Meet the Mentors: John McEwan-Whyte

17 January 2024

We have 105 talented and experienced Mentors who generously volunteer their time to advise creatives on their journeys.

In this blog series, we'll be meeting just a few of them. John McEwan-Whyte is a playwright and filmmaker, and runs his own production company Bonnie and Braw. He has been a part of the mentoring programme since early 2023 - here's what he has to say about his experience so far!

Why did you choose to become a Creative Edinburgh mentor?

I love what Creative Edinburgh does and am always keen to support them in any way possible. Also, as someone who didn’t have access to the arts growing up, I’m very aware of the importance of people further along in the industry helping others to get a foot in. I think bringing both a theatre and film background is good for young creatives, but mainly the fact I have a degree in physics and thus didn’t take the normal route into the arts, gives me a unique perspective of this industry.

Could you share a memorable moment from your mentorship journey that reflects the uniqueness of your experience?

I was able to introduce my mentee to a successful female writer friend of mine and give her a quick 1-2-1. From the feedback from my mentee the advice was very useful, and it was good practice for her building a network within the industry.

How have you seen the programme contribute to the artistic growth of those participating? Can you give an example?

I believe so. Our main aim was to provide structure to my mentee's career, and she seems to be doing that, with a number of meetings with appropriate theatre makers. She has also begun thinking and planning an initiative for early stage writers that will help grow her network but also provide some reliable income.

What have you learned in the process of mentoring?

How to listen better, but also how to manage my tasks more effectively. Sometimes you recognise your own weaknesses when trying to build your mentee's strengths.

In your time with the programme, how have you noticed it shaping and benefiting the broader creative community?

I’ve seen networks within the Edinburgh creative community stem from this work and it’s an amazing thing to see.

What elements of the programme do you think prove valuable for emerging artists and creatives?

The general advice from people more established within the industry, but also recommendations when it comes to grants or educational programmes.

Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve through being a Creative Edinburgh mentor?

I’m keen to see the people I mentor flourish, most of all, their success is probably worth more than my own. I also want to improve my own management skills and this scheme helps me do that.

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

We are always on the look out to create more documentaries, both with brands or just for ourselves. So if anyone has a story they think is good then please get in touch!


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