Thomastown and Whittlesea Libraries are now only open for Click & Collect services. Please see location pages for opening hours.
All our other branches now close by 7.00pm Monday – Thursday. Please be aware that further changes to opening hours may occur at short notice.
Masks are mandatory in the library for anyone over the age of 8, unless an exemption applies.
Anyone over 18 entering a YPRL branch will also need to show proof of double vaccination.
Density limits apply.
Please note that all branches and services will be closed on Wednesday 26 January 2022 for the Australia Day public holiday.
Writing mentor program at Yarra Plenty Regional Library
Whether you have been writing for years or have never written before, we would love for you to apply.
We were thrilled to launch our inaugural mentor program, Local Writes, during Booklovers Festival 2021. 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 opened on 22 November 2021 and will close on 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).
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).
Heidi Everett is a writer, multimedia artist, producer, mental health recovery advocate, social impact facilitator, and projects and events innovator from Melbourne/on Wurrundjeri, Australia. Heidi is a Write-ability and Publishability fellowship recipient. She founded and directs Schizy Inc, a disability-led arts organisation supporting arts agency and advocacy for people with diverse mental health. My Friend Fox (Ultimo Press) is her first book published, released in September 2021. Visit Heidi's website for more.
Danny Silva Soberano
Danny Silva Soberano is a poet. They currently serve as a poetry editor for Voiceworks Magazine and associate editor for LIMINAL Magazine. In 2021, they edited and curated the Tell Me Like You Mean It emerging poets anthology produced by Australian Poetry and Cordite Poetry Review. They were a recipient of a Hot Desk Fellowship from The Wheeler Centre in 2020.
Sarah Schmidt is a writer and librarian. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Overland, Guardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, LitHub, Guernica, The Telegraph (UK). Her debut novel, See What I Have Done, was critically acclaimed overseas and in Australia and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 and the International Dublin Literary Award 2019. In Australia it won the ABIA Literary Fiction award, was shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, The Ned Kelly Awards for Best First Crime novel, the Strand Critics Award, the Davitt Award for Debut Novel and was longlisted for the ABIS Matt Richell Prize for New Writers. Sarah’s second novel, Blue Hour, will be released in 2022.