Manuscript Evaluation & Mentoring Services

I have been editing stories and mentoring writers for several years. During this time I have come to realise that all the strands of my working life are woven together, each one enriching the others, and this gives me a wealth of experience upon which I can draw as a writing mentor and editor:

  • As a published novelist I have learnt ways to gain confidence in my writing, how to conceptualize, sustain and complete a long work, submit a manuscript to a publisher/agent and what to expect from the publishing process.
  • As a mentor and editor I have come to understand many of the over-riding concerns of writers who are developing work, and can help them overcome common omissions, miscalculations and blind spots.
  • As a writing tutor I have researched and taught the potential and uses of writing techniques, points of craft and a range of different structural approaches.
  • As an English language teacher, I have studied not only the rules of grammar and punctuation, but also the creative possibilities they offer a writer.
  • As a landscape architect and gardener I have found that many of my preoccupations: scale, rhythm, space and time relationships, juxtaposition, themes and even colour, are also the preoccupations of a fiction writer.

Being entrusted with another writer’s work is always a privilege – and for me, a great pleasure too.

Manuscript Evaluation

  • Would you like to have a fresh set of eyes on your work?
  • Would you like to be able to talk about your characters with someone who has read the entire book and got to know them?
  • Would you like to receive feedback from an experienced writer on the structure of your whole manuscript rather than just parts of it?

My manuscript evaluation service is aimed at writers with manuscripts of novels who would like an evaluation of their work before moving on to their next draft. You will receive an annotated manuscript and a summary report of positives and suggested areas for attention/development.

For further details and fee structure please contact me by email:


Mentoring is a personal, constructive and supportive service I offer to writers who want to work with an experienced writer over an extended period of time in order to develop a specific project, gain confidence, and improve their writing skills.

The mentoring plan can be tailored to your specific aims – for instance, you may wish to focus all your time on producing and honing a piece of work, or you may wish to spend time on how to write a synopsis, a query letter, or how to draw and use a skeleton plan to help visualize and develop your structure.

Our work together is likely to include a mixture of discussing ideas and answering your questions, written and verbal feedback on your work at agreed intervals, and general guidance.

The process will consist of virtual face-to-face meetings on Zoom or Facetime, or if preferred via telephone calls. Feedback on work will be in the form of notes on your writing excerpts in Word and a report summarizing the main points of the feedback.  

Once you have decided to proceed, we can work out a mentoring plan together tailored to your goals and needs. You may wish to have an intensive period of mentoring, once a week over two months for example, or once a month over a year, or even a one-off session that might focus on one particular aspect of your work that you have identified.

For further details and fee structure please contact me by email:  

Potential Areas of Focus:

  • Story arc – shape, movement, threads and key scenes
  • Emotional story arc
  • Balance of narrative modes and transitions between them
  • Point of View and Voice
  • Characterisation and Dialogue
  • Prose style
  • Pace
  • Tension
  • Handling of timeframes and time shifts
  • Setting
  • Points of craft such as show/tell.
  • Clarity

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