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I read people’s work-in-progress, in 5 or 10 thousand word chunks, or a complete draft. I return the script with my edits and annotations, as well as a separate report concerning any over-reaching issues with the writing or the structure. And then the writer and I meet up for either a 60 or 90 minute session, depending on word count. (These meet-ups can also happen by Skype or phone.)

My task, as it seems to me, is tuning into what the writer wants the reader to understand or experience, and then helping the writer get more of that and only that, on the page.  This may happen via line editing, or by working on the structure and scene breakdowns, or a mix of fictional elements, through the use of focused writing exercises to expand the writer’s tool box of skills, thereby increasing his or her choices.

Sometimes writers wish to focus on a particular technical aspect in the mentoring. Pace, characterization, dialogue, point of view, plot. This is fine.

Individual Coaching works for people who haven’t the time to commit to a weekly writing course or group, or for those who have already completed a course and would prefer to seek detailed editorial feedback and advice as and when they need it. Many of the writers I work with are published novelists, who regularly send me their early drafts for feedback.

Fees for individual sessions:

60 min session, up to 5,000 words submitted           £ 95

90 min session, up to 10,000 words submitted         £150

Complete Manuscript Read                                               Fee based on word count.


Group Work

If you’re more interested in working within a group, have a look at the website for the Creative Writing Programme at New Writing South. I teach on both the two-year course, and the Advanced Writing Workshop.

‘Susannah gets to the nub of what needs changing in my work, offering practical as well as creative ways to improve each sentence, paragraph, chapter and the overall novel. Her critiques are always spot on and I trust her judgment implicitly.’

                                    Rebecca Whitney, The Liar’s Chair (Pan Macmillan)




3 thoughts on “Page

  1. An inspired guide and mentor – though to set me straight I’d be looking at 90 minutes a week for a year. Authors often write at the front of their book ‘with special thanks’ – I hope and expect to see Susannah recognised often in this way.

    1. Thank you so much, Jonathan. I’m not blogging nearly enough – or writing – currently trying to work on two novels at once but too busy being a good mentor and watching those people get published! I’m admiring of all your input into your blog. And the thinking you’re pursuing. Sx

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