Mentorship Program

One-on-One Instruction in the Craft of Creative Writing

About the Program 

The Saskatchewan Writers' Guild mentorship program allows developing writers (the apprentices) to work in a supportive environment under the guidance of professional writers (the mentors). The mentor provides the apprentice with one-on-one instruction (not editorial services) in the craft of creative writing.

How does the program work? 

The program is open to Saskatchewan writers in all genres and is tailored to the apprentice's individual needs. Mentorship pairs are in weekly contact and can communicate through video or phone calls, email and face-to-face meetings. A face-to-face meeting between the apprentice and mentor at the beginning of the mentorship program is encouraged and supported but is not required if pairs are unable to meet in person.

Because the focus of the program is on craft development, apprentices should not expect to have a completed manuscript by the end of the program although that sometimes occurs. Sometimes apprentices focus only on a limited section of their work in order to go deeper into it. Also, because the program will focus on the apprentices' development of their craft, it's possible that apprentices may not produce a significant amount of new work during the mentorship, but will instead work with previously written material.

At the end of the program, the apprentices give a public reading of their work in May. Mentors and apprentices are expected to attend two virtual meetings of all participants: one in early January and one at the end of April.

When does the program run?

The program runs from January to April each year. In 2022, the program will run from January 1 to April 30 with the Apprentice Reading to be held in early May 2022.

Criteria to become an apprentice

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 (or a book-length manuscript accepted for publication) in the genre in which they wish to apprentice;
  • demonstrated their commitment to writing by having participated in some form of formal or informal professional development (e.g. workshops or classes, Manuscript Evaluation Service, working with a Writer-In-Residence, etc.);
  • be free to devote a minimum of 20-25 hours per month. As this program offers a rare opportunity for development as a writer, past participants have recommended that future participants consider arranging their schedules so they can devote as much time as possible to it. Some previous apprentices have taken time off work or reduced their working hours in order to do so; and
  • Saskatchewan residency and are 19 years of age or older.

Criteria to become a mentor

Mentors are required to have the following qualifications:

  • 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
  • Saskatchewan residency preferred.

Applying to be a mentor

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

  • a literary resume (maximum five pages)
  • a cover letter which includes the following:
    • contact information (including mailing address, primary phone number and email)
    • a specification of the type or types of writing you’d 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

To ensure that your application is processed, please follow the SWG's formatting guidelines

Applying to be an apprentice

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

  • a cover letter which includes the following information:
    • your contact information (including 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 
    • confirmation that you are 19 years or older 
    • 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 activity for the past twelve 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 
  • a sample of recent writing (no longer than ten pages) in the genre in which you plan to work during the mentorship period (double-spaced for prose, single or double-spaced for poetry)

To ensure that your application is processed, please follow the SWG's formatting guidelines

How to apply and deadline

Applications may be forward to the SWG by:

  • Emailing programs@skwriter.com 
  • Mailing it to the SWG, Box 3986, Regina, SK S4P 3R9
  • Dropping it off at our Regina office at #100 - 1150 8th Avenue, Regina

Deadline: Emailed or postmarked by September 30, 2021, midnight

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. The decisions of the jury will be final. Jurors may choose to not make the entire four matches if they believe there is a lack of suitable candidates.

 


For more information, please contact:

Program Manager
T: 306.791.7743
E: programs@skwriter.com

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