March 2, 2023 at 12:00am

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Applications open on Wednesday 1 February 2023

The National Mentoring Programme is an opportunity for selected writers across the island of Ireland to receive sustained creative and professional mentoring from an established Irish writer of their choosing.

About the National Mentoring Programme

A minimum of 35 mentoring relationships are on offer through the 2023 National Mentoring Programme. Applications will open via Submittable on Wednesday 1 February 2023, and will close at midnight on Thursday 2 March 2023. The opportunity is available to writers of:

  • Literary fiction
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Children’s / YA fiction
  • Poetry

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:

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


This year, thanks to continued 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 IWC’s National Mentoring Programme viable.

For the fourth year running, we’re pleased to announce the Embassy of Colombia in Ireland is supporting a special mentorship, whereby an Ireland-based writer will be mentored by a Colombian author. The author for 2023 is Gloria Susana Esquivel, a Colombian journalist, author, translator and poet. She has written for Colombian and International media. She is the presenter of the podcast on feminism and culture Womansplaining in collaboration with the magazine 070. Her poems have been published in the UNAM´s Periódico de Poesía, the journal Palabras errantes and the magazine Matera. Her short stories have appeared in the anthology Puñalada trapera (2017) and in the Casa de las Américas journal. She completed a master in creative writing in NYU and is a lecturer in the Creative Writing Master of Instituto Caro y Cuervo (Colombia). She has published the poetry collection El lado salvaje (2016, The Wild Side) and the novel Animales del fin del mundo (2017; Animals at the end of the world, 2020).

Headshot: Gloria Susana Esquivel

Selected mentees get to choose the writer they work with from 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.

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.

Mentee opportunities are open to writers of any age, race, gender and nationality who are resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. All mentees will avail of the relationship for free. There is no fee for application. The Irish Writers Centre actively encourages applications from writers from diverse social, economic or cultural backgrounds.

The Irish Writers Centre is committed to the principles and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion. As a publicly-funded organisation, we are committed to taking positive policy measures to promote equality of opportunity, access and outcomes for all those living in Ireland regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, civil or family status, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community, as well as socio-economic background.

How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit the following information through the Submittable form. The application link will be live when submissions open on Wednesday 1 February:

  • A Statement of Intent outlining what project you will focus on during the mentoring process (100-200 words)
  • A Statement outlining your writing style, wider literary interests, and/or books or writers you have an affinity with (50-100 words)
  • A Statement of Benefit outlining why and how you think you’ll benefit from mentoring (100-200 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. Mentees must not be in full-time education or completing a creative writing MA during the mentoring process. Mentees must be over the age of 18 and resident on the island of Ireland. 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 IWC panel review of additional information (CVs, Statements, etc), with a respective 75%/25% split between these two.

Deadline: Midnight on Thursday 2nd March 2023

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.

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