NZSA Youth Mentor Programme – Guidelines for Students

How Does the Mentorship Work?

The NZSA Youth Mentor Programme has been established to provide student writers with one-on-one feedback from an experienced writer. The mentor will assist you with a specific project and show you how to use various techniques to improve your work.

Your mentor will be sent the work in progress that was submitted with your application, and once they have agreed to mentor you, they will contact you to begin the process. Mentoring will take place in person, by phone, email, online meeting, or a combination of these.

The programme provides for 9 hours of the mentor’s time – this includes their reading time. Please ask the mentor what sort of things you will cover in discussions, for example, editing advice, or constructive feedback. It would be helpful if you could tell your mentor at the beginning what kind of help you would like. You then set a few goals with your mentor – for example, working on fleshing out the main characters; improving dialogue; tightening structure.

Your Obligations

Making Time:

The Youth Mentorships are hotly contested amongst secondary school students throughout the country – so if you accept a mentorship it is expected that you will commit time every fortnight to your writing and to discussions with your mentor.

Decide How You Will Work Together and When:

To make the most of your 9 hours it’s a really good idea to discuss how and when you’d like to work.  Setting deadlines with your mentor will be very helpful.  Mentors work in different ways. Some may prefer to work on one section of the project at a time, providing you with a critique that you can then rewrite and send together with the next section. Others may wish to see the entire work in progress first. Remember it is a partnership so communicating your needs and feelings is important.

Complete An Evaluation Form:

As our Mentor programme is funded by Creative NZ we give them feedback every year about how it’s all gone – which means you have to tell us how it went.  But don’t worry – we’ll send you a form once the mentorship is completed.

Stay in Touch:

If your project is published anywhere – let us know!

How Long Does It Go For?

The mentorship is 9 hours which can be done whenever you and your mentor decide but is intended to be spread out over two terms and to be completed by the end of Term 3. However, on request, this period could be extended to the end of October.

If you have any problems with the mentorship, you can discuss these with your mentor, and with our Programmes + Operations Manager Claire Hill.