Mentorship Program

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

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.

The program runs from January to April each year. In 2024, the program will run from January 1 to April 30 with the Apprentice Reading in early May, cohosted with the Indigenous Mentorship Program.

Applications for the 2024 program have closed.

Mentor and Apprentice applications for the 2024 program must be received by Thursday September 28, 2023 by midnight. Applications must be emailed to Late applications will not be accepted.

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 306-791-7743.

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 or face-to-face meetings. A meeting between the apprentice and mentor at the beginning of the mentorship program is required to establish goals and discuss how each pair will work together. We encourage pairs to meet at least once in person to help establish a working relationship. 

The focus of the program is on craft development for apprentices. It is not expected that apprentices complete a manuscript by the end of the program (although that sometimes occurs); it may be that apprentices focus on a limited section of their work or previously written material in order to go deeper into it. 

At the end of the program, the apprentices give a public reading of their work in May. Mentors and apprentices are expected to attend three virtual meetings during the program with other participants.

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.

To help the SWG support writers of diverse communities and identities, we encourage applicants to self-declare if they identify as a writer who is a member of group(s) experiencing marginalization and underrepresentation. (i.e. Black, Indigenous, or Person of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, or Disability). Indigenous writers may also apply to the Indigenous Mentorship Program as mentors or apprentices, but will only be accepted into one program.

Previous unsuccessful applicants are welcome to apply again; there is no limit to how many times a writer may apply to this program. Successful apprentices may not be apply to apprentice in the same genre in future years.

Applying to be an apprentice

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

  1. A cover letter which includes the following information:
    • your contact information (including mailing address with postal code, 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
    • statement that you are a Saskatchewan resident (please don't send a photo of your driver's licence)
    • 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 
  2. A sample of recent writing (no longer than ten 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 welcome in 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
    • please make sure each piece of writing (i.e. poem, flash fiction, essay or short story) starts on a new page. If you are submitting poetry, submit a maximum of ten poems unless the poems are multi-page poems.
    • 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.

There is no cost to apply and no participation fees. A small travel stipend is available to alleviate travel costs incurred by apprentices.

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. Out of province applicants must explain their connections to the Saskatchewan writing community in their application. Limited travel funds are available to pay for travel in Saskatchewan to attend the Apprentice Readings.

Mentors will receive an honorarium of $2,800 for their participation from Jan 1 to April 30, 2024. 

Previous mentors are welcome to apply again.

Applying to be a mentor

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

  1. A cover letter which includes the following:
    • contact information (including mailing address with postal code, 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 and your previous experience working as a mentor, teacher or other relevant experience
    • confirmation of Saskatchewan residency or an explanation of your connections to the Saskatchewan writing community
    • confirmation that you are able to commit the required time to this program
  2. A CV/literary resume (maximum five pages)

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 shared with the selected 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 Director
T: 306.791.7743

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