Make your writing the best it can be with insightful feedback reports, line editing and tailored mentoring.
Get an in-depth feedback report on your novel, memoir or short fiction collection to revise an early draft with tailored, professional advice on the best way to take it to the next level. The editor assigned to you will read your manuscript and give you feedback on plot, pace, character, world-building and more to show you what’s working well and what you still need to develop.
Short Story / Flash Fiction Critiques
Get detailed comments with main points for development along with mark up directly on your short story or flash fiction to help you make it shine.
If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need a thorough copy edit of your final draft to ensure your prose shines and that your book will be the best it can be. It will correct grammar, typos and highlight any last issues that need to be ironed out.
Get one-to-one support, motivation and guidance from a professional mentor to guide you through the writing of a first draft, or revision of an early draft. They’ll help you to build on your strengths and improve on the elements that need developing as you go along. You can have reviews of your submissions and email interaction only, or add on a monthly video/phone call to chat things through with your mentor. We can design a package to suit what you need lasting from 3 months up to a year.
Our Editors and Mentors
All of our editors are publishing professionals with experience of writing, editing and publishing novels, short fiction, memoirs and non-fiction. We’ll assign the most suitable editor for your project once we receive your booking.
Amanda is a novelist and short-fiction writer as well as the commissioning editor and publisher at Retreat West Books (Winner: Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards), which publishes novels, memoirs and short fiction. Her work is widely published and has been listed for and won various awards.
Gaynor is an award winning short fiction writer whose work has been widely published. She won first prize in the 12th round of the prestigious Bath Flash Fiction Award, the 2018 Mairtín Crawford Short Story Award at the Belfast Book Festival and was named Northern Writer of the Year at the 2018 Northern Soul Awards.
Mary-Jane is a widely published flash fiction writer and poet. A Forward Prize nominee and Hawthornden Fellow, she has won many prizes including the Bath Novella-in-Flash Prize, the Bridport Poetry prize, and Mslexia Flash prize. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Beverley International Prize for Literature and longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. Mary-Jane’s debut poetry collection Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass is published by Pindrop Press. Her novella in Flash ‘Don’t Tell the Bees’, will be published later this year by Ad Hoc Fiction.
Steve is a lecturer in fiction, poetry and life-writing and has worked for the Open University for the past 15 years. He has collaborated with 100s of new writers of all ages and from all walks of life; writes regularly and has been published online and in print. He has a BA and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University where he also lectured for many years.
Cari is an editor, author and writer working in commercial fiction, along with some memoir/narrative non-fiction. She offers insight, vision and a forensic eye for detail through structural editing, line editing, copy editing, editorial reports and manuscript assessment; and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.
Amanda Huggins is the author of the forthcoming novella All Our Squandered Beauty and three collections of short fiction. Her prize-winning story from the Costa Short Story Award features in, Scratched Enamel Heart. In 2020 she won the Colm Toibin Short Story Award, the Saboteur Award for poetry, and several of her stories were broadcast on BBC Radio. She is an award-winning travel writer, a creative writing tutor and competition judge.
Claire is a poet and novelist. Her novels have been published by Quercus and The Dome Press, her poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press. She is a mentor and creative writing tutor and curates Reading’s longest-running poetry platform, Poets’ Café. She is represented by Broo Doherty at DHH Literary Agency and is a regular panellist on BBC Radio Berkshire’s Radio Reads.
Matt Kendrick has had stories published in Bending Genres, Craft Literary, Fictive Dream, FlashBack Fiction, Lunate, Splonk and elsewhere. He has been listed in various competitions and won the Retreat West “Abandoned” flash fiction contest in June 2020. Previously the flash fiction editor for Lucent Dreaming magazine, he currently runs the Betas & Bludgers writing groups as well as facilitating online workshops with an emphasis on “writing outside the box.”
FJ Morris is an award-winning writer and her collection ‘This is (not about) David Bowie’ received a special mention in the Saboteur Awards for Best Short Story Collection in 2019. She’s been published in numerous publications in the UK and internationally, and shortlisted for a variety of awards. She often judges and sifts for competitions, and has been on various editorial teams for literary magazines.
Gillian is a fiction writer based in the UK. Her flash novella The World at the End of the Garden is published by Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press. Her work can be found in Popshot Quarterly, Ambit, Into the Void and Jellyfish Review. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Cambridge Prize for short fiction and was a finalist in the Black River Chapbook Competition Spring 2018.
Isabel’s debut novel Paris Mon Amour was published in 2016, to be followed by Scent in 2021 (Muswell Press). Her short fiction includes the title story of Retreat West anthology The Word for Freedom. She has run the Literary Sofa blog for nine years, where her most exciting discoveries are often from small presses. Isabel is an experienced writing mentor, tutor and book doctor who has worked with Word Factory, Jericho Writers, Mslexia and individual clients.
Phil is a short story writer from Liverpool who enjoys finding the absurd in the everyday. He has a Creative Writing MA from University of Manchester and is Fiction Editor at Sabotage Reviews. Winner of Northern Short Story Festival, WoWFest and Book Week Scotland flash fiction
prizes, his stories are published by Ad Hoc, Liminal Residency, Storgy and Strix. Phil reviews for Manchester Literature Festival, Comma Press and The Manchester Review; and is reader for Vestal Review.
Anna holds an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of East Anglia. Her stories have been published in Mslexia, MIR Online and Paper Cuts, as well as a variety of anthologies, including two published by Retreat West. She focuses on climate change fiction, or ‘cli fi’ and her story ‘A Reconciliation’ recently won the Climaginaries Anthroposcenes short story contest. She lives with her husband and two children in Croydon and tweets under @orridge_anna
Sophie has had three novels published, the last of which is ‘Unprotected’, published by Retreat West Books, and her short fiction has been longlisted for the Bridport prize. She writes domestic thrillers, where ordinary people face extraordinary situations, and is especially hot on creating convincing dialogue and characters. She teaches creative writing and other subjects, and is also an illustrator.
Dr. Hannah Stevens
Hannah holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Leicester. Her next book, In Their Absence is due out in 2020. She has published short stories and creative nonfiction globally. She has been anthologised by Unthank Books, and in the award-winning ‘Drinking Stories’ (Valley Press). Hannah has taught creative writing in universities across the world, and worked for over 10 years in the voluntary sector on gender, equality and LGBTQ+ projects.
Francoise has more than 12 years of experience in the world of writing and publishing, including working as production editor and guest editor at Mslexia magazine, and publishing anthology The Casual Electrocution of Strangers with Literary Salmon. She is a writer herself, with work appearing in Best British Short Stories, amongst other publications.
Jackie is the author of self-help memoir, Tea & Chemo, winner of Live Better With’s ‘Best Cancer Book, 2017’; Glass Houses, a ‘domestic noir’ and popular book group read. Her prize winning short stories feature in anthologies and online. Teacher, mentor and editor for over a decade, Jackie sees working closely with writers as the ultimate privilege: helping to tease the words on the page into the intricate pictures they’ve imagined.
Katherine is ‘the short author who tells tall tales,’ with four middle grade fantasy novels and two collections of short stories for younger readers published to date. Her short stories have been included in several anthologies and longlisted in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize in 2017 and 2020. She blogs at Squidge’s Scribbles, runs a small creative writing group called NIBS, and is a volunteer librarian at a local primary school.
Kathy’s work has appeared in a variety of publications including Spelk, Virtual Zine, Lunate, Cabinet of Heed, Ellipsis Zine and Reflex Fiction. She has been listed in several competitions including The Exeter Short Story Prize, the Fish Memoir Prize, Ellipsis Zine Flash Collection Competition, Flash 500, LISP, TSS Publishing and Retreat West Quarterly Flash Competition. She holds a BA (Hons) and an MA in Creative Writing. She is currently working on her first Flash Fiction collection.