Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme

We are pleased to announce that the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme is once again open for applications from writers who attended an Arvon course in 2017 or 2018.

Now in its ninth iteration, this programme is run in partnership with Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and will take on nine talented, emerging writers, who will be mentored for one year by an established writer working in the genre of either Fiction, Playwriting or Poetry.

This is a unique opportunity to transform your writing practice. Over the course of the year you will benefit from dedicated support and guidance with your writing, two week-long residentials at an Arvon centre, and additional advice sessions from industry professionals.

We are looking for applications from those interested in developing both their writing and professional practice, who have a clear idea of what they would like to achieve over a one-year period. Thanks to full funding from Jerwood Charitable Foundation we are able to offer places to mentees at no cost.



Mentoring on the 2019/20 programme are Fiction writer Nicholas Royle, Playwright Evan Placey, and Poet Hannah Lowe. These inspiring mentors will take on three writers each in their category, supporting and guiding them in their work over the course of the year, from a week of intensive workshops, to preparing their work for publication in a group anthology.



Nicholas Royle is the author of four volumes of short fiction – MortalityIn Camera, Ornithology, and 2018’s The Dummy and Other Uncanny Stories. He has also published seven novels, most recently First Novel. He has edited more than twenty anthologies and is series editor of Best British Short Stories (Salt). Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, he also runs Nightjar Press and has been Chair of Judges for the Manchester Fiction Prize since it was launched in 2009.


Evan Placey has written for theatres internationally and in the UK, including the National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Unicorn, Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Ambassadors (West End) and BBC Radio 3. Awards include: King’s Cross Award for New Writing (for Mother of Him),  Brian Way Award (for Holloway Jones) and the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Young Audiences (for Girls Like That). He is a Lecturer and Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Southampton, and also teaches playwriting for the National Theatre and in prisons. For screen he is currently under commission to BBC, Channel 4, ITV Studios, and the BFI.


Hannah Lowe has published three chapbooks of poetry, and two full collections, Chick (2013)and Chan (2016). Chick won the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry. Her family memoir Long Time No See was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. In 2014 she was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society. She is Lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University, London. A new chapbook, The Neighbourhood will be published in January 2019.



In addition to ongoing mentoring, the beginning and end of the year are each marked by a week away at Totleigh Barton, the first Arvon centre, in the Devon countryside. Beginning with a tutored Masterclass Week in April 2019 with the three mentors, the year concludes with a Retreat Week without the mentors in April 2020. These weeks will provide the programme’s mentees with the time and space to focus on their writing, away from their everyday lives.



In the autumn of 2019 mentees will be offered specialist advice sessions with industry insiders, and the nine writers’ development over the year will culminate in an anthology of works, in print and e-book format, and a book launch event in London.

This will be the ninth iteration of the programme, which since 2009 has supported writers at the beginning of their careers. Recent achievements by past mentees include Richard Scott being shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize for his collection Soho (Faber & Faber), Andrew Thompson winning Best Writer at The Stage Debut Awards 2018, and Stephanie Scott signing an international deal for her forthcoming novel The Sentence (Weidenfield & Nicholson, June 2019).



If you are 18 or over (from 1st April 2019), and have attended or will attend any Arvon course in 2017 or 2018 (including Partnership and Arvon City courses, retreats and Clockhouse Retreats), you may be eligible to apply for this year’s scheme.

The following documents will help you with preparing your application:

Application guidelines (PDF)
Application cover sheet (MS Word)
Application cover sheet (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)  

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 7th January 2019. Interviews will be held on 12th March (Poetry), 13th March (Playwriting), and  14th March (Fiction).

If you have any questions about the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme or how to apply, please contact Joe Bibby, Learning and Participation Coordinator, on or by calling 0207 324 2562

To a potential applicant I’d say: Do it. Do it, do it, do it. You will gain so much. Prepare to be challenged, consumed, inspired – made a better writer.

– Abbie Salter (Jerwood/Arvon fiction mentee 2017/18)


To find out more about the 75 writers who have now taken part in this programme, visit our alumni page, where you can now download an ebook copy of Midnight Listening, the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme Anthology Volume Eight.



The Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme is generously supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.


Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. The aim of its funding is to allow artists and arts organisations to thrive; to continue to develop their skills, imagination and creativity with integrity. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. For more information visit


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