Mentorship program

The American Copy Editors Society has revamped its mentoring program to better serve its members. The guidelines that follow are now in effect. Only current members, including student-chapter members, are eligible to participate.


For current ACES members seeking a mentor, this is what the applicant should supply for consideration:

1. A current resume with at least two references–one that can attest to the applicant’s work performance and one that can attest to the applicant’s activities outside of work;

2. A sample cover letter pertaining to a specific job that the applicant is seeking. Applicants who write that “I want to be a copy editor” without elaboration will not be considered;

3. An essay of 500 words or less on how the applicant expects to benefit from the program. In the essay, the applicant should, again, be specific about how the mentor could assist in the applicant’s development;

4. The applicant should be aware that this is not an open-ended program, unless agreed to otherwise between the mentor and the applicant. The frequency of contact will be determined by both parties, but it is suggested that the program be limited to 12 months.

If the applicant doesn’t fulfill the above criteria, the application will be rejected.


For those members willing to serve as mentors, here are a few guidelines and the information that should be provided:

1. Send a note giving your specific areas of expertise. We expect many applicants outside the traditional newspaper workplace, and the more precise we can be in matching applicants with mentors, the more successful the program will be. And, again, the applicant must be a member of ACES

2. How much time will you be able to spend with the accepted applicant? We would suggest an email/phone conversation no more than once a month, except in unusual circumstances–for example, a job offer. In addition, how many applicants would you feel comfortable working with, and when would be the best times to participate;

3. Provide a brief, written evaluation of the person after your sessions. If s/he seems hopeless and a waste of time after a few meetings, there’s no reason to continue.


Rich Holden, retired executive director of the Dow Jones News Fund and a lifetime member of ACES, will be the point person for the program. Any requests that applicants submit seeking a mentor, or anyone interested in submitting information to serve as a mentor, should be addressed to him.

If a mentor would like to work with college students, please reference that on the form that you submit. Absent that, Holden will provide guidance/advice to the college students.

Holden can be reached at Luddite that he is, he does not respond to Twitter, Facebook or text messages.