Open call: St Mungo Mirrorball’s Verse Apprenticeship Scheme Clydebuilt in partnership with the Edwin Morgan Trust

Deadline: Sunday 31 July 2022

As part of our continued partnership with St Mungo’s Mirrorball, we are excited to launch an open call for emerging poets to apply for Clydebuilt 15, funded by The Second Life Awards. Clydebuilt is an innovative mentoring programme in which promising poets are paired with an experienced mentor for a period of 12 months.

Edwin Morgan wrote across forms, themes, and languages and supported other writers to find their voices; it is with this spirit that St Mungo’s Mirrorball designed the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme. Founded in 2007, the scheme provides intensive support for poets at an early stage of their writing careers, encouraging a greater dialogue between them and more experienced practitioners. Mentors have included poets such as Liz Lochhead, Gerry Cambridge, John Glenday, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, A. B. Jackson, J. L. Williams, Miriam Gamble, and Alexander Hutchison.

The scheme recruits four poets who have yet to have a first full collection published (not counting pamphlet publication) and are not currently receiving any support with their development, e.g. not currently enrolled on an MLitt programme or fee-paying course. This mentoring will be given by an experienced poet-tutor over the course of 12 months, roughly from September 2022 to September 2023, and will consist of 5 group tutorials and 2 sets of one-to-one sessions which will be free to the participants. At these tutorials there will be a discussion of pre-submitted work with a mix of peer and tutor feedback. This will encourage participants to develop not only their own writing style but their ability to critique others. Over the year the participants will develop a portfolio of poems. Participants will give a reading of some of their resulting work along with their tutor at the end of the 12 months at a dedicated St Mungo’s Mirrorball event. 

A year of mentoring is a rare gift. I think my year on the Clydebuilt scheme enhanced my bravery: about when to be brutal and when to be playful; when to re-shape or abandon; to leave my ego outside the room and to trust the poem. Apply! 

Mark Russell, Clydebuilt 5 (with Alexander Hutchison)

Clydebuilt gave me deadlines (which I need!) and a platform to try out new things in a friendly and supportive environment.

Juana Adcock, Clydebuilt 9 (with Liz Lochhead).


A panel will review the applications and decide whether any interviews are necessary. The chosen tutor/mentor will be involved in the final decision on the poets for their group.  

To be eligible to be an apprentice you cannot be involved in any other writing course or receiving any other structured writing support as of September 2022 and you should not yet have brought out a full-length poetry collection. There will be a mix of online and in-person  meetings (subject to arrangement) but, on occasion, participants may need to travel to Glasgow for meetings and events.

We warmly welcome applications from underrepresented and marginalised groups. We are actively working on widening participation and representation in the Clydebuilt poetry scheme and St Mungo’s Mirrorball now and in future years.

If you are interested in applying to be one of the four verse apprentices, please provide the following: 

  • Full contact details
  • A brief biography of your writing career to date
  • 5 poems as typical examples of your work
  • A statement of your short-term and long-term poetry goals
  • An outline of what you hope to achieve from the support over the next 12 months 
  • An indication of the time commitment you are able to give both in terms of writing and attendance (online or in-person) at the tutorial programme (September 2022 – September 2023)   

The judging panel includes: 

Jim Carruth: Glasgow Makar and Chair of St Mungo’s Mirrorball
Vicki Husband: Poet and Shortlisted for Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award
Shehzar Doja: Poet and Gutter Poetry Editor / Editor in Chief of The Luxembourg Review
Samuel Tongue: Poet, Editor, and Project Coordinator, Scottish Poetry Library  

The mentor will be announced once the four poets have been selected.

E-mail your submission in one document to Clydebuilt Coordinator Samuel Tongue by the Closing Date of Sunday 31st July 2022. If you have any query regarding eligibility do not hesitate to e-mail Samuel.

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