Audible Canada is bringing back the Indigenous Writers’ Circle mentorship program to connect celebrated Indigenous authors with up-and-coming young Indigenous writers.
The Indigenous Writers’ Circle brings seven mentors — Richard Van Camp, Angela Sterritt, Reneltta Arluk, Ryan McMahon, Janet Rogers, Dr. Jas M. Morgan and Clayton Thomas-Muller — to guide Indigenous writers through the creative process and pursue opportunities to meet their goals as writers.
Sterritt, an award-winning journalist with the CBC and author of an upcoming memoir Unbroken, said it feels great to mentor aspiring Indigenous writers.
“I had so many mentors support me and lift me up,” she said. “… For me to come full circle to be able to support Indigenous youth and select them — that is huge. There were projects like this when I was growing up, but never did I have an Indigenous mentor. That’s everything to be able to sit across from someone and ask ‘how did you get here.”
Samantha Krilow is a Metis post-secondary student pursuing a degree in creative writing. Krilow participated in the Writers’ Circle last year and was matched with Tanya Talaga. Krilow said the Circle gave her valuable insight into what life as a writer is like and helped her to write in her own Indigenous voice.
“I had been working on a young adult thriller centred around two Indigenous women. The circle really changed that story. They turned it from a story that happened to feature Indigenous characters to an Indigenous story told by an Indigenous writer.”
The Circle helped Krilow build her story around elements from her Metis culture, specifically a werewolf creature called a rougarou. By the end of the circle, Krilow had completed half of her manuscript. She’s hard at work completing the rest as she finishes her degree.
Applications for the Indigenous Writers’ Circle are open until May 31 to writers who self-identify as Indigenous, Inuit or Metis. Ideal candidates have an interest, background knowledge or training in writing and are considering pursuing a career in literary arts. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
There are 21 spots open for participants.
Bursaries of $1,500 are available to support applicants through the six-month program.