Submissions are now closed. The deadline for the 2017 Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program was October 17, 2016. 


The Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program is designed to support developing writers in Nova Scotia who are committed to their writing and are on the cusp of professional publication. This is not an introductory creative writing course; it is an intensive, hands-on opportunity intended to provide a disciplined and focused period of work during which emerging writers may develop and hone their craft in a supportive environment. 

The WFNS welcomes applications from writers working in all disciplines, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, writing for children and young adults, and short fiction. (Please note that the WFNS does not offer mentorships for picture book or graphic novel authors at this time.) The selection of apprentices will be made by a peer assessment jury of three professional writers. This jury will also recommend mentors for each apprentice writer from a list of eligible writers who submitted an Expression of Interest to serve as a mentor. The final decision for matching mentors with applicant writers is made by the WFNS staff in order to accommodate availability, logistics, and so on. Assessment of eligible applications is based on the merit of the writing sample, the applicant’s commitment to the proposed writing project, and the merit of the proposed project activity. The decisions of the jury will be final.

Mentors and apprentice writers will work together over a five month period beginning in January. While maintaining flexibility to allow for sometimes complicated schedules, mentors and apprentice writers will meet approximately every two weeks (or for 8-10 sessions), either in person or, if no geographically convenient match is possible, via videoconference, with follow-up exchanges about the material via email. 

In addition, mentors and apprentice writers participate in two mandatory group meetings – one at the beginning of the program in January to review program details and build a supportive writing group, and another at roughly the mid-point of the program in early March to check-in and share as a group individual challenges and successes. A public reading as part of the annual WFNS Celebration of Emerging Writers is also mandatory and oncludes the program in early June. The WFNS promotes this reading and the mentorship participants widely in order to encourage public engagement with new writers and showcase the role of the mentorship program in building capacity in our Nova Scotia writing community. 

The WFNS provides an honorarium to the mentor to work with the apprentice writer. The apprentice writer agrees to contribute time, work, and effort without financial compensation during the mentorship period. There is no additional cost to the apprentice writer beyond WFNS membership and the mentorship program application fee, but the benefit of working with a professional writer for a sustained period provides value long after the program has ended. Please note that any travel costs for the apprentice writer to attend in-person meetings or the public reading are the responsibility of the apprentice. 

The WFNS reserves the right to determine whether or not an applicant will benefit from the program. In the case of an application being rejected for too much experience, the application fee will be refunded. The fee will not be refunded under any other circumstance, including incomplete, ineligible or unsuccessful applications. 

NOTE: Notices will be sent to all applicants, whether successful or unsuccessful  around early to mid December. Please do not contact the office to enquire about the status of your application.  

Submissions are now closed. The deadline for the 2017 Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program was October 17, 2016.