Applications are now open for Room’s 2022 Mentorship Program!

Amazing news, friends: jaye simpson is Room’s 2022 mentor-in-residence!

jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. simpson is a writer, advocate and activist sharing their knowledge and lived experiences in hope of creating utopia.

they are published in several magazines including Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine, SubTerrain, Grain, and Room. They are in four anthologies: Hustling Verse (2019), Love After the End (2020), The Care we Dream Of (2021), and the forthcoming Queer Little Nightmares (2022). Their first poetry collection, it was never going to be okay (Nightwood Ed.) was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award and a 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize Finalist, while also winning the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English.

they are a displaced Indigenous person resisting, ruminating and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver.

The mentor-in-residence program was launched in 2019 with mentor Alicia Elliott (followed by Whitney French and Téa Mutonji) to address the opportunity gap between artists who have had access to academia and artists who have taken alternative paths to writing and publishing. If this sounds like you, apply for free by May 15, 2022 to be one of six mentees jaye simpson will work with for a 3-month period, during which time you will have the opportunity to receive feedback from them on up to three drafts of a manuscript-in-progress. Manuscript drafts/excerpts can be a maximum of 5 pages of poetry, or 10 pages of prose. An exciting addition to this year’s program is that mentees will have the opportunity to meet with an editor at Touchwood Editions to demystify the publishing process and open communications channels with the press, who are always looking for new and exciting manuscripts. There is no fee to apply, and no cost to participate in the program.

Applicants must:

1. Be emerging (any age, but not yet published a full-length book, and few significant journal publications).
2. Have not completed any formal post-secondary creative writing education.
3. Be working on a poetry, fiction, or nonfiction manuscript.
4. Be trans, nonbinary, and/or Two Spirit.

The submittable application will ask you to include a bio, artist statement, education details, manuscript details, and a short writing sample (up to 3 pages of poetry or 5 pages of prose). You’ll also be asked to indicate the mentorship periods during which you will be available in 2022-23 (June – August, September – November, December – February).

Note: When we look at publications and education, it’s not to gauge how “qualified” you are for this program, it’s to measure the access you’ve had to literary institutions. Please don’t be deterred from applying if your professional experience is lean; it will work in your favour!

Mentees will be selected based on need and on the potential of the writing sample, and priority will be given to writers of colour. If you have any questions about the program or the application process, contact

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