Writing East Midlands Writer Mentoring Scheme

“I was very excited to be offered a place on the scheme, and it has completely exceeded my expectations. I have learnt a great deal about the short story form, and have a far better understanding of the stories I am writing: my preoccupations, my instincts, my bad habits, and what I need to do to make my stories work. Each mentoring session left me feeling more confident, and more enthusiastic about my ideas. Jacob and I worked on 18 short stories over the six-month period, most of which went through several versions, so the work was intensive and challenging, but I found it an extremely educational and encouraging experience. I would never have been able to move my writing forward in this way without the mentorship.” – Anna Lewis (who completed the mentoring scheme with Jacob Ross 2016)

A well-matched mentoring relationship can give momentum to writers, helping to develop their craft and their awareness of the market they wish to enter. Our mentoring scheme will offer support and advice to 3 writers each year who, in our view, are able to demonstrate great promise and commitment. The scheme matches the selected writers to sympathetic, established, professional writers.

The next round of the Writer Mentoring Scheme is now open.

Deadline for applications is 14th October 2017.

If you’d like to apply for one of our mentoring opportunities, please complete this application form, which includes details about what samples of work and other information we require.

mentoring books

Recent successes for some of our previous mentees include: Jamie Mollart’s The Zoo (Sandstone Press) voted an Amazon Rising Star in 2015, Lisa Drakeford’s The Baby (Chicken House), Garry Martin’s Beneath Napoleon’s Hat (Colley Books)

Submission Guidelines

Our mentoring scheme offers support and advice to 3 writers each year who, in our view, are able to demonstrate great promise and commitment. The scheme matches the selected writers to sympathetic, established, professional writers.

These relationships will be for an agreed periods of time, between 6 – 12 months, and will focus on developing the work of writers who have reached a critical point, enabling them to step beyond the private process of writing and onto new levels. Ultimately, the scheme aims to help writers to develop their work to a publishable standard.

We will require writers to develop a specific piece of work-in-progress. The mentor will offer constructive criticism and support in a number of sessions to help take the work forward.

All shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a Creative Development Planning workshop (free of charge) to identify further areas of focus.

This scheme would best suit emerging writers able to display real commitment. The mentoring scheme is also available for established writers in one form who are looking to develop their writing in different forms.

“Last year I was fortunate enough to win a place on the Writing East Midlands Mentoring Scheme…. Maxine’s manner is calm, but her attention to detail is fierce. She taught me how to go about writing in a punchier, tighter way. Her knowledge and expertise with the craft of the novel is obvious and I learnt such a lot. I now feel much more prepared and confident about my writing. We spent one session looking at how to go about pitching my work. Her understanding of the writing business is obvious and she offered some particularly helpful advice. In my opinion this mentoring scheme offered by WEM is priceless. I know I am extremely lucky to have had the experience, and I aim to use everything that I have learnt for my next step.” – Lisa Drakeford (who completed the mentoring scheme with Maxine Linnell in 2013).



Writers must be resident in the East Midlands at the time of application and who will continue to live in the region throughout the mentoring period.

Writers will not be accepted for the service more than once in any three-year period.

The scheme will be open to published or unpublished writers.

This scheme is open to submissions of prose, poetry, creative non-fiction (including life-writing) and scripts for radio, stage and screen.

Writing East Midlands decisions will be based on a balance of factors:
• The literary quality of the work submitted
• The probability of publication by a bona fide publisher (Preference will therefore be shown to writers who are able to provide evidence of genuine publisher or agent interest in their work.)
• The need to encourage a range and diversity of new writing from the East Midlands

Deadline for applications is 14th October 2017.

To Apply

Applications should be submitted via this web form, which contains instructions for what samples of work etc. are needed.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a Creative Professional Development workshop (date and location to be confirmed). Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview and, should the applicant be successful, a mentor will be matched with an established writer. Other areas where Writing East Midlands can support the unsuccessful shortlisted applicants will be identified during the selection process.

The Writing East Midlands Mentoring Scheme is very popular and continues to attract an increasingly high number of submissions each year. Please note that the selection panel’s decision is final and the panel reserves the right not to enter into further correspondence about its decisions.

Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to offer feedback on submissions. However, in light of the growing popularity of the scheme, we’re pleased to offer a limited number of short critiques from one of our Writing School East Midlands tutors to applicants who show particular promise, but who have not been shortlisted for the mentoring scheme at this time.
We reserve the right to return work which would be unlikely at this stage to benefit from the Mentoring Scheme. We will only put forward writers in the East Midlands.