Thursday, March 15, 2007

Writers in Scotland: mentor project wants you!

Regular readers of the blog will know of my enthusiasm for the mentoring project run by the Scottish Book Trust's works@work scheme. This pairs writers based in Scotland with a mentor on a project of their choice. This can be anything from finishing your first novel to radio drama script training to honing your poetry to becoming a children's book author and illustrator. I'm one of three would-be TV scriptwriters currently being mentored under the scheme and it's been a great experience. I heartily encourage others to apply for it. Here's the official blurb that was released this afternoon...
The hugely successful Scottish Book Trust mentoring project is returning for a fourth year. So far nineteen writers, each with an individual writing goal, have worked with a personal mentor to achieve success.

Feedback from previous mentees speaks for itself:

It’s actually quite difficult to articulate how incredibly useful the whole process has been. The mentor cannot help but be objective, which is precisely what every writer needs, at least every writer who doesn’t want to stagnate in their own slush.

I’d definitely do it again. Mentoring is a brilliant bridge between the usual group workshops and the mysterious grail of getting work accepted or published. There’s really nothing else around that fills that role, except perhaps a Creative Writing MA. It’s a really practical way for the Book Trust to support writers.

It was great to find myself working with a poet who could criticise my work with an understanding of where I was coming from and what I was seeking to do.

The mentoring partnership: Mentees will have the opportunity to work with a personal mentor on any aspect of their writing – for example style; editorial techniques; finishing the seemingly unfinishable; moving from writing for print to writing for radio or television scripts; writing for the stage...

Each mentee will be carefully matched with a mentor. Past mentors have included some of the foremost Scottish writers, editors and rights agents, dramatists, playwrights and screen-writers.

Each mentoring partnership begins with an induction day (May 2007) to ensure a shared understanding of what will be achieved. The partnership will last for nine months (beginning June 2007) and includes at least four face-to-face meetings between the mentor and mentee (any travel expenses will be covered) plus contact via telephone, email and/or post (as agreed between mentor and mentee at the induction). Continuous support will be available from Scottish Book Trust.

Eligibility: The scheme is open to writers at any stage of their career who have a specific writing goal in mind. Five places are available now and five more will be offered later in 2007.

How to apply: If you think you could benefit this project please apply in writing (via post or email, including a brief CV) detailing the following:
• the project, change of direction, or area of your writing on which you would like to work with a mentor and what you hope to have achieve at the end of the project
• any other professional development opportunities you may have had to date (creative writing course, advice from writer in residence, writers’ workshops etc)
• your ideal mentor (fellow writer, editor etc)

All applications should be sent to: Caitrin Armstrong, Programme Co-ordinator, Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunks Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.
Email address:

The closing date for applications is 2nd April 2007. Interviews will be held in Edinburgh during the week commencing 23rd April 2007 (travel expenses are available). Please note if you need further information or have any queries about the mentoring scheme please contact: Jan Rutherford, Project Manager, Writer Development, Scottish Book Trust, Tel: 0131 337 9724. Email:

1 comment:

Laura Anderson said...

Oh, wow, thanks so much for posting this David, I was thinking about it earlier today.

I fully intend to apply for this!