THIS OPPORTUNITY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED
This year, I'm teaming up with the brilliant Cal Flyn to offer free mentoring and editorial assistance to a small number of writers who are currently working on their first book of prose. We are particularly keen to help writers who, by virtue of identity, background, experience or location, are underrepresented or marginalised in mainstream publishing.
Please read all of the information below before sending an application.
When I was first trying to write a book, I was incredibly fortunate to correspond with an author who was willing to read my work. He offered criticism, advice and encouragement, without which I might never have got any further. Later, others also took the time to read what I sent them, and to help push me towards publication. Many authors, I suspect, have been the beneficiaries of similar acts of kindness.
But finding someone to read your work, to offer constructive criticism or other kinds of assistance, is not easy. Often it’s just a matter of chance. In the hope that I can be helpful, I’m creating such a chance.
Cal Flyn and I will each offer free mentoring to one or two writers, tailored to their current projects and needs. This might include providing advice and encouragement, discussing ideas, or commenting on parts of a manuscript. (It will not include proof reading or line editing.) It could be a one-off meeting or an ongoing email conversation. Whatever works best.
Please note, this is not a competition. We will be selecting writers based in part on the quality of their work, but also based on 'fit'. Our advice and support will be most useful to writers whose work has some kinship with our own. For this reason, those working in very different genres or styles are unlikely to be selected. Please do keep this in mind.
This kind of mentoring will be most appropriate to those who already have a book project well underway. If your book is still at the idea stage, it's probably best to wait until next time to apply.
To apply, writers should be based in Scotland, and working on their first book of fiction or non-fiction. We would like to prioritise helping writers who, by virtue of identity, background, experience or location, are underrepresented or marginalised in mainstream publishing. However, we do not expect anyone to explain or justify their eligibility. We will trust applicants to bear these priorities in mind when deciding whether or not to apply.
Applicants should not have published a full-length book before, but can have published work in journals, magazines or online.
If you’d like to be considered for free mentoring, please send an email to the address below, attaching a short sample of your writing (maximum 1000 words). Within the body of the email please tell us a little about yourself and your work, particularly the project you’d like help with. If there’s a specific kind of assistance you feel would be most useful then do let us know. Please do not say which mentor you would prefer to work with. Cal and I will make selections based on our own responses to the applications.
Send your email to
Deadline: 28th February.