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Mentoring Initiative

Please note: Applicants for the January 2023–April 2023 mentorship period will be notified of their status on Sunday, January 15. The mentorship period dates have been shifted to January 15–April 15.

The SFWA Mentoring Initiative is an all-volunteer service provided free of charge, which aims to connect emerging writers to each other and to established pros with the objective of providing community, sharing knowledge, and offering networking opportunities. It is focused on professional development rather than artistic development.

There are two distinct mentorship opportunities run by the Mentoring Initiative. Our Conference Mentorship Program primarily takes place during the Nebula Conference, and is an hour-long Q&A session for mentor and mentee to connect and discuss publication industry topics or even simply learn the basics of conference attendence. The Conference Mentorship Program does not extend beyond the conference.

The Career Mentorship Program runs over a three-month period and is described below. Applications are currently closed. Our next period will run January 10–April 10, 2023 January 15–April 15.

  • Mentorships are open to all SFWA members as well as to aspiring members. You do not need to be a member to participate as a mentor or a mentee.
  • You must be 21 or older in order to participate.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a space for every applicant.
  • There is no benefit to applying early; applications will be open for the entire month of November 2022. Take your time to consider what you want out of this program, so we can best match you to your mentor or mentee, if a spot is available for you.
  • The MENTOR application is here: https://forms.gle/z9S5jtLRHsbJTtAF8  Currently closed.
  • Mentees will be chosen in a weighted lottery, but the matches will still be made individually on the basis of application answers.
  • The MENTEE application is here: https://forms.gle/WGRRi9ve6GvHW7Nj6  Currently closed.
  • We ask that if you have had a successful match as a mentee in one of the previous matching rounds, you don’t apply again for the time being. If your match was dissolved or incomplete, we’re happy to match you again.
  • The mentor handbook is available here.
  • The mentee handbook is available here.

Please contact mentors@sfwa.org with any further questions.  Thank you for your patience as we continue to develop best practices for mentorships in the speculative fiction industry.