AWP's mentorship program, Writer to Writer, matches emerging writers and published authors for a three-month series of modules on topics such as craft, revision, publishing, and the writing life. Mentors volunteer their time and receive a free one-year AWP membership. Writer to Writer is free of charge to mentees.
Our program is open to all AWP members. We receive between 300 and 400 mentee applications a season and 50–60 mentor applications. We are usually able to match 25–30 pairs. We choose mentors after considering the specific needs present in the mentee applications that session. When reviewing mentor applications, we are also looking for responses that demonstrate an understanding of the special nature of a good mentor-mentee relationship, and that the applicant shows a willingness to be supportive, responsive, and receptive to learning from the experience. Most mentors say that they want to serve in this program because they had a mentor who helped them, and now they long to give back. Others say that they long to be the mentor they wish they'd had.
Should you be chosen to participate, you will be given several applications to review and select your own mentee. Mentors tend to choose mentees based on shared goals and interests, and whether they feel they can help that person at the stage they are in now. Our mentees come from all backgrounds and levels of experience, and we particularly encourage applications from those who have never been affiliated with an MFA program, and those writing from backgrounds, regions, and perspectives often underrepresented in the literary world. You will have opportunities to interact with the other mentors taking part in that session, and AWP's membership team will be there with you, every step of the way.
Our Spring 2021 session begins in late February and will consist of six lightly structured modules over a three-month period, concluding in May. You and your partner will make a commitment to the process—and to each other. Together, you will decide whether phone, Skype, email, or a mix of communication styles would be the best way to complete the modules. Mentors agree to be available for a minimum of two hours per month by phone; you will be asked to respond to emails from your partner within two days. You need not strictly follow the program modules, but we ask that you and your mentor mutually agree before departing from them.
Please carefully consider what other commitments already exist on your schedule before applying as a mentor so you can give your mentee and the program meaningful attention.
There is no charge to apply. Mentor applications can be submitted year-round.
The more detailed you are in your responses to the questionnaire that follows, the easier it will be for us to find great potential matches for you.
Thank you for wishing to serve as a Writer to Writer mentor!