Seek expert advice, tackle creative blocks and prepare your manuscript for publication with creative writing mentoring from National Centre for Writing
Looking for advice? Need feedback on your writing? Creative writing mentoring is an opportunity for one-to-one exchange between you and an expert writing mentor, where you can receive in-depth advice on taking your work forward, wherever you are in your writing journey.
Mentoring is tailored to your needs, focussing on your writing priorities, and can either be delivered in a single session or over a more sustained period, depending on your challenges and budget.
Writers of all kinds often face challenges, from finding the time to write and tackling creative blocks to preparing manuscripts for publication. This is why we have developed flexible mentoring packages through which writers can work individually with an experienced mentor to overcome all kinds of obstacles.
Our mentors are uniquely placed to help writers of all levels, from the finer details of a specific project to the bigger picture of your life as a writer. Working one-to-one, each session is focused on how best to help you, wherever you are in your writing journey.
What is mentoring?
Creative writing mentoring consists of an hour-long, one-to-one session with an experienced writer mentor. Your session will focus on how best to help you, whether you are at the start of a project and seeking ways to develop your craft; working on a manuscript and needing advice on a particular issue; or are seeking feedback on a finished piece of work and wondering about next steps. One of our mentors is also well placed to assist with creative funding applications and practical career advice.
To get started, we advise you to book an introductory session with the mentor of your choice. Together, you will talk through your project and the main obstacles that you’re facing.
Mentoring works best as a sustained relationship over a period of time. If you’d like to commit to a longer period of structured feedback and support, take advantage of our bundle discount and secure several sessions over a period of weeks or months. Develop a professional relationship with your mentor and together you can refine your manuscript, work on a funding application or implement an action plan to improve your creative practice.
We currently offer online mentoring sessions for writers of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s and YA literature, developing your creative practice, and much more.
Browse our mentoring packages below, or read on to learn more about the benefits of mentoring and whether it is right for you.
Which option is right for me?
Single or introductory mentoring session
£95 for one, one-hour session
Trying mentoring for the first time? Seeking help for a particular challenge? Book a single, hour-long session with one of our experienced mentors and receive in-depth advice on taking your writing forward.
Single mentoring sessions are great if:
- You are new to mentoring and would like a taster of what the relationship can offer;
- You would like an introduction to your chosen mentor before embarking on a sustained period of support;
- You have a particular challenge or area of advice you would like to address.
If your one-off mentoring session is a success, we recommend booking our ‘Aspire: mentoring package’ of three sessions or more.
Aspire: mentoring package (three session minimum)
Dedicate time to improving your craft and overcoming obstacles in your writing life with a bespoke package of support from an experienced writer mentor.
Develop a long-term, professional relationship with your mentor and together you can refine your manuscript, work on a funding application or implement an action plan to improve your creative practice — whatever it is that will help you to achieve your writing goals.
A mentoring package of three sessions minimum or more is great for writers who:
- Have drafted a manuscript and would like feedback and suggestions for improvement;
- Are ready to publish their work and would like advice on how to pitch to agents or find a publisher;
- Are at the early stages of a piece of work, or perhaps aren’t working on a particular project, and would like regular guidance and feedback on how to improve elements of their craft;
- Want to apply for funding, development opportunities, or find ways to create new avenues for income as a writer.
Your mentoring sessions will be tailored to your individual needs, so you can bring any creative challenges to the table.
Book three or more sessions in one transaction with the same mentor and receive a 10% discount on your total purchase. This discount will be automatically applied to your basket.
The Full Story: 12-month mentoring intensive
Looking for long-term mentoring? Dedicate a year to improving your craft, and grow a long-form project from its conception to its completion with the help of writer and mentor Megan Bradbury.
A mentoring intensive is great for writers who:
- Want to establish an effective and reliable working practice that fits around their schedule and helps them to write freely;
- Are ready to take the next step in their writing journey and would like advice on how to pitch to agents or find a publisher;
- Want to enhance their individual voice, and gain fresh confidence in their writing projects;
- Are at the early stages long-form project, and would like regular guidance and feedback from the start of the project to the end;
- Want to develop a long-term, professional relationship with their mentor.
Your mentoring intensive will be tailored for your personal needs, and will include a planning session where you can create an action plan with your tutor.
Meet the mentors…
Mentoring with Heidi Williamson
Explore Heidi Williamson’s mentoring offer, aimed at developing your poetry.
Mentoring with Julia Bird
Explore Julia Bird’s mentoring offer, aimed at developing your creative practice and providing industry support.
Mentoring with Chip Colquhoun
Explore Chip Colquhoun’s mentoring offer, aimed at developing your children’s and Young Adult fiction, and improving your story structure, voice and character.
Mentoring with Kate Worsley
Explore Kate Worsley’s mentoring offer, aimed at developing long-form writing, whether that be fiction, non-fiction or somewhere in between.
Mentoring with Katri Skala
Explore Katri Skala’s mentoring offer, aimed at developing your fiction, drama or creative non-fiction.
The Full Story: 12-month mentoring intensive with Megan Bradbury
Explore Megan Bradbury’s 12-month mentoring intensive for long-form prose writers.
Plan, make and measure progress
Unlike a creative writing class or group feedback session, mentoring usually takes place one-on-one. Creative writing mentoring is an opportunity to receive in-depth advice on taking your work forward.
A mentor is not an editor or agent – they won’t correct your work or make artistic decisions for you, and mentoring does not guarantee a route to publication.
Mentoring also goes beyond a one-off manuscript assessment. There is the potential to share your writing and explore new ways of working over a period of time. Rather than receiving a verdict on a finished product, mentoring will help you plan, make and measure your progress.
How does mentoring work?
Creative writing mentoring offers a personalised, one-to-one session of feedback and advice with an experienced mentor writer. Click to read more about how sessions are structured, how to prepare in advance, and more.
Hear from our alumni
‘The sessions have been one of the best investments I have made – I feel as though I have had a university-course worth of teaching for a fraction of the price!’
‘I am blown away by the depth and sensitivity of your observations. I have learned so much from this time working with you. Thank you so much for the quality of your input. I feel like I have learned to tell a story in the process of writing it with you.‘
‘Julia’s advice was crucial in helping me not only with this bid, but with future bids. She is patient (I had a lot of what I thought were embarrassingly obvious questions) and professional and I came away with the confidence to bid and bid again in the future. I cannot recommend her highly enough.’
I needed an outside, objective assessment of my writing from an experienced poet and that is exactly what I got. She seemed to grasp intuitively, exactly what I wanted to express. I have re-read the notes I made several times now. I found it invaluable and was still buzzing the next day. I wished I had done it sooner.
Got a question? Not sure what’s right for you?
If you want to find out more about how mentoring work, click here.
If you still have questions, get in touch with the learning team by email [email protected] or phone (+44) 01603 877177 between our working hours of 9am – 5pm BST, Monday to Friday.