Mentoring Scheme 2014

The Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme is currently closed to applications.

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In 2014, the Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme will support four established writers who need intensive support with a writing project. We will pair them up with a writer or industry professional – such as an agent, editor or producer -- for 9 months of mentoring.


This mentoring scheme is open to you if you are:

  • A writer who has had work commercially published;
  • A playwright or screenwriter whose work has been professionally produced who wishes to work on poetry, short stories or novels during the mentoring period.

If you do not have a significant professional publishing track record then you should apply to the New Writers Awards. If you apply to both and are accepted onto the mentoring programme your application to the New Writers Awards will be withdrawn.

If you wish to concentrate on a novel or short story collection you should have a substantial amount of writing on the page (even at rough draft stage) before applying in order to give a mentor material to work with. This does not apply to children’s authors who wish to work on younger fiction.

Writers must live and work in Scotland. 

What is the Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme?

‘Thanks for the opportunity...I took it with both hands and ran with it.'

The Scottish Book Trust Mentoring Scheme supports established and emergent writers, playwrights, screenwriters and author/illustrators who have a specific project on which they would like some dedicated support. Mentoring creates an intimate, sharing environment in which the mentee grows in confidence and unlocks their potential, allowing them to move forward in their writing career.

Writers Image by Chris ScottWe match successful applicants with another writer or industry professional with appropriate experience, and we support them as they work together over an intensive period of nine months.

The mentoring programme is completely free to participating writers, and Scottish Book Trust pays all associated travel and expenses for both mentors and mentees. We also offer all mentors a fee for their time and input.

‘It's been a real privilege to have such an engaged critic read over such a rough draft, asking all the tough questions that needed to be asked and giving me the confidence to make it much, much better. I've learnt far more than any creative writing course could teach.'

Some previous successes:

  • One novelist has won an international screenwriting award and has been commissioned by the BBC.
  • One novelist is now writing award-winning plays.
  • One illustrator is now a published children’s author.
  • One new writer has now published five novels.
  • One writer has had a series aired on BBC Alba.
  • One Gaelic writer has published a novel, short story collection and a collection of poetry.
  • One writer's debut novel will be published in Autumn 2013.

Past mentors include Andrew Crumey, Stuart Kelly, Sophy Dale, Bernard MacLaverty, Alan Bissett, Tom Leonard, Professor Douglas Gifford, Kathryn Ross of literary agents Fraser Ross Associates, David Ian Neville of BBC Radio Scotland, established screenwriter Adrian Mead, Philip Howard (former Artistic Director of Traverse Theatre) and many more. 

‘Please use my example as another success story that you have allowed to be created - the mentoring went a long way to helping me get to where I am now. I wanted to give you credit for that.'

Top image credit: peteoshea from Flickr Creative Commons.