Apply for a Mentorship

 Application Deadline: October 7, 2022

1. Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program, writers must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be a member in good standing of the WFNS. General membership is open to anyone who writes.
  • You must be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia (i.e., you have lived in Nova Scotia permanently for at least one year and you file your taxes here). Out-of-province college/university students and seasonal residents are ineligible.
  • You must be 19 years of age of older by the current program deadline.
  • You must not have published a book in the form of writing in which you wish to apprentice. A few professional periodical publications (e.g., 4 – 6 poems; 1 – 2 short stories; or 1 – 2 short nonfiction articles) are acceptable. WFNS reserves the right to determine whether applicant will benefit from the program given their degree of experience in the form of writing in which they wish to apprentice.
  • You must submit only one application to each program deadline, so take the time to focus on your strongest project and application. Submitting two applications to a single program deadline, even if the projects are in different genres or forms of writing, is not permitted.
  • Should you be selected for the Mentorship Program, you must be available for three (3) group meetings and the program’s capstone public reading, all of which are conducted in person in Halifax. The mandatory group meetings will be scheduled for December, February, and April, and the public reading (the Celebration of Emerging Writers) will be scheduled for June. These events are critical components of the Mentorship Program. If you are unable to commit to all of these dates, your application will be ineligible. However, if travel to Halifax is or becomes not possible, accommodations may be made for teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

2. Application Package

Application packages must contain all components listed below and must be submitted by the program deadline. Each application package must be submitted as a single digital document (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) with a file name as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Mentorship (where “Lastname” is your family name and “Firstname” is your given name). Incomplete, late, non-digital, or misnamed application packages are ineligible.

A. Personal responses (each roughly one paragraph in length) to the following questions:

  1. How long have you been writing?
  2. Summarize your writing activity for the past twelve months.
  3. Describe the work you’ll have available for the mentorship period (e.g., number of pages or poems completed of your prose or poetry manuscript).
  4. Outline what you propose to work on during the mentorship period.
  5. What goals have you set yourself to achieve during the five-month mentorship period? Be specific.
  6. How will you prioritize writing during the mentorship period, and how will the mentorship fit into your schedule?

B. A writing sample of the work-in-progress of up to 10 pages (double-spaced for prose; single-spaced for poetry; in 12-pt Times New Roman or Arial font). Shorter samples are accepted, but we recommend taking advantage of the full 10 pages. Poetry samples may use others fonts only if typeface is integral to the project.

3. Assessment Process

All applicants will be notified of their applications results by late November. Due to the volume of applications anticipated, we ask that you not query the office about the status of your application prior to that time.

After applications packages have been processed to ensure they are complete and eligible, they will be shared with a peer assessment jury of three professional writers contracted by the WFNS. The jury will assess application packages based on 

  • the merit of the writing sample,
  • the merit of the proposed writing project, and
  • the applicant’s commitment to the proposed writing project.

The jury selects apprentice writers from the applicants received and recommends a mentor for each successful applicant from a list of writers submitted Expressions of Interest to serve as mentors. The jury’s selection of apprentice writers will be final. In order to accommodate availability and other logistical factors, the final selection of a mentor for each successful applicant will be made by WFNS staff.

4. How to Apply

Applications are accepted only through the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that completing the application form is the final step in our recommended application checklist:

Ensure your eligibility.
Ensure your application package is complete and correct. In the event of an error, please contact our office to explain the issue before submitting a revised application package. No application package or revised application package can be accepted after the program deadline, so we encourage you to apply early.
Pay the $32 application fee through one of the fee options detailed below. This fee covers most but not all of the administrative and assessment costs for each application. As such, a refund of this fee will be considered only if an applicant is deemed ineligible due to too much experience in the form of writing in which they wish to apprentice. This fee cannot be refunded under any other circumstance, including incomplete, ineligible, or unsuccessful applications.
Complete and submit the online application form, visible at the bottom of this page when applications are being accepted. After clicking the “Submit application” button, please wait until the green confirmation message appears (confirming that your form has been successfully submitted) before exiting this page.

Application fee options

Pay online.  (PayPal account or credit card required. Please ensure the email address you provide at checkout matches the email address included in your submission.)

Pay by phone. (Credit card required. Please call between 9am and 4pm on weekdays.)

902 423 8116

Pay by mail. (Cheque must be payable to Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and post-dated for no later than the program deadline. Mail your cheque before completing the online application form.)

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS  B3H 4P7

If the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program application fee or WFNS membership dues present a barrier to your application, please contact WFNS’s Executive Director ( before applying. Funds are available to help underwaged writers with application fees and membership dues.

 Application Deadline: October 7, 2022

Mentorship Program application form
Please enter a phone number where you may be reached during business hours.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Your application package must
- be a single digital file containing all components identified in the above section "2. Application Package."
- have a file name as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Mentorship (where "Lastname" is your family name and "Firstname" is your given name.)
- be in DOC or PDF format.
Incomplete, misnamed, or unreadable application packages will be ineligible.
If it is discovered that any of these declarations is false, your application will be ineligible.
The mandatory group meetings and public reading are critical components of the Mentorship Program. If you are unable to commit to all of these dates, your application will be ineligible for consideration.

2022-2023 Mentorship Program dates: Mandatory group meetings will be conducted via Zoom at 10am on Dec 8, 2022; Feb 23, 2023; and Apr 27, 2023. The Celebration of Emerging Writers will be held in person in Halifax on the evening of June 1, 2023.
Indicate the method by which you paid the Mentorship Program application fee. Fee payment must be sent before you submit your application.

For questions or further information, please contact us.
Due to the volume of applications anticipated, we ask that you contact us at least two weeks before the program deadline.

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