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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 writers in all genres and is tailored to the apprentice's individual needs. The pairs are in weekly contact and can communicate through E-mail, phone, and face-to-face meetings. When an apprentice and mentor do not live in the same community, at least one face-to-face meeting is required (to take place within the first two weeks of the program).

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. 

When Does The Program Run?

The program runs from January—April each year (this is contingent upon receipt of funding each year). In 2021, the program will run from January 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

NEW for 2021

Due to our current circumstances during COVID-19, there are a few changes to note about the 2021 Mentorship program. We have extended the program to run from January 1 to May 31, 2021, and this year’s program will include 5 pairs of mentors and apprentices (an increase from our usual pairings of 4 mentors and apprentices). Due to current and potential restrictions on travel, pairs must be prepared to work virtually (i.e video calls, email, phone calls) during their time in the program if they aren’t able to meet in person, and all participants will be required to attend a few video calls facilitated by the SWG using Zoom during the program. 

Criteria to become an apprentice

Eligible applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • must have a body of work of sufficient quality to benefit from the program;
  • must have work in progress when they apply;
  • must not have had a book published (or have had a book-length manuscript accepted for publication) in the genre in which they wish to apprentice;
  • must have demonstrated their commitment to writing by having participated in some form of formal or informal professional development (e.g. workshops, Manuscript Evaluation Service, working with a Writer-In-Residence...);
  • must 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
  • must be a Saskatchewan resident, 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:

  • a literary resume (maximum five pages)
  • a cover letter which includes the following:
    • all your contact information (including work and home phone numbers and E-mail)
    • 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

Applying to be an apprentice

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

  • a cover letter which includes the following information:
    • your contact information (mailing address, work and home phone numbers, E-mail)
    • 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)

Formatting guidelines for mentors and apprentices

To ensure that your application is processed, please follow these formatting guidelines:

  • submit all material on 8 ½ x 11-inch white paper
  • type all entries in black ink
  • use plain text fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Courier), not display fonts such as Algerian
  • use a 12 point font
  • have 1.25" margins on all sides
  • single-side all pages
  • please do not submit pages that have been holepunched
  • to fasten submissions, use paper clips (including fold-back clips)—avoid staples or any other fastener which goes through the paper (including binders and presentation covers)
  • if sending by courier, send to the courier address listed below, not the box number
  • electronic submissions welcome

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.

Material must be emailed to programs@skwriter.com or postmarked by October 5, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted. 

Please Note:  Material sent to the box number may take an extra day for processing and may therefore arrive late. If you are sending material close to the deadline, please consider Xpress Post, Priority Post, courier, or special delivery. If sending by courier, send to the courier address listed below, not the box number.

The results of this competition will be announced in early—mid 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.

Send applications to ONE of the following addresses:

Mailing Address

Courier or Drop Off Address

Saskatchewan Writers' Guild
Box 3986
Regina, SK  S4P 3R9

Saskatchewan Writers' Guild
100 - 1150 8th Avenue
Regina, SK  S4R 1C9


For more information, please contact:

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

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