is mentoring Right for me?

Mentoring could be for you if you’re working on a novel, short story collection, or portfolio of work for an application to a writing MA. A mentoring package might also be appropriate for someone who is unable to attend a regular writing course but feels they would benefit from working to deadlines and receiving detailed and honest feedback.

how does it work?

Mentoring offers one-to-one support and encouragement while you’re working on the early draft of a longer piece of work.  In addition to providing constructive feedback, I can help with motivation, and offer advice on how to keep going when the going gets tough. If you decide to seek representation, I can also offer advice on how and when to approach agents.* Having traveled the long and difficult road to publication myself, I’ve picked up lots of tips along the way, and I’ll share everything I’ve learned in the hope that it might help you in your own quest for publication.

*Please note that I cannot offer any assurances that you will be offered representation, or that your work will be published.

The way it works is, you submit sections of your novel at agreed intervals. I’ll read your work and make detailed notes, and then ideally, we’d meet face-to-face for feedback sessions, either online or at a mutually convenient location. (I’m happy to travel, but will charge travel costs if outside Sheffield.) We’ll then go through your work and discuss any difficulties you’re having, either with the work itself, or with time management, motivation etc. These feedback sessions provide an opportunity for us to discuss your work in depth and for you to ask questions and clarify things. This is often where new ideas spring up apparently from nowhere, so a face-to-face meeting is definitely the recommended option. If meeting up or video calling is not an option, I can also offer telephone tutorials.

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what does it cost?

Full Mentoring package
Eight submissions of up to 10,000 words over a 12-15 month period. This can be flexible, though I would expect mentoring to conclude within eighteen months. A submission every six weeks tends to work well. I will provide detailed written comments for each submission, as well as a face-to-face tutorial lasting around 45 minutes -1 hour,  either in person at a mutually convenient place, or online via Zoom.

Cost: £2700 for full mentoring package (includes eight feedback sessions)

Terms: £700 deposit on booking, balance due before third session.

Mini-mentoring package:
Four submissions of up to 10,000 words over a 6 to 9-month period.
(Same service as above)

Cost: £1500 for mini-mentoring package (includes four feedback sessions)

Terms: £500 deposit on booking, balance due before second session.

*Bespoke packages also available. Please ask.

How to submit

For mentoring enquiries, please send an email telling me a little about you and the book you’re working on, together with an outline or synopsis and a sample of your work (around 15 to 20 double spaced pages would be fine). This will enable me to decide whether I am able to work with you on this particular project. There is no charge for this initial reading. I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible, usually within 7 to 10 days, to let you know whether I’m able to take on the work, and to arrange the first submission.

  • For info and prices for PROFESSIONAL  CRITIQUES, click  HERE


‘When I set out to write a novel I don’t think I knew quite what I was letting myself in for! Susan’s support, encouragement, and constructive advice was invaluable in helping me achieve my ambition to write a book. It may not be a Booker prizewinner but I’ve finished it and I couldn’t have done it without her. Susan is professional, enthusiastic, and even more important she is always friendly and approachable.’ Chris Hollis

“I’ve known Susan for about fifteen years now. I started as a very novice writer in her weekly classes, held in some obscure parish rooms in Sheffield. Fifteen years later, I’ve just completed the first draft of a novel and an MA and the first year of a PhD in English. I have, for part of my writing journey, been prepared to travel from the darkest reaches of Kent, in order to continue accessing Susan’s support even though I’ve taken the formal academic route as well. I suppose that tells you all you need to know about how brilliant she is? She’s picked up the pieces more times than I care to say and she’s had more faith in me than I’ve had in myself. There’s something magical about her ability to rip into a piece of work, yet still leave the author standing and feeling capable of having another go. She’s a bit of an expert at finding the glint of gold when the rest of the offering resembles the contents of a pedal bin. If that weren’t enough, she’s also an incredibly nice person. In my view, every aspiring writer should have a Susan.” Nikki Bullock

Working with Susan as a writing mentor has been like undertaking an esteemed advanced driving course. During our time together she has provided expert feedback, in such a way that all I want to do after every session is to get back on the road (laptop), taking all points on board, and keep persevering. Her skill, patience and professionalism has enabled me to complete the first draft of my very first novel. Her friendliness and approachability have encouraged me to explore different ideas and approaches, and I would recommend Susan’s mentoring to any aspiring writer. Julie Charlesworth

“I was slightly nervous about individual mentoring as I thought the work involved for the monthly submission of up to 4,000 might be very intensive. However, I needn’t have worried as I thoroughly enjoyed my written projects as well as Susan’s no-nonsense feedback and in-depth written critiques. Not only was she able to identify my main weaknesses straightaway, she highlighted my strengths, and was full of positive suggestions and inspirational ideas on how I could improve my work. As a result of Susan’s mentoring I have won a runner’s up prize in a writing competition, gained a place on the MA Writing at Sheffield Hallam University and have written and polished approximately 25,000 words of a novel.” Paula Greenlees

“The useful comments helped me to improve my writing and your constant encouragement got me to the end of my novel.” Becca Linsford

“It was a choice between becoming a better writer and buying ten driving lessons. I still don’t have a licence; but I do have a finished novel.” Tom Sorsby

“Susan was my writing mentor when I was just starting to write my novel and her support, encouragement and expert guidance inspired me to keep going – it’s now finished so she must be good!” Kate Mitchell