Why Writing Clinic?

I work with anyone from complete beginners to experienced writers of prose fiction including novels, short stories, memoir/autobiography and non-fiction. Over the years I’ve worked with many writers at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton and elsewhere. Many of them began projects on the course – a novel, autobiography or memoir, or a collection of short stories – and wanted support to continue with it after the course ended. Students began to approach me for feedback and advice and so Writing Clinic was born. Many of my clients have gone on to win competitions, be published or have stories on radio. See at my Testimonials page for feedback from previous clients.

What makes Writing Clinic different?

There’s no substitute for being able to talk about your writing. Many manuscript appraisal services only provide a written report, one way feedback that doesn’t give you the chance to discuss or explain your intentions, or have a conversation about how to realise them. I offer a friendly face-to-face service in person, or on Zoom, with the cost based on the number of words in your submission, so there are no surprises.

In addition to manuscript appraisals, I offer one-to-one sessions for shorter prose pieces, or a mentoring package of monthly meetings if you need ongoing support and feedback.

How does it work?

Showing your writing to a stranger is exposing, so there needs to be trust. So first we meet or speak on Zoom so that we can assess if we’re a good fit. Then you send me your writing, together with any specific questions you may have. I read it carefully, making notes as I go, and I also use ‘track changes’ to make specific comments on the manuscript. Then we talk face to face or on Zoom, so we can discuss the work and clarify your intentions or anything I may have questions about. After that I add to my notes and send them to you along with the annotated manuscript.

How often do we talk?

That’s entirely up to you. It depends on how much support you need and whether you find deadlines helpful. You can have a single or a series of one-off sessions or, if you are working on a longer project you could book a mentoring package; or you could book an appraisal of a whole manuscript. You can also use the one-to-ones and some of the mentoring sessions to send me redrafted sections to read and discuss before you go on.

Can you help me prepare my manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher?

Yes. I can help you to make your book as good as we can in the time we are working together. I can advise you how to present your manuscript, and help you write a synopsis and a cover letter, which I am happy to do for no charge if I have worked with you on your whole book. See the Writing Clinic page for rates for these services.

What if I want to self publish?

If you are going to self-publish it is important that you make the book as good as you can get it before it goes out into the world. I can help do this by offering feedback as outlined on my Writing Clinic page.