IALA returns with annual mentorship program for emerging Armenian writers

The International Armenian Literary Alliance’s (IALA) third annual mentorship program will run from July 3 through August 31, 2023 with mentorships for writers of the novel, memoir, creative nonfiction, short story and poetry. Mentors will read and provide feedback on their mentee’s writing and speak virtually with their mentee throughout the program to discuss the writing life, the mentee’s work and how to navigate the publishing industry. At the end of the program, IALA will host an Emerging Writers Showcase to feature the mentees’ work.

Applications are now open through April 15, 2023. 

“I cannot wait to see the new crop of emerging writers who will submit their applications for the 2023 IALA’s Mentorship Program. Internationally, this is the only writer-specific mentorship program that pairs up Armenian mentees with Armenian mentors,” says IALA Mentorship Program director Shahé Mankerian. “Because of its uniqueness, we have met amazing emerging writers from across the globe.”

“Mentors are an invaluable resource to emerging writers, not only in giving feedback on work, but in providing encouragement and guidance in what’s otherwise an often solitary practice. Persistence is vital to a writer’s journey, and we pair our mentees with authors who believe in their power to create, inspiring them to persevere through inevitable periods of self-doubt,” says IALA founder and director Olivia Katrandjian. “We hope that bonds between our mentors and mentees will last beyond the length of the program, and transform into mutually supportive relationships that will only strengthen our writers and the Armenian literary community.”

In its two years of offering this first-of-its-kind mentorship program, IALA has matched 15 up-and-coming writers with authors. Mentors have included Aida Zilelian, Nancy Agabian, Armen Davoudian, Gregory Djanikian, Mashinka Firunts Hakopian, Arminé Iknadossian, Nancy Kricorian, Markar Melkonian, Lola Koundakjian, Aline Ohanesian and Alene Terzian-Zeitounian.

“I’ve never encountered another Armenian poet, so meeting Arthur for the first time was a mixture of experiencing both novelty and home. The connections and similarities between us were uncanny,” said Jen Siraganian (mentee, 2022) about her mentor Arthur Kayzakian. “I’m truly humbled by his warmth, enthusiasm, and focus, and thanks to him, my work shifted in huge and brave ways.”

International Armenian Literary Alliance
The International Armenian Literary Alliance is a nonprofit organization launched in 2021 that supports and celebrates writers by fostering the development and distribution of Armenian literature in the English language. A network of Armenian writers and their champions, IALA gives Armenian writers a voice in the literary world through creative, professional, and scholarly advocacy.

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