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The Reading Corner's mentorship programme is dedicated to providing support to students and graduates seeking to forge a career in publishing by connecting them with experienced professionals in the field, we aim to facilitate valuable learning experiences and professional growth.

Our programme offers ten mentorships, categorized into three distinct tracks: Behind the Scenes, Creative Writing, and Illustration. Each mentee will have the opportunity to work closely with their mentor for a duration of nine months. Throughout the mentorship, mentors will offer guidance on acquiring the necessary skills to enter the publishing industry, providing assistance with drafts, manuscripts, and portfolio enhancement. 


The Reading Corner's mentorship programme offers diverse* students and graduates valuable opportunities to enter the publishing industry and receive personalized guidance from experienced professionals. Please note the specific eligibility requirements for each mentorship category:

  • Behind the Scenes Mentorships: Intended for individuals who have not yet gained experience with major publishing houses but are eager to pursue a career in the industry.

  • Creative Writing Mentorships: Designed for students and graduates who have either completed a full draft of a manuscript or have an idea in progress. Manuscripts should feature a diverse main character or revolve around a diverse and inclusive central subject matter.

  • Illustration Mentorships: Open to students and graduates who have a portfolio or completed sample illustrations, demonstrating their interest in entering the publishing industry.

Applicants may choose only one mentorship category based on their work and research on available mentors. It is important to carefully review the submission rules, as failure to comply may result in disqualification. This mentorship programme offers a unique opportunity to be matched with an experienced book professional who will provide individualized support and feedback to help advance one's publishing career.

*The Reading Corner’s definition of diversity: We recognise all diverse experiences including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, and people coming from low-income or low-literacy areas.

How To Apply

Early submission of application materials is strongly encouraged. Detailed submission guidelines and an application form can be found below, ensuring a straightforward application process.

Applying to the mentorship programme incurs no cost, as the programme is free of charge.

A panel of judges will review all submissions and select a pool of final applicants based on the merit of their work. Mentors will then choose their mentees based on a combination of merit, compatibility, and readiness/need for mentorship, as outlined in the applicants' essays. It is important to adhere to the submission rules, as failure to comply may result in disqualification.

While there is no age limit for applying, certain age groups will be given priority consideration:

  • Students in their final year of A-levels (Year 13).

  • Students at any stage of their university studies, particularly those pursuing a degree related to publishing or communication.

  • Graduate students who have completed their studies within the past five years.

Submission Guidelines


A panel of judges will assess applicants based on merit, as well as their demonstrated need and readiness for the mentorship. Mentors will then select the mentees they wish to work with. All applicants will receive notification of the mentors' decisions via email. Due to the high volume of applications received, we regret that we are unable to provide feedback or critiques on submitted manuscripts or portfolios.

To complete your application, the form will require the following information and/or documents:

  • An autobiographical statement, including your identification as diverse (if applicable) and a summary of your career (maximum 250 words).

  • A statement on how you or your work will amplify an underrepresented voice or perspective (maximum 250 words).

  • Details of your manuscript, including the title, genre, intended age range, and a brief pitch. For illustrators, a link to your online portfolio showcasing your illustration samples is required.

  • Optional: If you have a strong preference for working with a particular mentor, you may specify their name.

  • Contact information (name, mailing address, email address, telephone number) and a pen name or alternative name to be used publicly, if desired.


In addition to the application form, you will be asked to submit an unpublished work sample, depending on your chosen mentorship category:

  • For Creative Writing Applicants: Upload the first 25 pages of a completed manuscript or provide a 500-word pitch for an ongoing manuscript. Acceptable formats are .pdf and .doc/docx.

  • For Illustrators: Upload a single PDF file containing 3-5 of your best illustrations. Each image may be on separate pages within the file. Illustrations can be standalone or part of a book dummy with text or captions. The total file size must not exceed 15MB. You will also be requested to provide a link to your online portfolio.


The Reading Corner is an organisation working to bridge the literacy gap among marginalised youth in schools, hospitals, and underserved communities. 

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