Meet the 2023 Mentees: Catherine Muir

17 January 2024

How does mentoring help people in their creative careers? Well, we thought we'd ask some of our 2023 mentees in their own words!

The first is Catherine Muir, a writer focused primarily on playwriting. Wanting to connect more with Edinburgh's creative community and find support in her writing journey, Catherine partnered with a mentor last year. Here's how she benefitted.

Describe your relationship with your mentor. What did you find most valuable about working with them?

It’s been a complete joy being a participant on this programme. I look forward to and enjoy all my mentoring sessions. I love writing, but the reality is writing can be a very solitary experience, and it’s nice having my mentor is on my team. I think having someone to talk to, who is solely focused on supporting me with my writing, and detached from other areas of my life has been incredibly liberating. It’s also just really amazing to talk about the plays and projects that I am working on with someone who understands storytelling, and takes me and my ideas seriously.

Do you have any standout moments or experiences from the programme?

My mentor understands the importance of small achievements and celebrates those with me. In fact, sometimes these have been stepping stones that I have completely overlooked or not really celebrated, and then when I’ve been mid conversation sharing my updates over the past month, I have been taken aback by my mentor’s positivity about those moments.

How has the mentors guidance influenced your creative approach/goals?

I used to feel a bit flat after receiving rejection emails, and to be honest, I had grown tired of applying for competitions. However the truth is, I had only been applying for a handful of opportunities each year, and putting all my energy into the same opportunities that hundreds and sometimes thousands of other people are pouring their dreams into it too. Over the past few months, my mentor has encouraged me to apply for lots of competitions and opportunities, and now entering competitions/submitting applications has become a part of my weekly routine.

I can’t say wholeheartedly that I have fully broken my habit of getting too emotionally invested in individual competitions, but focussing my energies and goals on submitting an application every 1-2 weeks, rather than on the results has really helped me. I have now had a little more success with applications and received at least two rejection emails over the summer for things I’d forgotten I’d applied for! For me, that’s progress.

How do you think this programme contributes to the larger creative community in Edinburgh?

This time last year, I didn’t feel connected with the creative community in Edinburgh, and I wanted to change this. This programme has really helped me to learn about the opportunities in the city to get to know other writers, producers, and artists.

Why do you think mentoring and programmes like this are important for early career/emerging creatives? What makes this programme unique?

I don’t think I appreciated how valuable having a mentor was until I participated in this programme. It has reinvigorated my creative career at a time when I was feeling a bit lost and frustrated with my lack of progress. I was writing and going to see lots of plays, but the distance between me writing and getting my work on stage, seemed like a gap that was widening every single day. Now, I can see the stepping stones starting from right outside my front door. The opportunities are here, even if I have to create them myself, and I’ve learnt that through being mentored by a local person.

Have you got any exciting projects/news that you would like to share with the Community

Finding space in Edinburgh to write outside normal working hours and/or is simply affordable can be challenging. Over the past year, I haven’t really had a suitable place to write at home and so I have been touring the cafes and libraries of the city. With coffees being around £4 nowadays and libraries feeling a bit too quiet and isolating, I’ve realised that it would be great to set up regular meetups for creative writers to write on a weekly basis in different spots around the city. I haven’t figured out the best way to do this yet, but if this is something that you are interested in too, please feel free to email It would be great to connect with creative writers interested in joining me on this journey, anyone who has a space to offer, and organisations that are interested in having a conversation.

How would you sum up your mentoring programme experience?

My main takeaway from the programme is that I feel in control of my creative journey now and I am taking a more professional approach. I am much better at applying myself to a day to day routine and discussing my work. And on a slightly more technical note, my ability to draft loglines has also greatly improved!


The Creative Edinburgh Mentoring Programme is open for applications until January 30 2024. Apply here.