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, in addition mentees will get the opportunity to receive targeted introductions to agents and/or publishers.

Mentoring Program

Diaspora Dialogues mentoring program runs two sessions per year 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.

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.

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. Some of the Writer's Residencies will be reserved for youth writers aged 16 to 25.

The application process is now closed and we will announce accepted applicants before the holidays. The next open call will take place Summer 2014.

Download guidelines and submission form here.

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 (e.g. from July-December.) 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 create and facilitate a plan for manuscript submission (publication, however, is not guaranteed), leveraging our relationships within the Canadian publishing community.