Mentorship Programme 2023

The Reading Corner’s mentorship program strives to support students and graduates who want to build a career in the publishing industry, working behind the scenes, writing, or illustrating books, by pairing them with experienced professionals in the field.

In 2023, TRC will offer ten mentorships divided in the following categories: Behind the Scenes, Creative Writing, and Illustration. Our mentors will work one-on-one with a mentee over the course of nine months, offering advice on how to gain the necessary skills to enter the publishing industry, working on drafts and manuscripts, or improving portfolios. All communications between mentors and mentees will be done online or through other mutually agreed upon forms of correspondence.

This mentorship period will run from September 2023 to June 2024. The mentorship program is open to applications from May 1st, 2023 through 11:59 on May 31st, 2023. We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials early.

Eligibility

Behind the Scenes Mentorships are available to diverse students and graduates who want to enter the publishing industry, and who don’t have experience with any of the major houses.

Creative Writing Mentorships are available to diverse students and graduates who have completed a full draft of a manuscript or have an idea for one and have begun the drafting process. Manuscripts must feature a diverse main character or diverse central subject matter.

Illustration Mentorships are available to diverse students and graduates who have a portfolio or several sample illustrations completed. They must show interest in entering the publishing industry.

Applicants may only apply for one of the three mentorship categories, so it is up to the applicants to research the available mentors and decide which category will be most suitable for their work.

Applicants who do not comply with submission rules will be disqualified. This is an opportunity to be matched with an experienced book professional and receive individual support and feedback on furthering one’s career.

*The Reading Corner’s definition of diversity: We recognise all diverse experiences including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, people coming from low-income or low-literacy areas.

How to apply

We are open for applications from May 1st, 2023 through 11:59 on May 31st, 2023.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials early. You can find detailed submission guidelines and an application form below. 

There is no cost to apply, or for the mentoring program.

The judges will select a pool of final applicants based on the merit of the work submitted. Mentors will select their mentee based on merit, compatibility, and readiness/need for the mentorship, as outlined in their essay. Applicants who do not comply with submission rules will be disqualified.

There is not an age limit on applying, however, these age groups will be prioritised:

– Students on their last year of A-levels (Year 13).
– Students at any point of their university studies (Bachelor or Master), especially those working towards a publishing or communication-related degree.
– Graduate students (maximum of 5 years since they completed their studies).

Mentorship Sumbission Guidelines

PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES IN THEIR ENTIRETY. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY OF THE SUBMISSION RULES WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.

To apply for the TRC Mentorship Program, submit an application via the link above during the submission period of May 1st-31st 2023. A panel of judges will select a pool of applicants based on merit and demonstrated need and readiness for the mentorship. The mentors will choose the mentee with whom they will work. All applicants will be notified of mentor’s decisions via email in June 2023. Due to an overwhelming number of applicants, we are not able to provide feedback or critique on submitted manuscripts or portfolios.

To apply, the form will ask for the following pieces of information and/or documents:

– An autobiographical statement with how you identify as diverse (if you identify within an underrepresented group) and your career summary (250 words maximum).
– A statement on how you or your work will bring forward an underrepresented voice or viewpoint (250 words maximum).
– The title, genre, intended age and brief pitch of your manuscript. Illustrators must provide a link to your  online portfolio that showcases your illustration samples.
– Please declare if you have a strong preference for working with a particular mentor and name that person (optional).
– Contact information (name, mailing address, email address, telephone number) and a pen/another name to be used publicly if desired.

Along with your application form, you will be asked to send an unpublished work sample (for students applying for the Creative Writing and Illustration Mentorships):

– Creative Writing Applicants, upload the first 25 pages of a completed manuscript or a 500-word pitch for an uncompleted manuscript. Acceptable formats are .pdf and .doc/docx.
– Illustrators, upload one PDF file containing 3-5 of your best illustrations (images may be on separate pages, but all in one file please). Images may be standalone or part of a book dummy with text or captions. Total file size may not exceed 15MB. You will also be asked to provide a link to your online portfolio. 

FAQs

Unfortunately, our mentorship program is only available for students and graduates in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Norhtern Ireland). All submissions must be written in English and all applicants must be able to communicate easily in English.

The logistics and frequency of communication will be mutually agreed upon by you and your mentor after the selection process. Because we have chosen a lineup of authors and professionals who are active in the industry, there will need to be flexibility on both parts, which is why the details of each mentorship will be individualised after being awarded. Most or all communication will be done digitally or other mutually agreed upon forms of correspondence. 

No, the mentorship is an opportunity to work with a well-published member of our community, from whom you will receive individual support and feedback on a work-in-progress basis. Mentors will not be expected to provide referrals to agents, editors, or publishers. The focus of the mentorship is craft-based, with the opportunity to ask professional and business-related questions as they arise. 

Please email your questions to the TRC admin team at admin@thereadingcorner.art

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