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 January 22
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.
Disabled Writers Mentoring Scheme – Always Open
Designed to help disabled writers gain professional experience and knowledge to work in journalism.
Media Trust & ScreenSkills Mentoring Programmes – Closes January 24
A mentoring scheme for emerging and early-stage behind the screen talent, aimed at those underrepresented in the field.
ScreenSkills Pro-Create – Closes January 29
This year-long mentoring programme for Black film producers, with a chance to showcase your work at the festival.
The Refugee Journalism Project – Expected To Re-Open January 2021
An initiative to help refugees rebuild their professional journalistic careers in the UK.
BEATS Mentoring Program – Expected To Re-Open January 2021
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.
Grierson DocLab Training Scheme – Closes 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.
Media Trust Creativity Works Training Programme – Closes 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.
The Pact Indie Diversity Training Scheme in Scotland – Closed March 20 2020
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.
Penguin WriteNow – Closed May 31 2020
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.
Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant –Closed May 31 2020
A call for photographers aged 18-25 to explore conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. There are two $2,500 grants available.
Stars4Media Training Programme – Closed May 27 2020
Guidance and coaching for ‘media professionals’ with 2 to 10 years of experience. You can claim up to €6,000 in expenses.
Youth4Regions – Closed July 13 2020
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.
Arts Emergency Mentorship – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
Free mentoring, advice, guidance and opportunities to help 16-25-year-olds pursue a career in the arts and humanities.
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.
IMF Youth Fellowship Contest – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
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.
‘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.
John Schofield Trust Early Career Journalist Mentoring Scheme – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
Designed for news journalists in the first five years of their career, you’ll be matched with a senior journalist for 12 months.
UNICEF Youth Mediathon – Expected To Re-Open September 2021
You can apply for a free spot if you’re aged 16-24. The event includes mentoring, workshops and publishing your work.
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 2020
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 2020
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 2020
Partnered with WIJ, Women in Journalism Scotland has launched a scheme to link eight mentors with young journalists.
WFTV Mentoring Scheme – Closed December 14 2020
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 2020
A range of mentorship schemes. For people living in London, there is a specific strand for media and comms.