Writing is a solitary activity. When we write, we spend long periods of time working alone. A sympathetic mentor to read your work (and a sympathetic ear to listen to difficulties) can be hugely helpful. I can help you this way as a writing mentor.
What is mentoring? Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship with a professional and experienced writer. The writer works with you to bring your writing to the next stage.
As a mentor, my speciality is helping writers complete their first major piece of prose. This can be a short story collection, a novella, or a novel. I can help you:
- Conceptualise your project
- Identify writers and books that work as ‘model’ for your own project
- Make a plan for completion
- Revise and redraft
I can offer advice on characterisation, plotting, style, and a writing process that works for you. I am happy to work with any genre, especially:
- Science fiction
- Historical fiction
- Literary fiction
We can have face-to-face discussions via Zoom, or work entirely via correspondence.
“Una McCormack is a consummate professional. Her approach to teaching comes from a position of expert knowledge mixed with generosity and good humour. Her approach helps students strengthen their core skills while developing their understanding of plot, character and world-building.”Dr. Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award winning writer, author of The Migration
“Una McCormack is the kind of teacher peers as well as students learn from. When we worked together at ARU, her grasp of her subject and her rapport with the students were both enviable. Clearly, she loved what she did and the students felt that. With no little envy, I can say that Una is not only a talented writer of genre, but a born teacher.”
Dr Caron Freeborn, poet and novelist
With my writing and teaching background, I have the experience and skills to help you. I am a New York Times best-selling author with 25 years of experience. I have published novels, novellas, short stories, radio plays, magazine articles, and academic papers.
In addition, I have over a decade’s experience of teaching creative writing. I was a lecturer in creative writing at Anglia Ruskin University. While there, I taught writing at undergraduate and postgraduate level. This included the MA in creative writing, the MA in science fiction and fantasy, and PhDs in creative writing.
“In the short time she spent as my teacher, her genuine enthusiasm for my poetry and light-touch guidance was the highlight of my university experience. She is the sort of teacher you always dream of having. Her belief in you sparks a belief in yourself.”
Inigo Laguda, journalist, poet, and graduate of the BA Writing and English Literature, ARU
Mentoring services and fees
Here are my mentoring services and fees.
Reading work in progress
Fee: £150 per 5000 words plus 500 word written report.
Reading plus tutorial
Fee: £250 (reading 5000 words plus 90-minute session); £1300 per 6 sessions.
Fee: £500 to read a novel in progress (up to 100k words at this rate, then rate goes up) plus a 2-hour workshopping session (either in-person or remote).
“Una is a fabulous tutor, bursting with knowledge and full of fun. Under her guidance I improved my style and learnt to pay more consideration to how I write prose.”
Hannah Hooton, novelist and graduate of the BA Writing and Film Studies, ARU
“Una’s help has been instrumental in developing the first draft of my novel, especially when it came to fleshing out characters who were lacking depth. She’s incredibly supportive, and did edits of my work with written suggestions in the margins that were gold dust, as far as I’m concerned, when it came to turning a series of ideas into something more substantial. She also helped me to develop the themes of the novel and provided brilliant suggestions for reading that have led me to read the work of writers in the same genre. Her reading lists helped me understand how to improve the quality of my own project and build plausible worlds that grip the reader. They also got me to understand my own field a lot better.”
Farah Rahman, PhD candidate in creative writing, Anglia Ruskin University