Mentorship For Writers in the PNW

On any given day, I have a thousand and six opinions, observations, and feelings about everything — and a burning rage at our nation’s seemingly infinite appetite for racist violence, socioeconomic injustice, and falsehood.

If I could, I’d do it all – I’d be an environmental activist, anti-racism educating, community organizing, first-responding, progressive politician (and a vegan).

As a human being, though, I have my limits. But there is something I can do, and that is to nurture, encourage, and amplify voices and stories that haven’t been heard before.

Social change begins with the new stories we tell and the new voices we listen to. You may believe your voice and your stories don’t matter – in fact, the status quo is invested in making you believe that – but they do. If you are called to write, if you don’t know why you write but you just can’t stop, you’re a writer and you have something to say. You may not know what it is yet; you may not even know its importance – but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you keep doing it: with patience, diligence, care, and compassion for your process. And with professional support.

Matt Bennett, my colleague at The Northwest Editors Guild, identified the need for emerging and unpublished new writers in the Seattle/Tacoma area to get that support, so he founded the NWEG Writer Mentor Program. Through the program, new writers will be paired up with mentor editors to pitch, write, revise, and publish a piece in Crosscut, Seattle’s online newspaper which is affiliated with our local PBS Station, KCTV.

Applications are open now, and I encourage writers of color from Seattle and Tacoma, as well as writers from other underrepresented groups, to come get the support you need to get your voice and your story out there. Apply now!

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