Local writer, Mari Maxwell, has been selected by Words Ireland to receive professional literary mentoring over the next eight months from an acclaimed Irish writer.
After a national call-out, a total of 21 writers were selected from 300 applicants. Mayo Arts Service funded the literary mentorship along with the Arts Council of Ireland to guarantee that the best applicant from the county would be selected.
Their support will ensure that the chosen mentee receives this potentially life-changing support for free. It is also an investment in the long-term literary reputation of the region.
Maxwell, who lives in Mayo, is a former journalist/ombudsman and her work appears online and in print in Ireland, USA, Australia, Brazil and India. She is currently participating in BENCHMARK, a multifaceted arts and heritage project with Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar and author Mike McCormack.
Ann Marie McGing, Acting Arts Officer with Mayo County Council, said: "Mayo County Council Arts Service is delighted to support initiatives of this nature and especially those that support artists to develop their practice."
The mentoring process involves four two-hour meetings between the selected ‘mentee’ and their chosen professional writer. The mentor will read up to 10,000 words of the mentee’s writing in advance of each meeting and share their hard-earned critical feedback and advice.
The work-in-progress of the mentee is discussed in depth. The hope is that the chosen mentees will go on to write great works of literature as part of this peer-to-peer teaching, that has become increasingly popular across many sectors of Irish life – in industry as well as in the arts.