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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


Creative Writing Mentoring at the University of Cambridge Centre for Creative Writing

The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) has been teaching creative writing for over twenty years and launched its first Master’s in Creative Writing in 2013. We now offer an MSt in Crime and Thriller Writing, and in Writing for Performance. These are in addition to our accredited Undergraduate Certificate and Diploma courses and other part-time, short and online programmes.

Our students have won literary prizes, secured publishing deals and agents and seen their work performed on stage and screen. We recognise the importance of one-to-one support and feedback from established writers and believe that emerging writers can benefit from a mentoring programme tailor-made for their needs.

Who is the mentoring aimed at?

The programme is aimed at anyone who could benefit from one-to-one support for their writing project. We expect the scheme to be particularly relevant to graduates of Master’s programmes. The scheme may also help students who have completed a part-time Undergraduate Diploma at ICE and have a clear project in mind. It is not suitable for anyone who is new to creative writing or who does not have a specific idea they wish to pursue.

Who are the mentors?

All our creative writing tutors are published authors and experienced teachers. Their writing covers most genres.

If you have already been taught, or supervised, by a particular tutor you might like to continue working with them, if they are available. You can find out more about our tutors on the main ICE website here.

Please be aware that, as our tutors are all working writers, not everyone will be available for mentoring.

How will the mentoring work?

The mentee will work closely with a mentor over either a six-, or twelve-month period.

Option one: Five, one-to-one “supervisions”, or mentoring sessions, over a six-month period. Each session will consist of one hour’s reading by the mentor in advance of an hour-long supervision or mentoring session.

Option two: Ten, one-to-one “supervisions”, or mentoring sessions, over a year. Each session will consist of one hour’s reading by the mentor in advance of an hour-long supervision or mentoring session.

Mentee and mentor will discuss and agree the following at the start of the mentoring relationship in a free, 30 minute session:

• the main goals of the mentoring relationship

• the amount of work to be read in advance of each session and when it should be sent to the mentor

• roughly, when the mentee and mentor will meet.

• whether meetings will be by Skype, Zoom, phone or in person, and, if in person, where.

The mentor will send the mentee a summary of what was agreed in this preliminary meeting and a brief summary after each of the subsequent meetings. This email will outline what was achieved and the goals for the next meeting, plus a suggestion of when that might be.

What are the fees?

Mentoring Option One: Ten hours of mentoring: £2,500.

Mentoring Option Two: Twenty hours of mentoring: £4,500

You can pay in two ways:

  • in full on acceptance (by cheque payable to the University of Cambridge or by credit or debit card)

in four equal instalments (credit/debit card only): the first on acceptance and the remaining three at agreed points during the mentoring.

How do I apply?

In the first instance email Dr Midge Gillies, Academic Director of Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education at:

Please say what you are aiming to work on e.g. a novel, memoir, collection of short stories, play, screenplay, poetry collection etc. and your progress so far. State whether you have studied with ICE, when, and at what level (e.g. Diploma or MSt) and whether you have a mentor in mind.

Correct as of 13 October 2020