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Rolex pairs U.K. novelist Naomi Alderman and Margaret Atwood in mentorship program

Margaret Atwood will spend the next year mentoring U.K. novelist Naomi Alderman. The partnership is a product of the Rolex Arts Initiative, which pairs masters with emerging arts professionals in the areas of literature, theatre, film, dance, music, and visual arts.

Oxford-educated Alderman, 37, is the author of three novels — Disobedience, which won the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers, The Lessons (2010), and The Liars’ Gospel (forthcoming in August). She was named The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2007, and is also credited with writing a number of computer games and mobile apps. Alderman says she turned to writing full-time after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre prompted her to leave an unfulfilling job in Manhattan and through the mentorship she hopes to figure out “how to shape the next 20 years.”

Alderman will spend a minimum of six weeks working with her mentor, and will receive US$25,000 for expenses and another US$25,000 to finance a larger project. Atwood hand-picked the British writer after interviewing a pool of candidates.