • have not published a book in the genre in which they wish to apprentice;
  • demonstrated their commitment to writing by having participated in some form of professional development;
  • be free to devote a significant amount of time to the program - a minimum of 20-25 hours per month; and
  • preference will be given to those who self-identify as Indigenous or Metis; and
  • Saskatchewan residency and are 19 years of age or older.

Apprentice guidelines

There is no application form or fee for this program. Instead, send the following material by email:

  1. A cover letter which includes the following information:
    • your contact information (mailing address, primary phone number and email);
    • a confirmation that you have no books published or accepted for publication in the genre in which you wish to apprentice;
    • confirmation that you are a Saskatchewan resident, 19 years or older;
    • self-identify as Indigenous;
    • an explanation of the project you would work on during the mentorship period;
    • a clear statement of what you hope to achieve through the program (the more specific the better - e.g. better dialogue, more skilful use of imagery...);
    • an outline of past professional development experience;
    • a description of the quantity of material you will have available to work with over the mentorship period (e.g. number of poems written, number of pages already written for a novel);
    • a description of how long you have been writing and a summary of your writing activitiy for the past 12 months;
    • an outline of your family, work, educational, and cultural commitments during the time of the program AND how you will make time for the required minimum of 20-25 hours per month for the program while still accommodating them
  2. A sample of recent writing (no longer than 10 pages) in the genre in which you plan to work during the mentorship period, following these formatting guidelines:
    • entries must be primarily in English (non-English words are welcome within the content)
    • use plain text fonts (i.e. Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier) in black
    • double-spaced for prose, single- or double-spaced for poetry
    • 12-point font
    • 1 inch margins
    • page number and title in the header or footer of each page
    • Either Word or PDF format is acceptable. Do not send Google docs, links or other formats.


A note about applications

Late applications will not be accepted. Please keep a copy of your submission; material will not be returned. The applications of apprentices who have been accepted to the program will be forwarded to the mentor.

The results of this competition will be announced in late November. Selection decisions will be final. There may not be two matches made if there is a lack of suitable candidates.

For more information, please contact:

Indigenous Program Manager
 306.244.0107| E:

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