The Westmeath Arts Office is inviting local writers to apply for the Irish Writers Centre National Mentoring Programme 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 choice.
One Westmeath mentoring relationship is now on offer through the 2023 National Mentoring Programme with the closing date for applications being Thursday, March 2. The opportunity is available to writers of literary fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s/YA fiction and poetry.
The Arts Office in Westmeath is funding a literary mentorship for a local writer to guarantee that the best applicant from Westmeath is selected. Its support will ensure that the chosen mentee receives this potentially life-changing support free of charge. It is also an investment in the long-term literary reputation of the region.
Each mentorship consists of four meetings with an experienced writer over a period of approximately 6–8 months. Irish writers who currently mentor with the NMP include Wendy Erskine, Dave Rudden, Roisin Kiberd, Danielle McLaughlin, Alan McMonagle, Elaine Feeney, Oisin McGann, Tom McCarthy among others.
The hope for the National Mentoring Programme is that the chosen mentees will go on to write great works of literature to match or best the quality of their mentors. It’s a form of peer to peer teaching that is increasingly popular in literature, formalizing the process whereby masters pass on their craft to students.
Other supporting bodies include:
Dublin City Libraries, UNESCO City of Literature, Fingal Arts Office, Wicklow Arts Office, Roscommon Arts Centre, Limerick Arts Office, South Dublin Arts Office, Kildare Arts Office, Kilkenny Arts Office, Wexford Arts Office, Galway Arts Office, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office, Mayo Arts Office, Meath Arts Office, Source Arts Centre, and the Colombian Embassy to Ireland.
Over 150 mentees have benefited from the programme since its inception in 2017. Writers on the receiving end of mentoring have included Doireann Ni Ghríofa, Molly Twomey, Victoria Kennefick, Kathleen Murray and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe. These and others have gone on to publish novels, books for children and YA audiences, and collections of poetry and short fiction and non-fiction.