Mentoring young writers

Each year, my university runs a mentor program to support Year 12 students in the region who are taking the English Extension course for their Higher School Certificate, for which they have to write a major creative work – a (long) short story, a series of poems, a speech, a film script being some of the options.

I’ve been involved in the mentor program for the past three years. I really enjoy it – there’s an online discussion board, plus we have full-day workshops when the students travel to the university to work in small groups with the program mentors. Because we’re in a regional area, some of the students travel quite some distance, arriving here the evening before the workshop, and staying in the University’s residential colleges overnight. As well as the workshop, it gives them a chance to experience a taste of uni life.

For various reasons, we’ve only got a small group this year, and therefore had only one workshop – which was yesterday. Eight students and their teachers from three different schools came, so Martin, the other mentor and I had a group of four students each to work with during the day. The young people in the program are always bright, interesting students, with great ideas for their major works, and yesterday’s group were no exception. It was a real delight to work with them.

So, thanks, Rosalie, Sarah, Sophie and Maree for a great day! I hope you went away with some useful ideas for your projects, and a boost to your inspiration and motivation. I sure did!

3 thoughts on “Mentoring young writers

  1. Sounds like a great program. I hope the students know how lucky they were to have you involved. BTW – Being ahh-hum a tad older, I’m hoping one day there’ll be an older persons mentoring program LOL

  2. What a wonderful idea! And it does sound like it would be great fun to interact with these young people who are enthusiastic about writing. Good for you for being involved in it!

  3. I do enjoy it – and I get a lot out of it, too! The students are very bright, have been studying literature, and they keep me on my toes!

    Jenn, I’m tossing around some workshop ideas in my head, maybe online, maybe not. But don’t get too excited – there’s too much going on in my life just now to take anything else on. Maybe a bit later in the year, when the uni job is finished, the conferences are over, and all I’ll be trying to do is finish a book 🙂

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