With author talks, poetry performances, writing workshops, special guest Book Valets and more, there is something for every book lover and local writer this year.
Booklovers Festival will be taking place from 22–30 November 2021.
Enjoy a reading experience like no other. Throughout Booklovers Festival, YPRL is curating personalised reading lists for members. Whether you’re in a reading rut, looking for a literary challenge or want to discover something relevant to your interests, our dedicated Book Valets will find the right title for you. This year we have special award-winning and acclaimed guest author valet’s joining our team! You could win the chance to have your personalised reading list fulfilled by Zana Fraillon (The Bone Sparrow, The Ones That Disappeared), Andrew Pippos (Lucky’s), and Stephanie Convery (After The Count: the death of Davey Browne, Journalist – Guardian Australia).
Simply fill out the Book Valet Questionnaire online or in one of our libraries. See our website for more details on library membership and the Book Valet service.
Local Writes: writing mentor program at Yarra Plenty Regional Library
We are thrilled to launch our inaugural mentor program, Local Writes, during Booklovers Festival. Local Writes is a writing mentor program for local writers and community voices to help support, encourage, and uncover writers and stories from many diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. Whether you have been writing for years or have never written before, we would love for you to apply.
Local Writes awards three (3) successful applicants to work with a mentor. After the mentorship is over, you and your mentor will appear at a special event together at Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Booklovers Festival 2022.
This year’s mentors are: Heidi Everett (author of My Friend Fox), Danny Silva Soberano (poet), and Sarah Schmidt (author, See What I Have Done).
Applications open 22 November 2021 and close 31 January 2022. Successful applicants will be announced in February 2022
What is a mentorship?
There are many ways mentoring can help you. First and foremost, Local Writes will pair you with a mentor who is a writer or professional from the industry. Our aim is to ensure that the mentor is right for you.
A mentor often offers support, encouragement, and advice about your project or other aspects of writing and publishing, provides feedback on your work and helps you discover your voice, story, and helps develop your strengths. A mentor can help you keep focus and work toward goals.
Here are two examples of how working with a mentor could help you:
You’ve been working on a novel but you feel stuck and losing confidence. Maybe you’re not quite sure how to develop the characters or plot. Maybe you want to work on your writing voice. You may even feel like you don’t have a story at all. You need to redraft the novel but it all feels overwhelming. A mentor can guide you.
You have never written before but you have an amazing and urgent story to tell about your unique life experiences. How do you even begin to write? What part of your story should you write? How do you keep writing when self-doubt creeps in? A mentor can guide you.
Local Writes: how the program works
Once applications have closed, three (3) successful applicants will be chosen by a mentor to work with. The mentor will:
Read an extract of your work and give you feedback. This extract will be the one you submit in your application.
Work with you over 3 hours of mentoring during 2022. The 3 hours can be taken all at once OR in blocks of time over a few weeks or months before September 2022 (based on mutual availability). Mentoring will take place at one of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s locations.
After the mentoring is over, you and your mentor will appear at Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s annual Booklovers Festival in 2022 in a special event.
Who can apply?
This program is open to writers or those who would like to begin writing their story from the Banyule, Nillumbik, and Whittlesea local government areas, as well as Melbourne.
While this program is best suited to those 18 years and older, writers aged 16–18 may also be considered.
We especially encourage writers and local voices from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to apply for a mentorship.
Poets, novelists, short story writers, essayists, non-fiction writers, family historians, oral storytellers…applications are open to all forms of writing and storytelling. We simply want to hear from those who are passionate and willing to work with a mentor.
If you don’t receive a mentorship this time, don’t despair. There will be future opportunities at Yarra Plenty Regional Library. These include writing workshops and other writing programs. You can also undertake a mentorship through Writers Victoria. For more information about Writers Victoria’s program visit: https://writersvictoria.org.au/support/mentorships
Please note we will not be able to provide individual feedback for unsuccessful applications.
How to apply
To apply for a mentorship, you will need to submit a cover letter and an extract of your writing. Ideally your extract is from the project you’d like to be mentored through HOWEVER you can send through another sample of your writing especially if you’re never written before (your extract may simply be a memory you have relating to your life story or project you’d like to work on).
There will be online writing workshops during Booklovers Festival that you can attend to help spark an idea or help you begin an extract so you can apply. Please see our festival program details for more information.
When you apply make sure you:
Include your name, contact details and the title of your project.
Include where you live. Are you from Banyule, Nillumbik, Whittlesea or from another part of Melbourne?
Tell us about yourself. You can include your background, experience with writing, or anything you think is relevant to your application that will help the mentor understand who you are as a writer.
Tell us why a mentorship would help you. Think about what you’d like to learn or explore within a mentorship, what you need support with, etc.
Tell us about some of your favourite writers or storytellers. This will help us understand more about you and your style and which mentor could be most suited to you.
Tell us about the project you are working on OR the project you would like to work on. You don’t have to give us a long plot summary or a lot of details about the characters etc. This is your opportunity to simply tell us the themes you are working with, what the story/idea is about and what your aims are.
Provide any other relevant information. What else do you think we should know about you and your project?
Include a small extract of your writing. If you’re writing prose, your extract should be double spaced, 12pt font. Make sure your name is on each page. Extracts should be no longer than 4,000 words or if working with poetry and other very short work, no more than 5 pages.
Ensure applications are no longer than 2 x A4 pages (not including the extract).