Post-MFA Mentorships

The Rainier Writing Workshop has now produced a critical mass of graduates, many of whom have published books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. These books were often the creative theses that the graduates completed in their final year in the program. For others, the creative thesis is a foundational iteration of work that will be developed into publication-worthy manuscripts.

The Rainier Writing Workshop is committed to helping its alumni with their writing and professional goals after their time in the program. Beginning in 2015, the RWW is offering mentorships to alumni who have completed substantial portions of a manuscript but need strategic feedback from a mentor in order to bring that work to completion. The program, of course, cannot guarantee publication for any student in the program or for any alumni writer who participates in a post-degree mentorship. But it’s undoubtedly true that the incisive help of a mentor will elevate the quality of any manuscript that the alumni writer produces, whether or not publication is the writer’s ultimate goal.

Each mentorship will encompass six months and four mailings. The number of mailings might be fewer or more than four, but this will be negotiated between the mentor and mentee once the proposal has been approved. The six-month period can also be adjusted by the mentor and mentee. The start-date of each mentorship can be at any time, once the proposal has been approved. The cost for each mentorship will be $2500.

To begin the process, an interested alumni writer must complete a proposal that details the work that he or she is doing, the degree of completion of the current manuscript, what he/she envisions for the rest of the project, and what he/she believes a mentor might bring to the process of completing the project. A substantial writing sample must accompany each proposal.

Not all proposals will be approved. The most viable proposals will be those in which at least 50-75% of the manuscript has been completed, there is a good degree of quality already in place, and there is a feasible notion of the remaining work to be done. In his or her proposal, the alumni writer will list a number of possible mentors. Once the proposal has been submitted, the director—in consultation with the possible mentors—will decide on the feasibility of the project and, if the proposal is approved, the best mentor. Each faculty member has final say on whether he or she will take on a mentee.

For 2016, these are the faculty members who have agreed to be considered for these mentorships: Rick Barot, David Cates, Oliver de la Paz, Jim Heynen, David Huddle, and Dinah Lenney.

If you have questions about these mentorships, please contact the RWW program director, Rick Barot: barotrp@plu.edu. To submit a proposal, download and complete the proposal form.