Photo from five year mentorship anniversary event

Through an open call for submissions, we select emerging writers to participate in our free mentoring program to ready a book-length project for publication. When appropriate, select mentees will get the opportunity to receive targeted introductions to agents and/or publishers.

Mentoring Program

Diaspora Dialogues mentoring program runs one session per year (September - February) and offers emerging writers greater in-depth opportunity to hone their craft and ready a book-length project for publication.

Our “Writer's Residencies” will provide each writer with a specialized professional development program, in order to cultivate and build writing skills to create engaging material.

How to Apply for the Mentoring Program

Diaspora Dialogues is inviting submissions of original full-length novels or collections of short stories up to 85,000 words or 300 double-spaced pages; or full-length poetry manuscripts of up to 25 poems (no more than 50 pages maximum) from emerging writers.

Note: these Writer's Residencies are open to all emerging writers who fit the eligibility requirements, regardless of any previous participation in Diaspora Dialogues programs.

Through an adjudicated process, the most promising emerging writers will be chosen for the opportunity to work over a six-month period with a mentor via correspondence (either email or post).

Diaspora Dialogues is committed to supporting a literature of Toronto that is as diverse as the city itself. Writers are encouraged to keep this mandate in mind, but addressing this theme directly is not essential in the submission. The setting of the works must be, at least in part, the greater Toronto region.

For further information and to read about the experiences of writers who have participated in the program, please visit here

Submissions for 2015 are now closed. We will issue an open call for the fall 2016 program in summer 2015. Please check back for details or follow us on social media.

What to Expect

The writers chosen will have a complete or near-complete draft of a novel, collection of short stories or poetry manuscript and will be mentored via correspondence (either email or post). A portion of the emerging writer’s manuscript will be submitted to the mentor for feedback each month over the six-month period. If a manuscript exceeds the length limit, the emerging writer will be asked to omit chapters, poems or stories of their choice and submit brief bridging material where necessary. The mentoring process will address character, story, structure, pace, writing style and substantive aspects of the work, and no copy editing (ie, spelling, grammar, word usage etc.) will be provided.

After the mentoring process, DD will meet with each of the writers to discuss revisions or, when appropriate, to create and facilitate a plan for manuscript submission, leveraging our relationships within the Canadian publishing community (publication, however, is not guaranteed).