Elementary, My Dear Writer
Suitable for beginners right through to experienced writers, ‘Elementary, my dear writer’ is a creative writing clinic that can help you develop a picture book, a cookbook, a novel, a short story or anything in between!
Full day creative writing clinic
Enjoy a day exploring your ideas in a friendly and welcoming environment with an experienced author and writing teacher.
Yes, taking the first step can be daunting, but never fear, this clinic is designed for people who are just starting out, as well as those who are further along their writing path but need a little help to bring their ideas to life.
How it works
Through readings and exercises, ‘Elementary, my dear writer’ will help you to get your great ideas on the page. You’ll develop a clear plan for your work and a strong sense of who might read it. And we’ll explore voice and style as well as plot, point of view, structure, logic and how to generate ideas.
There will be plenty of time for questions and everyone will have the chance to share a short piece with the group, although this is optional. There’s no pressure to perform in front of others!
Learn how to harness your ideas, trust your voice, find inspiration and stay motivated in this full day writing workshop.
Writing workshops available Australia-wide
I primarily run these creative writing clinics in Victoria, but I do travel interstate, so why not get a group together? Email me if you would like to know when I am next offering these clinics in your area [email protected]. Or click here below to go on the waiting list.
Picture Book Assessment
Written a picture book and need some professional feedback?
If so, then my picture book manuscript assessments are just the ticket.
Having reviewed hundreds of picture books over the years, I know there’s not one ‘secret ingredient’ that makes a picture book a classic.
I also understand how hard it is to submit your work for scrutiny, being an author myself. This is why I treat your work with respect and provide honest, professional feedback that will help you to develop your writing.
Each picture book assessment includes a considered evaluation of the:
- manuscript’s use of language
- overall story
- appeal to the intended audience
- unique elements of the story
- way illustrations could enhance the story
- potential appeal to publishers.
I also suggest next steps, which might include texts to read and study or how to approach a publisher (if it’s ready for submission).
Intensive Manuscript Assessment
So, you’ve finished that first draft or your book? Congratulations! That’s awesome. Not everyone finishes their writing projects, so take a bow.
You’re one of those rare people who has gone from ‘I’m gunna write a book one day’ to someone who actually has. That really deserves celebrating.
But how do you know what to do next? Or even (gasp!) if it’s any good?
- ask your family and friends to read it (not the best idea)
- join a writing group (better idea)
- book a Manuscript Assessment and get feedback from an industry professional (best idea of the lot).
When you book a manuscript assessment with me, you’ll be able to take your rough diamond of a first draft, highlight its sparkle and maybe even set it in gold!
How it works
An Intensive Manuscript Assessment is a detailed analysis of up to 10,000 words of your work in progress.
When you book an Intensive Manuscript Assessment, you will discover:
- the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript
- its marketability and readability
- who the potential readership might be.
You’ll also receive a copy edit of the first chapter so you can identify any specific grammar or style issues … and my suggestions on how to fix them.
When you’ve finished your manuscript and don’t know what to do next, an Intensive Assessment is the perfect next step. Have an industry professional assess your work and guide you through making a good draft great.
Why have my work assessed, anyway?
You’ve spent time, passion, and sometimes anguish, to create your manuscript. And sometimes, you’re so close to your work that you need another set of eyes to read it. But asking your partner or best friend isn’t the solution.
You need your manuscript assessed by an industry professional – that’s me.
What do I get for my money?
I read the first 10,000 words of your manuscript and write a detailed and thorough report. This report answers your specific questions and includes an analysis of the areas of the manuscript that have the greatest need for improvement. I always give specific examples and offer possible alternatives on how to approach making these changes.
I never use templates or simply tick boxes in my reports.
All my report are around 1,200 words long and can be above 2,000, depending on the individual manuscript. If you’ve looked at other manuscript assessors’ services, you’ll know this is much more than they offer.
Why only the first 10,000 words?
Every writer has their own little writing ‘ticks’ or ‘blind spots’ – things they’re doing that they don’t realise are wrong or things that just sound clunky. And I can guarantee that if you’re including these writing ‘ticks’ on page 1, you’re almost certainly making the same mistake on page 101.
By only looking at the first 10,000 words, I can give very detailed feedback and outline what specific problems are. It also means I can indicate, using Track Changes, where these issues occur and give you a detailed explanation or set of options on how to fix them…
…all of which are very handy ways for you to improve your craft.
Every writer needs feedback on their writing, but finding someone you can trust to give you that advice is hard, which is why I offer mentorships to writers at all stages of their careers.
I’ve helped professional writing and editing students write and refine their own work across a range of genres and reviewed countless picture books for Magpies Magazine over the years.
I enjoy being surprised by what other writers come up with…and, believe me, my students and mentees surprise me all the time. So, if you have a manuscript hidden in your ‘works in progress’ folder, why not dig it out, shake it off and share your ideas with me? I’d love to spend time helping you to develop your work.
When you book a mentorship with me, you know you are going to receive:
- professional and impartial feedback based on my decades of teaching and reviewing,
- loads of advice on where your manuscript sits in the current Australian publishing landscape and
- a clear, step by step action plan on what steps to take next.
My mentorships are for writers at any stage of their writing life. They are one-on-one feedback on your work and can cover all aspects of the writing process, from working on elements of your style to goal setting, keeping motivated and developing your strengths.
Mentorships are available in either one- or three-hour blocks, and are completely flexible, so you’re in control of what we discuss.