– May 2, 2023

May 2, 2022 at 5:00pm

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The Irish Writers Centre is taking on the stewardship of the National Mentoring Programme for literature after five successful years under Words Ireland management. The seven literature organisations in the Words Ireland collective agreed the Irish Writers Centre was best suited to develop this initiative into the future. As Ireland’s flagship resource centre, the Irish Writers Centre seeks to enhance opportunities for people across all communities to explore and participate in creative writing.

About the National Mentoring Programme

A minimum of 34 mentoring relationships are on offer through the 2022 National Mentoring Programme. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 2nd May 2022. The opportunity is available to writers of:

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

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 feedback and advice at each meeting. They may also provide professional information and advice.

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 form in which they have yet to publish a book.

As a publicly-funded organisation, the Irish Writers Centre commits to take positive policy measures to promote equality of opportunity, access and outcomes for all those living in Ireland regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, civil or family status, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community, as well as socio-economic background. We encourage writers currently underrepresented in Irish Literature to apply for this opportunity. Read our full EDI Statement.

Criteria for Selection

Writers from all thirty-two counties 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:

Dublin City Libraries, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Fingal Arts Office, South Dublin Arts Office, Galway City Arts Office, Kildare Arts Service, Kilkenny Arts Office, Limerick City & County Arts Office, Mayo Arts Office, Meath Arts Office, The Source Arts Centre, Tipperary, County Wexford Arts Department, Roscommon Arts Centre, Wicklow Arts Office, dlr Arts Office, dlr Libraries.

For a third year running, we’re pleased to announce the Embassy of Colombia in Ireland is supporting a special mentorship, offered to a poet, who will be mentored by Colombian poet Andrea Cote.

This year, thanks to increased support from our main funder, the Arts Council, eight mentorships will be available to writers living in ‘All Other Counties’. Funding from the Arts Council makes the administration of the National Mentoring Programme viable.

How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit the following information through the Submittable form (weblink below):

  • A Statement of Intent outlining what project you will focus on during the mentoring process (max 200 words)
  • A Statement outlining your writing style, wider literary interests, and/or books or writers you have an affinity with (100 words max)
  • A Statement of Benefit outlining why and how you think you’ll benefit from mentoring (max 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:

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 work that has been published) and a second piece, also up to 1,000 words, from your current writing project.

Poets: 1 published poem + 2 poems in progress, no more than 160 lines in total.

Children’s writers: Two pieces of work, approximately 2,000 words in total. 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.

Only one submission per applicant is allowed. 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.

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

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.

In spring 2022, we will launch a new 5 year strategy.

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