J.J. Reneaux Mentorship Award

The Mentorship Award provides $1,250 for a gifted younger teller (18-30 years of age) to work with a seasoned teller as a mentor.

Criteria for recipients:

  1. You should intend to gain at least part of your income from professional storytelling performance.
  2. You should be between 18 and 30 years of age at the time you apply for the grant.
  3. Your current performances should demonstrate considerable talent and potential for development.
  4. Although your career is at an early stage, you should already show a distinctive voice and style.
  5. You should have at least an hour of fully developed repertoire.
  6. Although you should not yet have received wide public recognition (such as featuring at a major festival or theater), you should already have several performance credits.

What the award will and will not fund:

  • The award gives $500 to the applicant for expenses related to the plan of work with the mentor (travel, lodging, additional fees, etc.), and $750 to a well-respected, seasoned storyteller who will serve as a mentor to the applicant during the grant year by providing individual coaching sessions and/or appropriate workshops.
  • Award funds are for the development of performance skills, and should not be applied to research, marketing, promotional materials, recordings, props, costumes, etc.


Application Process

  1. Before applying you should identify and come to a preliminary agreement with a storytelling mentor (who must be a well-respected, seasoned storyteller) from whom you would like to receive coaching. With the mentor, plan coaching and/or workshop sessions that both of you feel are appropriate to your needs. The mentoring must take place within the 2021 calendar year.
  2. Submission of videos: By October 26, 2020, you must provide the committee the URLs to 10-20 minutes of online video recording of your storytelling that demonstrates your strengths and performance characteristics. (We recommend, but do not require, that you record performances before an audience.) Your application submission should contain samples of two different pieces of work (if possible, one complete). Please review your recordings for video quality and clear sound before you submit them.
  3. Applications must be submitted by midnight, Central time, October 26, 2020, using the online form below. Applications must include:
    1. A letter (no longer than 700 words) describing:
      • Your background and the path you are on as a performer;
      • Your sense of your current artistic strengths;
      • What you feel you need to develop at this point to move your storytelling gift forward (please be specific);
      • Why you would like to work with the mentor you have chosen;
    2. A letter from your potential mentor, explaining:
      • The mentor’s willingness to provide coaching and/or workshops;
      • The skills that will be the focus of your mutual work;
      • The plan of mentoring work that you and the mentor will undertake.
    3. Your resume (no longer than two pages).
    4. The mentor’s resume (no longer than two pages).
    5. References: Names and contact information (telephone, email, postal addresses) for three people who can comment knowledgeably on your storytelling – preferably either professional storytellers or sponsors of venues where you have performed. You should identify these people and tell the committee briefly when and where they have seen your work. (The review committee may contact the references, should they need further information.)

Notification: The results of the Mentorship Grant competition will be announced in December 2020.

Application

Deadline: Midnight, Central Time, October 26, 2020

There is no option to save and return to your application. The entire application must be completed at one time or your submission will not be saved. We recommend applicants prepare all materials prior to beginning the application process to ensure you have everything needed to complete the application.

Please note: Applications are not saved until you click the “Submit Application” button at the end of the application process.

*Membership in NSN is not a requirement.

APPLICANT LETTER


Please upload a letter (no longer than 700 words) describing:

  • Your background and the path you are on as a performer;
  • Your sense of your current artistic strengths;
  • What you feel you need to develop at this point to move your storytelling gift forward (please be specific);
  • Why you would like to work with the mentor you have chosen

VIDEO SUBMISSIONS


Please submit a 10-20 minute video recording of your storytelling that demonstrates your strengths and performance characteristics. (We recommend, but do not require, that you record performances before an audience.) Your submission should contain samples of two different pieces of work (if possible, one complete). Please review your recordings for video quality and clear sound before you submit them. Include the URL(s) in the boxes below.

Please Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that these videos are easily accessed through common platforms and browsers. Please ask several people with different browsers and platforms to test the accessibility of your videos before you submit the URL(s) to the committee.


LETTER FROM POTENTIAL MENTOR


Please include a letter from your potential mentor explaining:

  • The mentor's willingness to provide coaching and/or workshops;
  • The skills that will be the focus of your mutual work;
  • The plan of mentoring work that you and the mentor will undertake.

RESUME


Please upload your resume below (resumes should be no longer than two pages).


MENTOR'S RESUME


Please upload the mentor's resume below (resumes should be no longer than two pages).


REFERENCES


Please include names and contact information (telephone, email, postal addresses) for three people who can comment knowledgeably on your storytelling - preferably either professional storytellers or sponsors of venues where you have performed. You should identify these people and tell us briefly when and where they have seen your work. (The review committee may contact the references, should they need further information.)

The results of the Mentorship Grant competition will be announced in December 2020.

Past Recipients of the J.J. Reneaux Mentorship Award

Mentee

2019

2017

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2006

Rachelle Dart

Danielle Bellone

Csenge Zalka

Cassandra Cushing

[not awarded]

Adam Booth

Jessica Carleton

Dustin Loehr

Emily Kiernan

Rachel Hedman

Mentor

2019

2017

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2006

Liz Weir

Laura Packer

Cathryn Fairlee

Janice Del Negro

[not awarded]

Dovie Thomason

Jay O’Callahan

Motoko

Jay O’Callahan

Don Doyle

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