Making your way in the journalism industry can be tricky, and it’s always good to have a helping hand. From one-on-one training to feedback on projects, workshops and bursaries… mentoring schemes can be the foot-in-the-door you’ve been searching for. That’s why we’ve put together this completely free list. Never want to miss an update? Sign up to our free newsletter to get the latest dropped straight in your inbox.
We update this list at least once a week, but if something isn’t right, do get in touch. We’ll show awards which are open in green, and ones we know are definitely opening on time in orange. Awards left in black are based on last year’s dates.
We love tip-offs too, so do let us know of any good opportunities!
Last updated: September 19
Digital Women Leaders – Always Open
Bookable one-on-one sessions with leading women for women working in digital journalism. Open worldwide, but with a large majority of American editors.
ABSW Mentoring Scheme – Always Open
For early-career science writers. Get feedback on your pitches and story ideas. Only open to ABSW members.
Freelance Journalism Assembly – Always Open
Designed to connect and empower freelance journalists in Europe, through online training and mentorship, networking opportunities and a major face-to-face event to be held in 2021.
Ambassador Programme, JustLikeUs – Always Open
JustLikeUs provides positive LGBT+ representation to schools, training volunteers to speak in schools, provide and receive career mentoring, media training, and networking opportunities for UK-based LGBT+ people aged 18 – 25.
Disabled Writers Mentoring Scheme – Always Open
Designed to help disabled writers gain professional experience and knowledge to work in journalism.
Young Women’s Trust – Always Open
A free coaching scheme for women aged 18-30. Professional support assisting with interview preparation and career guidance.
John Schofield Trust Sixth Form Mentoring – Always Open
Online mentoring for 16-18 year olds who are interested in working in broadcast journalism.
Headlines Network – Apply ASAP
Free workshops for UK journalists of all career stages, to learn about improving mental health in the media and to support their wellbeing.
IMF Youth Fellowship Contest – Closes September 24
This virtual program, organised by the International Monetary Fund, will provide content creators aged between 20 and 32 with media and video storytelling training. The training with be given by Politico staff, ending in a published work.
John Schofield Trust Early Career Journalist Mentoring Scheme – Closes September 30
Designed for news journalists in the first five years of their career, you’ll be matched with a senior journalist for 12 months.
Journo Resources Fellowship – Expected To Reopen In September
A paid programme of mentoring and training for those who are just starting out in their career.
Substack Bridge Mentoring Programme – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
A two month mentoring scheme with a senior Substack writer to help you hone your newsletter.
Women Photograph Mentorship Program – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
A year-long, part-time program for women and non-binary photographers with less than five years of work experience.
‘Starting out in Publishing’ Penguin Random House and Creative Access Mentorship – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
Aimed at early career talent from communities currently under-represented in publishing, there are 150 mentors available for a virtual programme which will prepare you for a career in the sector.
The Second Source Mentoring Scheme – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
For women in the first five years of their career, especially from minority backgrounds.
UNICEF Youth Mediathon – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
You can apply for a free spot iif you’re aged 16-24. The event includes mentoring, workshops and publishing your work.
Write What’s Next Mentorship – Closed September 8
Free mentoring from a professional writer for emerging talent aged 18-25. Online mentoring and creative writing masterclasses with high profile writers for young Liverpool creatives.
ITV and Creative Access Mentoring Scheme – Closed September 9
Open to individuals from under-represented communities, this 12-month programme helps you break into the TV industry.
Talking Travel Writing Mentoring Scheme – Closed September 10
Mentoring scheme for new or aspiring travel writers to help them find a path in the industry.
Arts Emergency Mentorship – Closes October 6
Free mentoring, advice, guidance and opportunities to help 16-25-year-olds pursue a career in the arts and humanities.
You Make It East London Mentor Programme – Closes October
A programme worth £5000 that gives access to online workshops, guest talks, weekly mentoring, fortnightly therapy and social activities to empower you to see beyond the limits of lockdown and build your confidence, networks and vision.
Online News Association Women’s Leadership Accelerator – Expected To Re-Open October 2021
This year-long program will be online due to COVID. It aims to develop leadership and management skills of women.
Vault Festival Emerging Critics Scheme – Expected To Re-Open November 2021
Mentoring from January to March on your writing, free show tickets, and group sessions.
Climate Journalism Mentorship for Young Media Professionals – Closed December 1
Environmental journalists ages 18 to 35 can apply for this program organised by climate tracker. You will receive $150 a month to write one story, for a duration of three months.
Women in Journalism 2020 Mentoring Scheme – Closed December 4
Two options available; a junior scheme for women who entered the media industry between two and five years ago, and a senior scheme for women who have worked as a journalist for over five years. You have to be a WIJ member to apply.
Women in Journalism Scotland Mentorship Scheme – Closed December 4
Partnered with WIJ, Women in Journalism Scotland has launched a scheme to link eight mentors with young journalists.
WFTV Mentoring Scheme – Closed December 14
For women in creative, craft, business or technical roles with seven years of experience. Get intensive mentoring, seminars and training.
The Aspiring Professionals Programme – Closed December 16
A range of mentorship schemes. For people living in London, there is a specific strand for media and comms.
The Refugee Journalism Project – Expected To Re-Open January 2022
An initiative to help refugees rebuild their professional journalistic careers in the UK.
BEATS Mentoring Program – Expected To Re-Open January 2022
A 9-month training programme for emerging and experienced British East Asian writers and directors.
The Student Publication Association Mentoring Scheme – Closed January 1
For student journalists and recent graduations looking to break into the industry.
Next Chapter Writing Development Programme – Closed January 4
A four week taught course, plus mentoring for writers in Merseyside, pairing participants with writers from various magazines.
Creative Wick Film School 2021 – Closed January 8
This free online film school is looking for 16-24-year-old filmmakers in East London. Send them your best work.
Media Trust & ScreenSkills Mentoring Programmes – Closed January 24
A mentoring scheme for emerging and early-stage behind the screen talent, aimed at those underrepresented in the field.
ScreenSkills Pro-Create – Closed January 29
This year-long mentoring programme for Black film producers, with a chance to showcase your work at the festival.
Media Trust Creativity Works Training Programme – Closed February 19
A ten-week programme including one-on-one mentoring for those ages 18-24 from London who is not in education, training, or employment.
Grierson DocLab Training Scheme – Closed February 12
A year-long training scheme for 18-25-year-olds who are new to factual and documentary programme making. You’ll get residential training, access to Sheffield Doc/Fest, a bursary-funded placement, mentoring and group training.
Penguin WriteNow – Expected to ReOpen in March 2022
A mentoring scheme for unpublished authors who are unrepresented in the space. You can access workshops, feedback, one-to-ones with editors and an opportunity to join their year-long programme and get a book published.
ALTRUVIOLET’s Creative Internship – Closed March 1
Mentoring for Black creatives to work on TRAPLORD, a multimedia exploration of masculinity and mental health.
Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant – Closed March 1
A call for photographers aged 18-25 to explore conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. There are two $2,500 grants available.
Modern Slavery Unveiled Grant Programme – Closed March 18
Funding for cross-border journalist teams to investigate and expose human trafficking and forced labour of Asian people in Europe. Teams can also apply for a mentor to provide assistance.
The Pact Indie Diversity Training Scheme in Scotland – Closed March 20
A six-month training scheme in TV production paid at Scotland Living Wage (£9.30). You’ll receive involves mentoring from seniors in the field, and its sister programme in London is set to open.
A Writing Chance – Closed March 26
Mentoring and a bursary of £1,500 for folks who are underrepresented in the media. Ending with a byline or a podcast.
SJN Solutions Journalism Mentorship Programme – Closes March 29
Working with a mentor, you’ll meet monthly, with the aim of producing at least two solutions stories by October 2021.
Lyra McKee Bursary Scheme 2021 – Closed April 4
A six-month mentoring and bursary scheme for people from under privileged backgrounds to learn investigative journalism.
I Like Networking’s Mentoring Program – Closed April
A mentoring scheme for women and non-binary people, starting from September.
Stars4Media Training Programme – Closed May 1
Guidance and coaching for ‘media professionals’ with 2 to 10 years of experience. You can claim up to €6,000 in expenses.
Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme – Closed 31 July
Open to emerging writers over 18 years of age and living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published. Ten awards are available, with nine month 1-2-1 mentoring, masterclasses, peer support and bursaries up to £1,500.
Canon Student Development Programme – Closed June 9
An exclusive opportunity where 250 students will be chosen to have their portfolio reviewed by professional photographers.
Climate Tracker – Closed June 16
An opportunity for six journalists from around the world to develop feature stories related food systems and climate change. Selected candidates will receive training, mentorship and financial support. They will also be asked to cover the Fork to Farm Dialogue event.
TED Fellow – Closed June 30
Applications open for innovators on the rise in their respective fields, from photography to journalism. Successful applicants will deliver their ownTED Talk, with mentorship, PR guidance and media training. You will also be invited to attend a TED conference.
Hearst UK Mentoring Programme – Closed July 25
Encouraging journalists from underrepresented communities to apply for mentorship, gaining insight into the world of media and publishing.
Roundhouse Creative Self Made Accelerator – Closed July 9
A 12-week programme for creatives who run their own business and want to scale it. Mentorship included, with a chance to apply for various funding revenues.
Youth4Regions – Closed July 12
Training on journalism and EU regional policy for aspiring journalists aged 18-30 years old. There’s an opportunity to take part in European Commission press trips and work with journalists during the EU Regions’ Week.
Newsroom Innovation Mentorship Programme – Closed July 25
A pilot programme ran by Journalism.co.uk helping smaller news publishers with new tools and strategies.
Young Critics 2021 -Closed July 26
A mentorship programme for aspiring film critics and journalists aged 18 – 25, offering experience, skills and networking to young people with a passion for cinema.
GlobalGirl Media UK Mentoring Programme – Closed
An 18-month-long mentoring scheme for women aged 18-25 looking to work in media or communication.
Write-A-Thon, Solutions Journalism Without Borders – Closed August 19
A fully funded scholarship with Solutions Journalism Without Borders to learn the basics about solutions reporting. Includes access to independent workshops, and an opportunity to pitch a completed story to the Solution Journalism Network.