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 are eligible to participate.


The ACES mentor program is designed to connect six ACES members with a mentor (also an ACES member) for a 12-month period.

If interested, complete an application (downloadable below) and email it to Patricia Cole at

Mentor application

Mentee application

If there is a match in expertise sought and expertise available, the director of the program will pair the two.

ACES will accept no more than six mentees a year. The mentor relationship will start and end at the national conference.

The mentors and mentees will be encouraged to meet in person at the national conference. ACES will provide lunch for them and present a short program on expectations. (The previous year’s mentors/mentees will also be invited to the lunch to share tips and insights.)

Mentor and mentee agree to a 12-month relationship mostly via emails and phone calls. Setting up a monthly phone call is strongly encouraged.


1. To allow individual growth and development through a mentoring partnership.

2. Give copy editors access to veterans who can provide career development advice.

3. Tap the vast knowledge within the ACES membership.

4. Follow a formal, two-way learning process.

Note: The project is not designed to take the place of formal copy editing training.


An experienced and knowledgeable person who participates in the development of another person through teaching, counseling, advising, coaching, supporting and networking with other people.

Guidelines for mentors:


• Take the lead on communication with mentee
• Develop a trusting relationship with your mentee and keep conversations confidential
• Share insight and experiences
· Act as a resource and a liaison to development opportunities (e.g., sharing information about upcoming boot camps, Poynter educational opportunities, other editing training opportunities with related journalism organizations)
• Train them to train themselves


Do not:

• Intervene on the mentee’s behalf with co-workers or supervisors
• Make negative judgments or offer destructive criticism
• Solve problems or provide all the answers to the mentee; it is your responsibility to only help them find their own solutions.


A person who may be less experienced in terms of career progress or specific knowledge in a profession and who is guided and trained by someone with experience.

Guidelines for mentees:


• Accept primary responsibility for your own career progress
• Share developmental strengths, needs and goals
• Develop a trusting relationship with your mentor and keep conversations confidential.

Do not:

• Seek employment from their mentor during the 12-month period
• Ask the mentor to intervene in workplace issues


Remember, your career is your responsibility. Your mentor is available to help you find solutions to problems or opportunities for growth, not to solve problems for you.


Patricia Cole at is 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 her.

If a mentor would like to work with college students, please note that on your application.