Mentoring Program

About the Program

IRP recognizes that there is a lot of talent and resources in the romance industry and we want to help raise that talent up. To do that, we need romance authors who have hit milestones in their writing and publishing journey to share, connect and mentor other authors.  The beauty of mentoring is that it helps both partners grow and learn from one another.  Every published author (regardless on what publishing path they've chosen) has the knowledge to share with those who is interested. Writing doesn't have to be a solo sport-- as a mentor, you can help be a sounding board and ally to a new writer aiming for success. As a mentee, you can build helpful connections and even lasting friendships with other romance authors who have walked the talk. 

As a mentor, you don't have to be an expert, you only have to be open to sharing your skills and experience with someone who wants to learn. The benefits of such a program is uplifting, supportive and inclusive. 

Applicant Eligibility

Mentor Eligibility: All IRP Mentors must be:  (1) at least 18 years of age at the time of application submission (2) have a published novel or novella that is marketed under the Romance or Romance-adjacent (Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Speculative fiction with strong romantic elements) genre (3) must commit to the participation of the full six months of the program.

Mentee Eligibility:  All IRP Mentees must be: (1) at least 18 years of age at the time of application submission (2) have an interest in writing and publishing a Romance or Romance-adjacent project (literary work). Preference is to have a literary work at least in the drafting stages to get the most out of your mentorship.

All selected participants must attend the orientation to be finally accepted into the mentorship program.

All romance writers are welcomed to apply, especially #ownvoices, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, authors with disability and other members of underrepresented communities.

IRP Mentorship 2023 Timeline

March 1 - 31: Mentor applications open

April 1 - April 15: Mentee applications open

April 16 - 30: IRP review applications & matches mentoring pairs

May 1: Pairs are informed; Suggested pairs are given a grace period to confirm or reject.

May 11: Mentor Orientation (option 1)

May 13: Mentor Orientation (option 2)

May 15: Confirmation grace period ends

May 25: Mentee Orientation (option 2)

May 27: Mentee Orientation (option 2)

June 1: Mentorships start (6 month minimum)

June 30: 30-day Check-in 

July 8: Mentorship Mingle (optional)

Aug 5: Mentorship Mingle

Aug 31: 90-day Check-in

Sept 9: Mentorship Mingle (optional)

Nov 30th: Mentorship commitment is fulfilled. Evaluation survey for all mentors and mentees are sent.

2022 Mentorship Program Demographics : In Progress

What Makes a Great Mentor?

Mentor’s Criteria/Commitment

Accepting Mentor Applications starting March 1st!

Being a Successful Mentee:

Mentee/Protégé’s Criteria/Commitment

Application form opens April 1, 2023!

Tips for Effective Mentorships

You can improve the content of conversations with your mentors when you develop thoughtful agendas focusing on your questions/challenges. Share them with your mentor in advance so they are prepared.

A successful mentorship is mentee-driven and mentor-guided. 

Mentees, take time to identify objectives and goals to share with your mentor. They can then help guide you to next steps.

Make sure you schedule a regular cadence of meeting time so it's on the calendar, but also be flexible should schedules have to change. Life happens.

The Foundation of an effective mentorship is Trust

Surveys and feedback reports will be given to both mentor and mentee after the end of the commitment so both parties get information on how the mentorship worked for them. A 90-day check-in will be sent to each mentorship participant to see how things are going. Please be vocal and open to each other so nothing is lost in miscommunication. 

Mentees: Please take ownership of scheduling time with your Mentor

Mentors: Please commit to your time and be sure to communicate when things change. We all understand that schedules change, and as long as we're all clear, misunderstandings can be at a minimum.

Additional Resources & Mentorships

Missed an opportunity to participate in our mentorship this round? Author Sami Ellis has compiled a list of various mentorship programs for authors