International Writing Program Women’s Creative Mentorship

International Writing Program Women’s Creative Mentorship


The United States Consulate in Cape Town is pleased to announce an opportunity for young women writers based in the Western Cape to participate in the Women’s Creative Mentorship Project. The deadline for applications is January 1, 2019.

Program Summary:

The International Writing Program (IWP) in collaboration with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will select two young, emerging female writers from the Western Cape to be mentored by IWP Fall Residency alumna Maxine Case of Cape Town.

The Women’s Creative Mentorship Project will begin with a 4-day in-person conference in Portland, Oregon in late March of 2019 (travel, meals and lodging provided by the project), followed by a six-month distance program. The in-person Women’s Creative Mentorship Project conference will include master classes, manuscript consultations, one-on-one meetings between mentors and mentees, and other programming, such as special seminars with visiting authors and other creative professionals, both U.S.-based and overseas. At the conference, mentees will work with assigned mentors and IWP staff to develop personalized plans which will provide the structure for the six-month distance portion of the project, ending in September 2019. After the conclusion of the distance portion of the project, participants will submit a piece of creative writing to be published in a print and online anthology. Mentors and mentees will also submit a short essay detailing the experience of mentorship, and advice for future mentors and mentees.

About the mentor:

Maxine Case (IWP 2009) was selected as one of eight Fall Residency alumnae mentors to participate in the Women’s Creative Mentorship Project.

Maxine’s first novel, All We Have Left Unsaid, was awarded the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa) and was the joint winner of the Herman Charles Bosman Prize. Her second book, a biography titled Papwa: Golf’s Lost Legend, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in 2016. Maxine’s second novel, Softness of the Lime, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize in 2018. Softness of the Lime was announced as one of twenty recommended reads by the Walter Scott Academy in 2018. Maxine has been named an honorary fellow in writing by the University of Iowa, Hong Kong Baptist University, and City of Asylum/Pittsburgh.

Applicants must:

  • Be a South African citizen
  • Be a woman, age 20-35
  • Write in English
  • Have the professional ambition to be a writer
  • Demonstrate creative writing talent
  • Be based in the Western Cape (to enhance the mentorship relationship through proximity)

Application Requirements:

Mentee Applications should be emailed by January 1, 2019 to and must include the following:

  • Application Form (Download: MSWord 151KB)
  • Copy of passport (if available)
  • CV
  • 10-15 pages of original creative prose or poetry in English.
  • A statement of purpose answering the following questions:
    • What do you hope to achieve as a writer, including long-term and short-term goals?
    • Describe where you are currently in the writing process.
    • What kind of guidance are you hoping to receive from your mentor?
  • Recommendation Letter (optional)

Final selection will be based on mentees’ creative writing abilities, creative and professional ambition and seriousness, and suitability with specific mentors.