Mentoring

Get 1-1 help with your writing

Our experienced, friendly and knowledgable mentors can help you with every stage of your writing. Whether you’re working on a novel, a novella, short stories, flash fictions or memoir our mentoring packages can give you the support and advice you need to take it to the next level.

We’ve got one off packages to help you fix novel plots and characters, to sort out a short story or develop a series of flashes. Or we have bespoke mentoring packages that can be tailored to what you need.

One-Off Mentoring

Our one-off packages give you the opportunity to get 1-1 advice on your novel, short story or flash fictions. This includes sending work in advance for editorial review and then having a 1-hour Zoom or phone call with your mentor to chat things through and recommend your next steps.

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO SUMMER HOLIDAYS ANY APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BETWEEN 11TH AND 22ND AUGUST 2021 WILL NOT GET A RESPONSE UNTIL 23RD AUGUST.

Novel Packages

Structure and Plot Surgery with C.M. Taylor

The thing Craig is best at is story development, considering stories as a whole – their structure, progression, genre, meaning, theme, outcomes.

So if you’re not sure your story starts in the right place, or if you’ve got a meandering middle, or a lacklustre ending, or if you don’t know what your story is ‘about’, or don’t even know what the problem is, he’s pretty sure he can help.

This mini-mentoring package looks like this:

  • You send in between 1,000 and 2,000 words, an overview of your story. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even finished. Just send the best description you currently have of where your story is at. Craig is happy for you to write things like ‘not sure what she does at this point, still figuring it out’ because his role is to help you develop your story – to take it from wherever it is to a better place.
  • Craig spends one hour reading what you’ve sent, and thinking about development, structure, genre, plot, etc.
  • You have an hour conversation where Craig outlines story development routes.  This can be done on Zoom so you can record it and refer back to it as much as you need.

We’ll get back to you with a timescale for getting your session booked in within 24 hours of receiving your booking (unless you book at the weekend in which case you’ll hear from us the following Monday).


Character Clinic with Amanda Saint

The thing Amanda is best at is creating characters with depth that seem like real people. That their behaviours make sense and readers can connect to them.

So if you’re worried your character isn’t coming across how you want, or you’re concerned that their voice is off or they’ve not got enough about them, or they just don’t feel right but you’re not sure why, she can help you dig deeper.

This mini-mentoring package looks like this:

  • You send in up to 2500 words, which is a combination of the character’s profile and an extract from the novel featuring them, along with a short blurb about what the novel premise is. Don’t worry if the character profile isn’t that detailed, as Amanda is going to help you give the character more complexity and depth to bring them alive for you and for your readers.
  • Amanda spends one hour reading what you’ve sent, and thinking about character depth, motivation, arc, etc.
  • You have an hour conversation with Amanda to develop your character.  This can be done on Zoom so you can record it and refer back to it as much as you need.

We’ll get back to you with a timescale for getting your session booked in within 24 hours of receiving your booking (unless you book at the weekend in which case you’ll hear from us the following Monday).


Short Fiction Packages

Short Story SurgeryFlash Fiction Fix
Got a short story that is not quite working and you’re not sure why? Or got an idea for a short story and not sure how to develop it? Whatever your short story problem is, our mentors can help.

Send in a short story up to 2,500 words and get detailed editorial notes, a marked up manuscript and a 1-hour Zoom or phone session to talk things through with your mentor.
Working on a flash collection and want help developing theme, flow, prose? Or polishing up standalone stories for submission? Whatever your flash fiction development need is, our mentors can help.

Send in a flashes up to a total of 2,500 words and get detailed editorial notes, marked up manuscripts and a 1-hour Zoom or phone session to talk things through with your mentor.
Cost: £150

Cost £150

We’ll get back to you with a timescale for getting your session booked in within 24 hours of receiving your booking (unless you book at the weekend in which case you’ll hear from us the following Monday).

Bespoke Mentoring Packages

If you want a longer term, tailored mentoring programme we offer them in packages of :

  • 6 (£450)
  • 12 (£825)
  • 18 (£1200)

These packages will be completely bespoke to deliver what you need and the format will be agreed between you and your mentor.

Our Mentors

You can apply to work specifically with any of the mentors below, or there is the option to say no preference on the application form and then we’ll allocate you to the most suitable mentor.

Once you have sent your application form we’ll reply as soon as we can letting you know if/when the mentor you’ve selected is available; or if you’ve not specified anyone we’ll let you know which mentor you can work with.


Amanda Saint

Amanda is a novelist and prize-winning flash fiction writer, creative writing tutor and award-winning indie publisher who has worked with hundreds of writers both 1-1 and in group settings. She can help you develop your novels, novellas, flash fiction and CNF and her focus in mentoring is getting to the heart of your story through the heart of your characters.


C.M. Taylor

Craig is a novelist and screenwriter and works as a freelance editor of fiction for a variety of publishers. A Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing, he has taught hundreds of creative writers, in one to one development settings, as well as in classes and workshops. His mentoring focus is finding the themes and right structure for your stories.


Isabel Costello

Isabel is the author of novels Paris Mon Amour and Scent (Muswell Press) and her short fiction has been widely published. She has also run the Literary Sofa blog for ten years. Isabel is an experienced writing mentor, tutor and book doctor with an interest in the technical and emotional aspects of what makes novels work. Her mentoring style is supportive and constructive and her aim is to help you develop as a writer and find the most effective way to tell your story. 


Peter Jordan

Peter Jordan is an award-winning short story writer. A recipient of three Arts Council Awards, he is a qualified journalist, has an MA in Creative Writing, and is in the final year of a PhD. Peter can advise on all aspects of the short story and suggest, if applicable, where a story might be best suited for publication. For those wishing to write a collection or novella-in-a-flash, he can advise on arrangement, theme, and where to look for agents and/or independent publishers. His mentoring will focus on how best to help you, wherever you are in your writing journey. 


Louise Walters

Louise is a traditional-and-self-published author, an experienced editor, and a publisher. She runs her independent press, Louise Walters Books, from her home in Northamptonshire. Particularly keen to work with fellow working-class writers, Louise’s areas of expertise are literary fiction, literary-commercial fiction, women’s fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is happy to help with all aspects of the writing-querying-publishing process, from editorial input through to championing your work to anybody who will listen. With her mentoring, Louise’s aim is to help build confidence in writers.