Ends on

The National Mentoring Programme is an opportunity open to all writers across the island of Ireland to receive sustained creative and professional mentoring from an established Irish writer of their choosing.

A minimum of 35 mentoring relationships are on offer through the 2024 National Mentoring Programme. Applications will open through Submittable on Thursday 1st February 2024, and will close on Saturday 2nd March at 5pm. The opportunity is available to writers of:

  • literary fiction
  • creative non-fiction
  • children’s / YA fiction
  • poetry

Writers from across the island of Ireland can apply. 

Many of the mentorships are made possible thanks to the generous support of arts offices, arts centres, libraries and literature organisations. 

These are:  Carlow County Council, Droichead Arts Centre (Louth), Dublin City Libraries, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Arts Office, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Libraries, Fingal Arts, Galway City Arts Office, Kildare Arts Service, Kilkenny Arts Office, Limerick City & County Arts Office, Longford Arts Office, Louth (Droichead Arts Centre), Mayo Arts Office, Meath Arts Office, Offaly County Arts Office, Roscommon Arts Centre, Sligo County Council, South Dublin Arts Office, The Source Arts Centre (Tipperary), Wexford Arts Office, Wicklow Arts Office and Westmeath Arts Office.

Arts Council funding ensures eight mentorships will be available to writers living in 'All Other Counties', and makes the administration of the programme viable. Embajada de Colombia en Irlanda (The Embassy of Colombia in Ireland) will again support a special mentorship, whereby a selected applicant will be mentored by a professional Colombian author (tbc).

Selected mentees get to choose the writer they work with our growing panel of experienced, professional writers (based on availability).

This opportunity is specifically for:

  • Emerging writers who can demonstrate a commitment to writing, e.g. creative writing training or courses undertaken, journal publications, awards or notable mentions, or other recognisable achievements.
  • Writers who have published one or two books and who feel they could benefit from further professional guidance and feedback on their work-in-progress.
  • Writers with 3+ book publications who have begun writing in a literary form in which they have yet to publish a book.

Each mentorship consists of four meetings with an experienced writer over a period of approximately 6–8 months. The mentor will read your work in advance of each meeting, and will give creative feedback and advice at each meeting. They may also provide professional information and advice.

Mentee opportunities are open to writers of any age, race, gender, nationality who are resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. All mentees will avail of the relationship for free. There is no fee for application. The Irish Writers Centre encourages writers from backgrounds typically underrepresented in Irish literature to apply. We particularly invite applications from Black, POC (person of colour), Traveller, Roma, LGBTQIA+, disabled and working class writers.

How To Apply
Applicants are asked to submit the following information through the Submittable form between 1 February and 2 March 2023:

  • A Statement of Intent outlining what project you will focus on during the mentoring process (100–200 words)
  • A Statement outlining your writing style, wider literary interests, and/or books or writers you have an affinity with (50–100 words max)
  • A Statement of Benefit outlining why and how you think you’ll benefit from mentoring (100–200 words)
  • A writing CV listing any previous publications, writing experience, awards or recognition, creative writing classes or mentoring.
  • Sample text relating to one of the three options below:

Option 1: Prose writers: Two pieces of work, approximately 2,000 words in total. One piece, up to 1,000 words, from a work you consider finished (where possible this should be from previously published work). A second piece, also up to 1,000 words, from your current writing project. Do not include your name in the sample text file, or anywhere in this document.

Option 2: Poets: 1 published poem + 2 poems in progress, no more than 160 lines in total. Do not include your name in the sample text file, or anywhere in this document.

Option 3: Children's writers:  One piece, up to 1,000 words, from a work you consider finished and a second piece, also up to 1,000 words, from your current writing project. Do not include your name in the sample text file, or anywhere in this document.

Applicants should neither be in full-time education at the time of application, nor planning to undertake a full-time education course at the same time as their mentorship (July 2024–April 2025). If you have received literature mentoring through this particular mentoring programme within the last three years, you are ineligible to apply. Applications for mentees will only be accepted through Submittable. Only one submission per applicant is allowed. 

Applications will be scored through a combination of externally judged blind readings of your sample work, and an Irish Writers Centre panel review of the additional information you provide, with a respective 75%/25% split between these two.

Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 2nd March 2024

Enquiries to nmp@irishwriterscentre.ie

About the Irish Writers Centre

As the leading support and development organisation for writers since 1991, the Irish Writers Centre carries out its work, online and in person, on an all island basis. We work with writers of all types and talents, and actively encourage writers from all communities to engage in creative writing.  We provide many ways and means for them to develop their skill, advance their ambitions and join a vibrant and diverse community of people who share their passion and purpose.

We are also a membership organisation, always seeking new opportunities for members to grow as writers and to connect with each other through IWC programmes and supports.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.