Throughout 2021, I had the pleasure of mentoring a young, gifted writer from Merseyside as part of Arts Emergency's mentorship scheme.
Arts Emergency aims to give opportunities to young people who strive to work in the arts and creative industries but would otherwise struggle to get their foot in the door.
My mentee, Joseph, was not only a fantastic writer, but had an incredible work ethic, writing and editing his novel alongside a heavy A Level workload. During the course of the year, we read and critiqued his work, while I introduced him to friends and colleagues to aid his university decision-making.
He told Arts Emergency:
Having a mentor is genuinely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because of covid we did all of our mentoring over Zoom. We did a lot of talking about writing, life and school, and working through current drafts of my novel. Sophie also let me join her own writing group for a few sessions. I got to meet a lot of writers from varying backgrounds and ages, and see a healthy critiquing environment, which is something I hadn’t experienced before.
Sophie helped me with writing my CV and my personal statement. For a while I was conflicted on what I should study at university; should I do social studies, like I'm studying at the minute, or should I follow my passions and go into creative writing? The moment it really clicked for me was when Sophie introduced me to some of her PhD friends and I realised you may as well do something you love, and then not regret it. It’s what I want to do, it's one of my favourite things, why not take three years to study it?
I was delighted that we made it into AE's Impact Report:
I can’t wait to see what he gets up to next, and I want to thank Arts Emergency for making the year truly rewarding.