Mentoring is helping which goes beyond the editorial. As a mentor, I will be your cheerleader and encourager, your support. It will involve whatever is needed to help you get, or keep, the wheels turning on your project. Usually, it will take the pattern of regular, usually monthly, phone, video or in-person conversations. Mentoring is of most help during the early stages of a project but can also be useful when a project has stalled. It will also involve me looking at your work, but my feedback will be general and not detailed.
JULIE ROBERTSON, WRITER, ARTIST, AND TEACHER
Throughout the last year I have found Alison Gray’s mentoring advice to have been invaluable in driving forward my writing project – a historical novel set in Scotland and China.
Her feedback has been detailed and insightful, providing me with help in creating effective conflict and tension, exploring relationship dynamics, and sorting out plot issues.
Her one-to-one tuition is excellent and inspiring. I would highly recommend her as a creative writing mentor.
WHAT WILL MENTORING DO FOR ME?
The mentor's roles
Giving the writer an audience to batter ideas against. Helping them to form and develop their message, concepts, and arguments.
Asking ‘What is the main message?’, ‘Does this idea relate to the central message?’, ‘Who are the audience, what do they want to learn from the book, and what do I want to teach them?’. By doing this – helping the writer to look at the network of ideas, how they relate to each other and how they hit, or miss, the target audience – the writer can develop a more objective, fresher insight into their work.
Writing is hard! Even the exciting first-draft stage. I am there to remind you of what you love about this project, why you started it and what your goal is. And that you are not alone.
If I feel that some arguments in your work aren't convincing enough, or that you aren't honing it to appeal to the best audience, I will bring it to your notice and brainstorm with you about how to fix it.
In a world of distractions and duties, it can be hard to get writing done. Sometimes you need someone breathing down your neck. I am happy to be that someone! When we make our original plan for the mentoring sessions, we will discuss what you want the course to do. My job is to help you stick to that plan. When we book our meeting, it goes in my diary; if you don’t bring anything to the meeting, you lose the opportunity. That’s a good motivation to keep going.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This service revolves around the client’s needs, so the first step would be for me to find out what those needs are and if I can help you in fulfilling them. To do this we would discuss the project and make a plan for subsequent meetings. This first meeting (whether in person, by phone or on video call) would be free. On the basis of that, and if we both felt that we could work together, I would draw up a contract and we would plan our first session.
WILL YOU LOOK AT MY WRITING?
I will if I feel it is helpful. This won't be an in-depth analysis, but only as a way of helping you move forward with your writing.
HOW DO I PAY?
With mentoring, you pay per meeting. Each meeting will be either one or two hours. The cost is £30 per hour (plus travel or call charges if applicable).
CAN I BUY A MENTORING COURSE AS A PRESENT FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
Yes. And when I meet your ‘someone else’, if, after one meeting, we find we can’t work together, I will refund in full.