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The article collects and comments on evidence of philanthropy that accompanied the literary apprenticeship of novice female writers from major masters of “fi rst-wave” Russian Émigré – Bunin, Remizov and Shmelev. These quasi-literary relations, as shown in the article, stimulated a rivalry between the named writers, which was refl ected in their mutual ironic nominations and characteristics used in correspondence and memoir or biographical texts. As a rule, female apprentices did not fully understand all the latent hints and hidden subtleties of the artistic discourse peculiar to major writers of the Silver Age. Nevertheless, their letters gave some additional impulses to old masters’ competitiveness. The survived correspondence between I. Shmelev and his apprentice (and benefactor) O. Bredius-Subbotina may be interpreted as a sort of epistolary novel. These letters had aff ected greatly style and plot of the new edition of Shmelev’s famous book Leto Gospodne. In turn, the letters between A. Remizov and his “benefactor-student” N. Kodrianskaia had worked as a mighty source of inspiration for the latter and resulted in her books Remizov in his Letters (1977) and Rukopisnye knigi (Manuscript Books), which in fact are manuals on creative writing.