Making your way through the journalism industry can be tricky, so it’s always good to have a helping hand. Mentoring schemes can be the foot in the door you’ve been searching for, offering bespoke guidance and training. That’s why we’ve put together this completely free list, filled with free opportunities.
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We aim to update this list at least once a week but do get in touch if something isn’t right. We’ll show mentoring schemes that are open in green and ones we know are 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: January 11
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.
Freelance Journalism Assembly — Always Open
Designed to connect and empower freelance journalists in Europe through online training and mentorship, networking opportunities, and face-to-face events.
Ambassador Programme, JustLikeUs — Always Open
JustLikeUs provides positive LGBT+ representation to schools. They train volunteers aged 18–25 to speak in schools, who in exchange get career mentoring.
Media Innovator Membership — Always Open
This scheme matches you up with industry experts to share expertise, advice and lessons.
Young Women’s Trust — Always Open
A free coaching scheme for women aged 18-30. Professional support assisting with interview preparation and career guidance.
Roundhouse Young Creatives — Always Open
A range of projects across various creative disciplines for those ages 11-30 to get involved with in Roundhouse’s studios or at home. You might already be an established artist or just be starting out.
You Make It East London Mentor Programme – Apply ASAP
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.
John Schofield Trust Journalism Cares Programme – Closes January 12
This is a specific, 10-week mentorship programme aimed at those with experience of the care system, or adoption. Successful applicants will enjoy fortnightly mentoring, skills and training masterclasses and networking opportunities.
ASPIRE Training Programme – Closes January 16
A 12-week support programme for creative freelancers across genres and mediums, including filmmakers, photographers and web developers. Two cohorts will run in 2024, offering specialist workshops, mentoring and mental health support.
Brixton Finishing School — Expected to Open January 2024
If you’re aged 18–25 years old and eager to land your first role in marketing or communications, this award-winning 10-week programme will give you the confidence and boost you need. It’s also completely free.
Penguin WriteNow – Expected to Open January 2024
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.
Canon Student Development Programme – Expected to Open in February 2024
An exclusive opportunity where 250 students will be chosen to have their portfolio reviewed by professional photographers.
Media Trust Creativity Works Training Programme – Closed February 26
A ten-week programme including one-on-one mentoring for those ages 18-24 from London who is not in education, training, or employment.
Local News Mentorship Programme – Closed February 14
A paid mentorship scheme run by our friends at Journalism.co.uk, United Robots AB and Utopia Analytics. Successful applicants will be paired with experienced professional journalists, both local and regional, to develop storytelling skills on a local level.
Climate Tracker – Closed February 21
An opportunity for six journalists worldwide to develop feature stories related to 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.
Grierson DocLab 2023– Closed February 24
A training scheme supporting new entrants into factual TV and documentary filmmaking. Two specialist schemes are on offer; the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing; and Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management.
The 2024 New Poets Prize – Closes March 6
The New Poets Prize is a pamphlet competition for writers between 17 and 24. Entrants are invited to submit short collections of twelve pages of poems. Winners and runners-up will be selected to receive a year of support from The Poetry Business.
The London Library Emerging Writers Programme – Closed March 2
Gain writing development masterclasses, literary networking opportunities and unparalleled peer support! Applicants should be working, or planning to work, on a specific project, with the aim of publication or production and have a clear idea of how they might use the Library’s resources to achieve that aim.
Climate Arena Fellowships – Closed March 24
An expenses-paid fellowship opportunity for applicants with a cross-border focus and/or investigative climate story ideas. Winners will be invited to join the Climate Arena conference in Prague and will received tailored mentorship.
Radio Television Digital News Association Fellowships and Scholarships – Closes March 31
A total of $35,500 USD awards aims to help students and young professionals pursuing digital and broadcast journalism careers. Successful applicants will also be invited to attend the RTDNA conference.
The World Around: Young Climate Prize – Expected to Re-Open April 2024
A mentorship scheme designed for 25 of the world’s most talented climate designers under 25. Includes access to a bespoke academy and mentorship from a Design Champion, world-leading designers, museum directors, curators, writers and business holders.
BBC Studios Scriptworks Writers’ Academy – Closed April 3
BBC Studios Writers’ Academy is a unique opportunity for writers to learn from some of the industry’s biggest names and work with some of the UK’s leading television drama production companies.
Lyra McKee Bursary Scheme 2023 – Closes April 9
A six-month mentoring and bursary scheme for people from underprivileged backgrounds to learn investigative journalism.
The Jed Mercurio Mentorship Programme – Closed April 21
TV and scriptwriting mentorship for talented writers from low socio-economic backgrounds outside of London.
Breakthrough x Black Ballad Mentoring Programme – Closed April 23
This opportunity will support four talented black women writers through one-to-one guidance from a published author-mentor. This scheme also includes access to a tutorial with a literary agent.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists – Closed April 24
Journalists aged 25 to 35 years old and from developing countries can apply for a fellowship to report on the United Nations during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The fellowship includes travel, accommodations and a per diem allowance.
WFTV Fearless Leader Programme – Close April 25
A bespoke programme of group coaching, 1-2-1 coaching and masterclasses, and leadership skills training. Must have 15 years experience plus and be in a leadership position in the film, TV & screen industries.
Starting out in Publishing’ Penguin Random House and Creative Access Mentorship – Closed April 25
Aimed at early-career talent from communities underrepresented in publishing, there are 150 mentors available for a virtual programme that will prepare you for a career in the sector.
Edinburgh TV Festival The Network – Closed April 27
A digital mentorship for people wishing to enter the TV industry. Includes access to sessions, masterclasses and workshops led by industry professionals, as well as a free Festival pass, accommodation in Edinburgh, a year of mentoring and support to find TV jobs.
Canon Student Development Programme – Closed April 29
Features online talks, webinars and a virtual portfolio review. Successful applicants will also be invited to a five-day photojournalism event.
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.
LPA Futures 2023 – Closed May 1
If you’re an emerging commercial photographer, you can win representation by LPA Futures. There are three spaces in total on this 2-year programme, alongside nearly £10,000 worth of useful prizes up for grabs.
The Multitrack Fellowship – Closed May 2
Multitrack, who work to help the radio and podcast industry become more accessible and inclusive, partner with the country’s leading audio production companies to offer paid work placements, training and networking opportunities, and the chance to pitch for real commissions.
TED Fellow – Closed May 12
Applications open for innovators on the rise in their respective fields, from photography to journalism. Successful applicants will deliver their own TED Talk, with mentorship, PR guidance and media training. You will also be invited to attend a TED conference.
Racounter New Voices Programme – Closed May 22
A free 12-week programme for journalists wishing to dip into business journalism. Includes mentorship.
BBC Sport The Next Gen Talent Pool – Closed May 29
A programme of training and events over the summer to get you to the point where you can hit the ground running at the BBC when jobs do arise.
Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme – Closed May 31
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.
Women Photograph Mentorship Program – Closed May 31
A year-long, part-time program for women and non-binary photographers with less than five years of work experience.
Tortoise Journalism School – Closed June 9
An alternative to traditional journalism internships is on offer here! Successful applicants will have the opportunity to pitch and write stories for Tortoise, participate in editorial meetings and public discussions and see how their journalists work. It is free to attend, meals are provided and accommodation is available to successful applicants outside of London.
Ocean Reporting Netowrk Fellowship – Closed June 18
Investigative environmental journalists can apply for the Pulitzer Center’s Ocean Reporting Network Fellowship. In this scheme, fellows will work on individual and collaborative reporting projects to investigate who’s driving the degradation of marine environments and more.
Global Girl Media UK Mentorship Programme – Closed June 23
Aged 18 – 22 and identify as female? set your journalism and broadcasting career alight with field trips to the BBC, Thomson Reuters, and other media companies. You will receive tailor-made mentorship in digital journalism and three days a week worth of training.
Write To Work – Closed June 28
Write to Work’s free online 8-week course allows you to try different types of writing and learn first-hand from published writers. The course is a unique opportunity to meet new people, learn from published writers and have your writing in a printed anthology.
BAFTA Breakthrough Mentorship Scheme USA – Closed June 28
A scheme showcasing and supporting the next generation of creative talent in film, games and television.
Young Critics 2023 – Closed June 28
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.
IMF Youth Fellowship Contest – Closed June 30
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.
Youth4Regions – Closed July 11
Training on journalism and EU regional policy for aspiring journalists aged 18-30. There’s an opportunity to participate in European Commission press trips and work with journalists during the EU Regions’ Week.
Talking Travel Writing Mentoring Scheme – Closed July 15
Mentoring scheme for new or aspiring travel writers to help them find a path in the industry.
Inclusive Media Development Lab – Closed July 15
Training, interactive workshops and follow-up support for individuals pursuing journalism in Wales. Includes refinement in R&D, product design, entrepreneurship and business.
Journo Resources Fellowship – Closed July 16
A paid mentoring and training programme for those just starting out in their career. Paid £160 per piece published and fellows undergo training from various specialists.
RTS Bursaries – Closed July 31
Three bursaries on offer: the TV Production and Journalism Bursary, the Digital Innovation Bursary and the Steve Hewlett Scholarship. Awarded to talented students from lower-income backgrounds studying an undergraduate degree or HND Level 5 or 6.
YoungMinds Writers Programme – Closed August 7
Offering a group of young people with experience of mental health problems the training and support to create change by sharing their stories.
BFI London Film Festival Mentorship Scheme – Closed August 12
Applications welcome from BAME or underrepresented groups to attend the 66th BFI London Film Festival as a delegate. Includes mentorship from media industry professionals and a change to have your work published by LFF media partners and the BFI.
ENO Response 23/24 Season – Closes August 13
A training scheme for aspiring journalists and opera critics who wish to develop their critical skills. Each participant will be partnered with mentors from The Critics’ Circle to receive tailored feedback on their writing across the season.
The Brooklyn Brothers Night School – Closed August 14
A free training programme designed to address the lack of ethnic diversity in London’s creative industries, combining the best of in-person workshop sessions with online collaboration. The eight-week journey is open to all 18-25 year-olds, looking to unlock their potential and open doors to a career within the creative industries and beyond.
The Kari Howard Fund for Narrative Journalism – Closed August 20
Women and nonbinary writers can apply for a fund up to $5,000 USD. Must have at least three years of professional experience.
Ian Perry Scholarship – Closed August 31
You can choose two categories for this one: The Tom Stoddart Award for Excellence and The Canon Award for Potential. Each winner will receive $3,500 USD towards their chosen project, alongside access to an exclusive mentorship programme for The Canon Award for Potential applicants.
Action Against Hunger Scholarship – Closed August 31
A scholarship for the photographers, content creators and videographers out there! This scholarship will award the winner a prize of 10,000 EUR while receiving mentorship and guidance to develop “multimedia language in the humanitarian field.”
David Higham Award Open Day – Closed September 1
A chance for ten exceptional writers to take part in a day of free workshops and seminars from authors, editors, and leading industry professionals, alongside in-depth 1-1 feedback sessions.
Girls In Marketing Digital Marketing Internship Programme – Closed September 1
This 3-day virtual internship programme aims to help give junior to mid-level and aspiring digital marketers the chance to upskill, learn the basics of digital marketing, and add vital experience to their CV.
WFTV Mentoring Scheme – Closed September 11
For women in film and TV with several years of experience. Get intensive mentoring, seminars and training.
Prime Video Craft Academy – Closed September 15
The new Prime Video Craft Academy delivered by the National Film and Television School has places for 25 people from London and Glasgow on paid traineeships in a craft specialism working on a UK-produced Amazon Original Series or with our trusted Prime Video and Amazon Studios supply partners.
Modern Slavery Unveiled Grant Programme – Closed September 15
This is a funding pool 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.
Glasgow Film New Talent Mentorship Scheme – Closed September 14
This six-month scheme provides practical support and training for underrepresented filmmakers from Scotland. Includes monthly meet ups with a mentor, and successful mentees will also receive complementary accreditation for Glasgow Film Festival 2024.
Banijay Brightbulb Unscripted Development Intern Scheme 2024 – Closes September 17
Get stuck in and pitch innovative reality shows, factual entertainment programmes, quizzes, and many more. No experience necessary, just a passion for unscripted TV and bundles of ideas. Offers a £1,000 bursary to help you relocate.
John Schofield Trust Early Career Journalist Mentoring Scheme -Closed 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.
Training for Good Tarbell Fellowship – Closed October 1
With stipends up to $50,000 USD, early-career AI journalists can expect mentorship and feedback from accomplished journalists in the field. Fellows will receive a nine-month placement at a major newsroom, and participate in a study group covering AI governance and technical fundamentals, and will also receive an accommodation allowance to attend a two-week summit in Oxford.
Oxford Climate Journalism Network Online Course – Closed October 2
This six-month course will support journalists and newsroom leaders in identifying and addressing issues that arise during their coverage of climate change. This includes sessions with world-leading experts and connections with colleagues at other news organisations.
International News Media Association Elevate Scholarships – Closed October 6
This scholarship program is designed to strengthen the future of the news business by embracing and elevating historically underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. Recipients will gain free access to three INMA masterclasses, receive a free membership in INMA for one year, participate in a mentoring video meet-up, and much more.
MPIL Journalist in Residence Fellowship – Closed October 6
Journalists spend three months at the institute where they gain insights into fundamental questions and current problems of international law, European Union law and public law. Individual research encouraged, and mentorship provided. Journalists receive a research grant up to $3,847 USD per month for the duration of the fellowship.
The Photography Foundation Trainee Programme – Closed October 8
This is an intensive six-month commercial photography training programme geared to prepare socio-economically disadvantaged young adults (18-25) for the photography and wider creative industries. You’ll receive mentorship and access to workshops to help refine your art.
Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program – Closed October 15
This five-month low-residency program will see fellows undertake various projects in both online and in-person residency settings. Fellows will receive world-class mentoring, and the scholarship covers tuition and travel costs to New York City for the residency weeks.
A New Direction’s Shared Training and Employment Programme (STEP) – Closed October 17
Through STEP, you’ll get paid a London Living Wage or above salary over a 12-month training programme. Get your foot in the creative industry’s door, grow as part of a like-minded peer network, take part in monthly professional development workshops, and get a budget to boost your portfolio with a collaborative creative project.
Creative Access and ITV Mentoring – Closed October 27
Sate your curiosity and passion for TV with this virtual mentorship scheme with ITV. You will be matched with a mentor from ITV, and you can apply to gain experience in any of ITV’s business areas.
The Lena Papadapoulos Novel-Writing Scholarship – Closes October 29
Eligible for writers of colour who would otherwise have limited financial means of attending the Curtis Brown’s Wirting Your Novel courses. Includes teaching, workshops and tutorials.
The Gillian McAlister Novel-Writing Scholarship – Closes October 29
If you are a writer from a limited financial background with dreams of becoming an author, you can apply for a scholarship to attend a Curtis Brown’s Writing Your Novel course in London. This scholarship will provide all things necessary for writers to access the workshops, the tutorials, and teaching.
Creative Access x Lee & Thompson’s Thrive: Freelance Development Programme – Closes October 31
Freelancers on the lookout for professional development opportunities should give this program a spin. This opportunity last for 3 years and includes access to mentorship, leadership training and networking opportunities.
Arts Emergency Mentorship – Closes October 31
Free mentoring, advice, guidance and opportunities to help 16-25-year-olds pursue a career in the arts and humanities.
Curtis Brown Creative’s Breakthrough Program for Disabled Writers – Closed November 5
This remote mentorship scheme allows four aspiring disabled authors to receive one-to-one guidance from a published author-mentor. This also includes a tutorial with a literary agent.
TRC Media Reset – Closes November 16
Reset is a paid eight-month traineeship within a Scottish Animation, Visual Effects (VFX) or Games company. The opportunity includes full training throughout the placement, and is aimed at new entrants to the industry with transferable skills.
Vault Festival New Critics Programme -Closed December 8
Aimed at new and early-career writers, particularly those from under-represented backgrounds, who want to develop a critical voice in media. Includes one-to-one feedback sessions, group feedback from fellow participants, and networking opportunities to establish valuable connections within the industry.
Talking Travel Writing Mentorship Scheme – Closed December 15
The fourth round of Talking Travel Writing’s mentorship scheme is now live, with a total of 10 inspiring mentors on the scheme. Ideal for anyone wishing to break into the travel writing industry, and it could also suit applicants looking to pivot specialisms.
Aspiring Professionals Programme — Closed December 17
Provides mentorship to selected applicants and tailored skill sessions, career workshops, internship opportunities, and university application support.
Wonder Woman TV Mentoring Programme 2024 – Closed December 18
This year-long, complimentary program, valued at over £7000, aims to empower and advance the careers of diverse, female leaders in Television, Film, and the Creative Industries, with a focus on supporting women from underrepresented groups. Open to women in various production, editorial, and business roles, the initiative builds on the success of previous alumni.
Women in Journalism Scotland Mentorship Scheme – Closed December 22
This one is for the Scottish journalists out there! Women in Journalism Scotland runs a scheme to link early and mid-career journalists with mentors. They have a huge range of mentors who’ll be able to help you with your 2024 career goals.
Women in Journalism Mentoring Scheme — Closed December 31
It’s back! Two options are 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 journalists for over five years. You have to be a WIJ member to apply for the junior scheme but annual memberships start from £10 per year for students.
The Student Publication Association Mentoring Scheme – Closed January 1
For student journalists and recent graduates looking to break into the industry.
There are several schemes we are aware have run in the past but we cannot provide details of when or if they will re-open. We will provide new information as soon as it becomes available.
- ALTRUVIOLET’s Creative Internship
- Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant
- The Pact Indie Diversity Training Scheme in Scotland
- A Writing Chance
- SJN Solutions Journalism Mentorship Programme
- I Like Mentoring Programme
- Headlines Network
- NEON Regional Spokesperson Network
- The Telegraph Media Literacy Programme
- Global Docs Short Forum
- Peckham Rise
- Online News Association Women’s Leadership Accelerator