Adopt a writer

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Writers Victoria

Photo of Trent Gillam and Mark Brandi
Personal Patron Trent Gillam and supported writer Mark Brandi

Writers and artists thrived in the past with the support of individual patrons: people willing to contribute to the creation of great works. Today, however, this sort of support is rare.

But arts patronage didn’t go out with the Renaissance. Writers’ groups, book clubs, organisations, giving circles and individuals are now able to ‘adopt a writer’ as part of our Personal Patrons scheme.

What you give

For a one-off donation between $300 and $3,000, you could support an emerging writer to be mentored by a professional author or get access to a writing studio to work on their manuscript.

The Personal Patrons scheme matches patrons directly with writers and allows them to track their progress. Writers are hand-picked by our team of tutors, mentors, assessors, editors and staff. They include writers working in all formats and on all topics, from playwrights, poets or fiction writers, to hard-hitting social commentators or graphic novelists.

Crime writer Michael Shelford was the first recipient of the Personal Patrons scheme. Thanks to the support of his patron, Michael was mentored by university lecturer and curator of Sydney’s Justice and Police Museum, Dr Peter Doyle, over a period of six months.

“Being selected for the Personal Patrons mentorship program has made a huge difference to my project,” Michael said. “It’s been a key factor in the transition from the research phase to the writing stage and has me focusing on the finished product.”

Melbourne writer and proud Wotjobaluk woman Kat Clarke was supported by regional Patron Dorothy Hutton to undertake a mentorship with Lyndel Caffrey. "I never thought I’d even get the chance to have such an amazing opportunity like this," Kat wrote in her reflection on the experience.

What you get

As a Personal Patron, you will receive letters from your writer to keep you updated about their progress. You’ll get an invitation to our annual Patrons’ Drinks, where you can meet up with your writer and fellow patrons, and receive priority invitations to other special events throughout the year.

Prior to supporting Emilie Collyer to undertake a residency at Old Melbourne Gaol, Lou Bortolin had never thought he would be able contribute to the written word.

"My invitation is that if you see yourself making a difference in the world through the written or spoken word, consider becoming a patron," Lou wrote. "You will be guided by the staff at Writers Victoria in the selection of a writer that matches what you are up to in the world."

And as well as being acknowledged as a supporter of Writers Victoria, all donations to the Personal Patron program are fully tax deductable.


  • 1 month in a writing studio $300
  • 3 month in a writing studio $750
  • 6 months mentoring $950
  • 12 months mentoring $1,800
  • 12 months in a writing studio $2,800

For more information about becoming a Personal Patron, email Angela Savage.