National Mentoring Programme 2020

 Applications now closed. Decisions due on 2020 applications by the end of June. 



Words Ireland is initiating 22 literature mentoring relationships to begin in June/July 2020. Closing date for applications is noon, Monday 4 May, 2020. The opportunity is available to writers of:

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


This opportunity is specifically for:

  • emerging writers who can demonstrate a strong commitment to writing e.g. journal publications, awards or notable mentions, creative writing training or courses undertaken, or other recognisable achievements (ideally some combination of the above).
  • Writers who have published one or two books and who feel they could benefit from professional guidance and feedback on their work-in-progress.
  • Writers with multiple publications who are working in a writing form in which they have yet to publish a book.

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


Sponsoring Arts Offices, County Libraries and Arts Centres

5 of the 22 mentoring opportunities are open to writers who are currently resident in ANY county in Ireland, north or south of the border, thanks to funding from the Arts Council.

The other 17 opportunities are offered in partnership with the below Arts Offices, Arts Centre and County Library Services, guaranteeing one or more mentorship to a writer who was born, or a current permanent resident, in the counties or catchment areas of these institutions:

  • Meath Arts Office
  • Dublin City Libraries (Dublin City Council area)
  • UNESCO City of Literature (Dublin City Council area)
  • Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office & Library Service
  • Fingal Arts Office x 2 mentorships
  • South Dublin Arts Office x 2 Mentorships
  • Galway City Arts Office
  • Kildare Arts Service x 2 mentorships
  • Kilkenny Arts Office (must be current resident)
  • Limerick Arts Office (must be current resident)
  • Mayo Arts Office
  • Roscommon Arts Centre
  • Wexford Arts Office
  • Wicklow Arts Office

If you were born or currently live in any of these counties, be sure to select one in the drop down in your application on Submittable. Proof of residency / birth is checked with all successful selected applicants.


How To Apply

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 (max 150 words)
  • A Statement of Benefit outlining why and how you think you’ll benefit from mentoring (max 150 words)
  • A writing CV listing any previous publications, writing experience, awards or recognition, creative writing classes or mentoring.
  • Anything up to 3,500 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.

Mentee opportunities are open to writers of any age, race, gender, nationality who are resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. We’re particularly interested in seeing applications from writers from diverse social, economic or cultural backgrounds. All mentees will avail of the relationship for free. There is no fee for application.

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

Applications will be scored through a combination of externally judged blind readings of work-in-progress and a Words Ireland panel review of additional information (CVs, Statements, etc), with a respective 75%/25% split between these two.

Deadline: midnight on Monday 4 May 2020