Thursday, July 05, 2007

Writers in Scotland: apply for your own mentor!

A year ago I was fortunate enough to be selected for a place on the Scottish Book Trust's mentoring programme. Don't be fooled by the name, you don't have to be writing a book to become a mentee. Award-winning writer-director Adrian Mead mentored for me nine months' work on my first TV pilot, Taking Liberties. The experience was invaluable and I heartily recommend getting yourself a mentor, if possible. The good news for writers based in Scotland is the scheme I got on to is now open for a fresh round of applications. Read the details below and see if they could help you too...
Scottish Book Trust - Professional Development Mentoring Programme 2007/2008

Finish that first collection… write for TV or for radio… make the move from printed word to theatre…find structure for that novel… improve your dialogue - this is your chance.

For the first time, Scottish Book Trust is able to offer two phases of its hugely successful mentoring programme in one year. The first is now underway but this is your chance to apply to the mentoring programme for the phase due to start in September 07.

The Scottish Book Trust mentoring project offers you the support of an experienced professional as you work on a specific writing project over a nine month period. If you are struggling with a particular aspect of your writing – for example style; editorial techniques; finishing the seemingly unfinishable – or want to explore a new avenue for your work, then this is your chance to work directly with some of the Scotland’s leading writers, editors, literary agents, screen-writers, producers, playwrights and dramatists.

Am I eligible? There are five places available on the next phase of the mentoring programme. Writers at any stage in their writing career can apply but must be able to demonstrate their commitment to the project for the nine-month period.

What does mentoring involve? Successful applicants will be matched with a mentor, chosen by Scottish Book Trust, and an induction day for all of those involved will be held in early Autumn. The partnership will then last for nine months and will include at least four face-to-face meetings between the mentor and mentee, with telephone, email and/or post support in between these meetings.

How do I apply? You need to prepare:
* A writing CV. This should include any information which you think is relevant to your writing career so far, and should give details of other professional development opportunities you may have had to date (creative writing course, advice from writer in residence, writers’ workshops etc)
* The project and your goals. An A4 page on 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 achieved at the end of the project
* Your ideal mentor. NOT the name of a particular person, but do tell us the kind of mentor which you would like to work with (fellow writer, editor etc.)

Email or post your application to: Caitrin Armstrong, Programme Co-ordinator, Scottish Book Trust, Sandeman House, Trunks Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR

The closing date for applications is July 20, 2007. Interviews will be held in Edinburgh in early August. Travel expenses are available. Want to know more? If you would like to speak to somebody about the mentoring scheme, please get in touch:-

Jan Rutherford
Project Manager, Writer Development, Scottish Book Trust
Tel: 0131 337 9724

Caitrin Armstrong
Programme Co-ordinator, Scottish Book Trust
Tel: 0131 524 0166

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