To apply for the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program, apprentice writers must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a member in good standing of the WFNS. If you are not currently a member, please register by clicking here.  Applications from non-members will not be considered. Membership is open to anyone. 
  • You must be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia (ie, you have lived in Nova Scotia permanently for at least one year and file your taxes here.) Students who return to a home outside of Nova Scotia in the summer and those who have only seasonal residence in the province are not eligible.
  • You must not have a book published in the form of writing in which you wish to apprentice. A few professional periodical publications (4-6 poems; 1-2 short stories or short creative non-fiction articles) are acceptable. 
  • You may submit only one application to each program deadline, so take the time to focus on your strongest project and applicaton. 
  • Late, incomplete, faxed, or mailed applications will be rejected as ineligible. 

You must submit the following three components in order to provide a complete application. 
Please use Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font for all parts of your application.
Please note that this program accepts digital applications only. At minimum one pairing of the Mentorship Program will be for Indigenous or Black Nova Scotian individuals. It is appreciated if you self-identify in your applications. 
1. A cover letter containing:
  • Your mailing and civic address. 
  • A statement confirming you are a permanent resident of Nova Scotia.
  • Your email address and a phone number where you may be reached during business hours. 
  • A statement confirming that you are 19 years of age or older, and that you are unpublished in the form of writing in which you wish to apprentice. If it is discovered that the declaration was false, the application will be discarded.
  • A statement that should you be selected, you will make yourself available for the mandatory meetings on: December 6, 2018 (snow date: December 13, 2018); March 8, 2019 (snow date: March 18, 2019); and the public reading on May 30th, 2019. If you are not able to make all of these dates, please do not apply. The two in-person sessions and the reading are critical to meeting the goals of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. Allowances may be made for Skype or teleconferencing should you be unable to make it to Halifax for the group meetings. 

2. Personal responses roughly one paragraph in length to each of the following:

  1. How long have you been writing?
  2. Summarize your writing activity for the past twelve months.
  3. Provide an outline of what you propose to work on during the mentorship period.
  4. Give a description of the work you'll have available for the mentorship (i.e. number of poems, written, number of pages completed of your fiction or prose manuscript).
  5. What goal have you set yourself to achieve during the five-month mentorship period? Be specific.
  6. How will you make writing a priority during the full course of the program? How will the mentorship fit into your schedule? If you are unable to commit to making writing a priority, please do not apply.  

3. A ten (10) doubled spaced page writing sample of the work in progress using Times New Roman or Arial in 12 point font.


Combine your cover letter, personal response paragraphs, and your writing sample into one document. Name it Lastname_Firstname_Mentorship.doc. Please do not name your application something generic such as "mentorship application." We receive a large number of applications and we need to be able to readily identify each application. Email your application to

Ensure that your application is complete and correct before submitting. Multiple versions of an application containng corrections and revisions from the same applicant causes confusion and administrative issues, so please ensure your application is complete and correct before submitting. In the event of an error, please contact the office and explain the issue before sending a replacement document. The best way to ensure that we will allow you to correct any issues is to submit early. No applications or revised applications will be submitted after the deadline.

Applications must include a $25 application fee. The fee can be paid via PayPal, or by cheque*.
*If paying by cheque, please note that the fee is in the mail when you email your application. Please address the cheque to Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia and mail it to 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7. The cheque must be post-dated later than October 15, 2017. Please do not mail the cheque before you have submitted your application. 

(Note: Applications will not be considered complete until payment is received. Applications will also not be considered complete if the applicant is not a current WFNS member in good standing.)

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. 


After apprentice writers' applications have been processed to ensure they are complete and eligible, the applications are shared with a peer assessment jury of three professional writers contracted by the WFNS. The jury selects apprentices from the applications received and also recommends mentors for each successful application from a list of writers who submitted an Expression of Interest to serve as a mentor. The final decision for matching mentors with apprentice writers is made by the WFNS staff in order to accommodate availability, logistics, and so on. Assessment of 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.

NOTE: All applicants, whether successful or unsuccessful, will be notified of the results of their applications by late November. Please do not contact the office to enquire about the status of your application prior to that time. 

For questions or further information, please call our office at 902-423-8116. 


  • A cover letter that states:
    • your mailing and civic address, email, and phone number;
    • you are a WFNS member in good standing (the WFNS office will verify this when processing your application);
    • you are 19 years of age or older;
    • you do not have a book published in the form you wish to apprentice;
    • you are a permanent Nova Scotia resident; and
    • you will attend the mandatory meetings and the Celebration of Emerging Writers, scheduled for the dates indentified above if you are successful.
  • Completed personal response paragraphs. (Six paragraphs.)
  • A writing sample of 10 double spaced pages in Times New Roman or Arial at 12 points. This will form part of the proposed project you wish to work on during the mentorship program. 
  • Submit all files as a .doc or *docx file. Please name your application as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Mentorship.doc
  • Payment ($25 application fee plus membership fees if applicable) via PayPal or by mailing in a cheque. Click here to pay your application fee via PayPal. IMPORTANT: If the name on the PayPal account is different than the name on the application, please email to let us know.