Diaspora Dialogues invites submissions from emerging writers who currently have a full or near-full draft of an original full-length novel, or collection of short stories, or collection of poems. Please note that we do not accept works intended for children or young adults. Full or near-full draft means that the writer has up to 85,000 words or 300 double-spaced pages of prose; or up to 25 poems (50 pages maximum).

Note: for the application, you do not need to submit the full draft of your novel, short story collection or poetry collection. We only require a sample (see guidelines below).

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.

For further information and to read about the experiences of writers who have participated in the program, please follow this link.

Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2016 (postmark). Notifications will be made in December.

Download the submission form.

Read frequently asked questions about the Mentorship Program.

Submission Guidelines

  • The Greater Toronto Region must exist in the novel or collection, either in a literal sense, or otherwise. How you interpret this is up to you!
  • Work from which the excerpt is submitted must be in a full draft or near-full draft stage.
  • We do not accept works intended for children or young adults.
  • Samples submitted can be one chapter from the novel or one short story from the collection (up to but not exceeding 5,000 words); poetry can include up to 10 poems but not exceed 15 pages.
  • Submissions must include a one-page description of the novel, short story or poetry collection.
  • Submissions must include a short biography in paragraph form (no more than 250 words.)
  • The work must be original and not previously published.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Each writer may submit only one manuscript.
  • A completed submission form must be included.
  • Submissions will not be accepted electronically or by fax.
  • Commentary/feedback is not available on submissions.

Formatting Your Submission

  • All submissions should be on standard, white, 8.5×11” pages.
  • All submissions should be double-spaced, Times New Roman font size 12.
  • Please do not double-side print your submission: print on one side of each page.
  • Please do not staple or bind your submission (paper and binder clips are acceptable).


  • Writers must not have a previously published full-length manuscript in the category in which they wish to apply, although appearances in magazines and/or anthologies are acceptable.
  • Any writer of any age can apply—alumni of Diaspora Dialogues’ short-form mentoring program, as well as past unsuccessful applicants, are eligible.
  • Writers must be living in the greater Toronto region, which includes York, Halton, Peel and Durham.

Please ensure you have carefully read all above guidelines before submitting. If you have further questions, please email Zalika Reid-Benta, Program Manager, at zalika@diasporadialogues.com.