National Mentoring Programme 2019

National Mentoring Programme 2019

Words Ireland initiated twenty mentoring relationships between emerging/emerged writers and professional writers in October 2018 under its National Mentoring Programme. It hopes to do the same again in 2019, with calls for application opening in May/June 2019.


Details on the National Mentoring Programme

The National Mentoring Programme is open to writers of

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

It is ideally for

  • Writers who have published one or two books and who feel they could benefit from professional guidance and feedback on their work-in-progress.
  • Emerging writers who have yet to publish a book but can demonstrate a strong commitment to writing e.g. journal publications, awards, significant training/courses undertaken or other forms of recognition from the literature sector.
  • Writers with three or more books published in one form but who are proposing to work in a new writing form in which they have yet to publish a book (e.g. a published novelist working on their first collection of poetry).

Mentee opportunities are open to writers of any age, race, gender, nationality who are resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Mentees will avail of the relationship for free. There is no fee for application.

Mentoring consists of four meetings with an experienced writer over a period of up to eight months. The mentor will read your work in advance of each meeting, and feedback and advise at each meeting. They may also provide information and advice on professional and publishing matters.

How to Apply

Applying is free. Applicants are asked to submit the following information through Submittable:

– A Statement of Intent outlining what project you will focus on during the mentoring process.

– A writing CV listing any previous publications, writing experience, awards or recognition, creative writing classes or mentoring.

– 2,500–5,000 words of fiction, non-fiction or YA OR 4 poems/180 lines of poetry OR writers for young children can submit a lower word count that is appropriate to their writing project.

Only one submission per applicant is allowed. Applications for mentees will only be accepted through Submittable.

Closed for applications. Applications will be open again in May/June 2019. 


About the National Mentoring Programme in 2018

The mentoring relationships, made possible by financial support from the Arts Council, consist of four meetings each, with reading and analysis of writing in advance of each meeting.

An additional 15 mentorships are offered by Words Ireland in partnership with the below 12 local Arts Offices and library services. Thanks to their support for these county-specific opportunities which will guarantee a mentorship for writers born or resident in the local authority areas listed below:

Congratulations to all 20 writers selected from a total of 260 applicants.

Neil Bristow Fiction All island
Stephanie Conn Poetry All island
Victoria Kennefick Poetry All island
Patricia McAdoo Fiction All island
Aiden O’Reilly Fiction All island
Kathleen Murray Fiction Carlow Arts Office
Doireann Ni Ghríofa creative non-fiction Clare Arts Office
Tara Corristine Children’s/YA DLR Arts Office and Library Service
Elizabeth Brennan Fiction Fingal Arts Office
Riona Judge McCormack Children’s/YA Fingal Arts Office
Rachel Coventry Poetry Galway Arts Office
Alison Healy Children’s/YA Kildare Arts Service
Bill Tinley Fiction Kildare Arts Service
Jamie Stedmond Fiction Kilkenny Arts Office
Esther Hoad creative non-fiction Leitrim Arts Office
Breda Spaight Poetry Limerick Arts Office
Alice Kinsella Poetry Mayo Arts Office
Brian Kirk Fiction South Dublin Arts Office
Mark Ward Poetry South Dublin Arts Office
Anne Cousins Poetry Wexford Arts Office
Judges for 2018 are writer Mia Gallagher for fiction/non-fiction; Kim Harte from Children’s Books Ireland for children’s/YA writing; and Paul Lenehan and Elizabeth Mohen from Poetry Ireland for poetry. Applications were assessed on the quality of writing and suitability of the applicant for mentoring: upto 90 marks for the writing submitted / up to 10 marks for applicants’ suitability for mentoring evidenced by book or journal publications, awards, training or other relevant experience.
Chosen mentors are writers who’ve published three or more books and have significant teaching and/or mentoring experience. They are paid for their work and are selected based on the preferences of the chosen mentees.