NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme 2024 Seeks Emerging Young Writers

Four secondary school students will each have the opportunity to be mentored by one of New Zealand’s best professional authors in order to develop their craft and hone their writing skills.

The NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme offers aspiring young writers (aged 15-18) a mentorship, from May to November. The intent of the mentor programme is to foster and develop emerging writing talent with the support of established authors.

Deadline: 6 April 2024

“I feel that I improved my skills as a writer and made a great deal of progress in terms of my project — I now have a clear structure, a plan moving forward and many smaller pieces to work with and develop further. Michelle has helped me build confidence in my work and consider things I previously didn’t, such as pacing and specific characterisation, as well as highlighting my strengths,” said Stella Weston who was partnered with writer and editor, Michelle Elvy.

Yiyang Cao of Auckland had award-winning poet Siobhan Harvey for her mentor and said this about her experience, “I feel that I’ve developed significantly as a poet this year, a process that was well aided by the feedback exchanged with my mentor. Her suggestions on form and craft have been intriguing and helpful to me as I worked towards finding my own poetic voice. I’ve also achieved the goal I had entering the mentorship, of writing and compiling a personal anthology of 40 of my poems in 2023.”The Youth Mentor Programme is run by the NZSA, the principal organisation representing around 1,800 writers in New Zealand. We offer support through advocacy and representation, professional development, information and guidance on publishing and the literary arts, administer prizes and awards and provide a contract advisory service. We work to protect authors incomes and are affiliated to International PEN, whereby we are a voice that upholds freedom of speech and protest against writers falsely silenced and imprisoned around the world. We offer memberships for writers at all stages of their careers including students. Our many assessment and mentorship programmes, such as our annual Youth mentorships, are offered with the support of Creative New Zealand.