The 2019 Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program application process is now OPEN! Details HERE! The deadline is October 14th, 2018. 


Since 2001, the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program has supported the development of emerging writers in Nova Scotia who are on the cusp of professional publication. This is not an introductory creative writing program, but a disciplined, focused, and hands-on apprenticeship in which writers hone their craft during a supportive one-on-one process.

The program pairs professionally published writers with emerging writers, taking care through a peer assessment process to match the experience and craft of the former with project goals and draft manuscripts of the latter.  Applications are welcome from writers throughout Nova Scotia with projects in all forms and genres of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. (Please note that the WFNS does not offer mentorships for picture book or graphic novel authors at this time.)

The program helps emerging writers overcome barriers to their growth and development, provides professional writers with an opportunity to refine their mentoring/instructional skills, and reaffirms the creative conviction of everyone involved. In so doing, the program has helped foster creative writing and the profession of writing, encourage greater public recognition of Nova Scotian writers and their achievements, and enhance the province’s cultural life. 

The deadline for the 2018 Alistair MacLoed Mentorship Program is October 14th 2018.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

How It Works, Briefly

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 in early December to review program details and build a supportive writing group that is ready to begin work in January, 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 concludes 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 Nova Scotia's writing community. 

The WFNS provides an honorarium to the mentors. There is no cost to apprentice writers beyond WFNS membership dues and the mentorship program application fee, and yet the benefit of working with a professional writer for a sustained period provides value long after the program has ended. Please note that the apprentice writer is responsible for any travel costs to attend in-person meetings or the public reading.