Participants in the Emerging Writers Mentorship Program are assigned to work with a mentor over the course of 13 months. The program is open to writers who demonstrate a high level of skill and interest in writing about religious or spiritual topics. Participants are not eligible if they have published a book or are currently enrolled in an MFA program. The program is limited to five participants.
The program kicked off with a welcome orientation in May, followed by individual virtual meetings with their writing mentors during June and July where participants will generated several essay ideas. Participants attended a virtual writing workshop at the end of July. The writing workshop included formal seminars, individual mentorship and goal setting, peer-to-peer work, and time for participants to develop, write, and polish their first article.
During the program, mentors continue to work online with their assigned participants. This work includes direct feedback on writing, zoom sessions, and instruction on specific writing techniques. On occasion all writers may gather together online for instruction. Writers will complete four essays under the guidance of their writing mentor:
- an opinion or op-ed piece;
- a personal essay about a spiritual/religious issue or experience;
- an informational article or profile;
- and a fourth essay in a form of their choosing, either from the three options given above, or in an alternative form with the approval of their mentor.
Some essays from each participant will be submitted the Collegeville Institute’s online publication Bearings Online and proceed through Bearings Online regular editorial process to publication.