Mentoring, writing tuition & appraisal

‘”Thank you” doesn’t cut it for the depth of what [your mentoring] has meant to me. Another level to the experience of confirmation I’ve had with you.

NB for the whole of 2020 & much of 2021 I’m concentrating on my own writing, so I’m not offering mentoring at the moment. However, an addition to my services is an editorial service for copy editing & proofreading (January 2021).

One-to-one mentoring, tutoring, coaching and consultancy is available in:

  • Inspiring & sustaining the writing process (novels, poetry, creative non-fiction inc eco-writing, memoirs)
  • Proofreading and copy editing
  • Editorial appraisal, feedback & help in shaping and/or completing creative projects
  • Creativity, reflective practice & personal development through poetry, myth, archetype and story, and of course writing
  • ‘Ecosoul: the ecological imagination’: individual psychospiritual or ecopsychology sessions (see here).

This is collaborative: you tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll suggest the how.

In everything but the proofreading and copy editing the process tends to be organic. It will be altogether richer, though, if you’re clear about what you’d like to achieve from working with me. If you want help with, say, dialogue or character construction, or someone to give you honest critiques of your poetry, then an ecopsychology session might not give you what you’re looking for! It’s best to set an intention, and for us both to be clear on that.

I like to work with an initial exploratory session (see below: the Mentoring Package), and if you’re happy with that, and I feel I can work with you further, we then commit to a further 3, or 6, sessions at agreed dates. After that, we review the process.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO BROAD CATEGORIES with different fees: Mentoring & Tuition; and Manuscript Appraisal (it doesn’t need to be a whole manuscript, by the way). Below these two is also an editing service.

I have very wide experience of mentoring in a number of different writing-related and counselling and/or personal development contexts over 30 years now. I’ve worked with people:

  • on progressing a novel
  • on developing poetry/putting together a poetry collection/project
  • with ‘writer’s block’ and/or for exploring a way forward for your writing
  • therapeutic journalling and writing for wellbeing and/or healing: uncovering, discovering, recovering
  • on nature/eco-writing
  • essay/memoir/travel/creative non-fiction/writing from life
  • on more general writing, fiction and non-fiction


  • on exploration and expression of personal life issues
  • for depth exploration of creativity, the imagination, and the unconscious
  • on deepening their relationships to self, soul, human ‘other’, and the other-than-human (these can happen both in- and outdoors, and are a combination of Jungian and ecopsychology, with a dash of my lifelong study of the Old Ways from the Celtic shamanic/druidic and bardic tradition)
  • ‘the slender threads’: the use of memory, dream, myth, imagery and presence to find our way home
  • on combinations of the above
  • I’ve put together ‘inspiration packages’ for individuals and groups.

In some circumstances I can offer half-day and full day individual retreats where we work with guided meditation, silent walking together, creative visualisation, writing and discussion to ground, still and deepen our experience of being alive (these happen in Devon). We can also adapt this to look at progressing a specific creative project. These sessions are priced separately rather than pro rata as below.

Mentoring & tuition
We co-design the content according to what you are looking for. These sessions usually take place via email, or sometimes face-to-face, and we agree on the number of sessions and their duration, and the cost in outline, in advance.

As a basic guideline, I generally charge £45 per contact hour for intensive face-to-face work (with a suggested one-and-a-half hour initial session at £60).

My fee is £35 p h for work that takes place by email, the final fee depending on the nature and intensity of the work and my input.

If you want additional phone support, I will give you my phone number and the fee is £35 per hour with a minimum of half-an-hour at £20. In some circumstances I may be open to negotiation.

Mentoring package
This is a good way in, either as a one-off session or to begin a series of sessions with me. Either way, it can help clarify any issues, your intentions, any blocks and a way forward. It costs £95:

  1. You send me up to 5000 words of your creative work by email, and, in outline, ideas about what help you want from me. I also will want your intention/s for the process and outcome of working with me. I then read & reflect
  2. A few days later, timing by agreement, we have a Skype (audio) phone call of up to an hour (occasionally a face-to-face hour-long meeting, local to me, is an alternative, which will cost you an extra £30)
  3. I’ll follow up with notes about my main suggestions by email
  4. Thereafter, we can follow up by email or by phone via more sessions, if you like, at the charges below.

Solo work
It may also possible for me to email you inspiration/ideas and suggestions, as a one-off or on an agreed or regular basis, and if you don’t require any feedback from me but simply the kickstart material, the fee is greatly reduced. I use Paypal or bank transfer – please ask. NB you may have to pay charges on some transfers from abroad. (Paypal works by your searching for my email address, and you can use a credit or debit card via Paypal even if you don’t have a Paypal account.)

Manuscript appraisal
I’ve worked with a great many now-published authors and poets to support their work in being as strong and polished as possible before submission to a publisher. My input has varied from proofreading, via copy editing interventions so that your work flows smoothly, through simple and general overall feedback and comments to a full in-depth appraisal of every aspect of a manuscript. (I have also offered this work for MsLexia magazine members via their website.) The total fee, clearly, varies accordingly; also in relation to the quantity of interventions I have to make. NB below: these are my fees for email work, not face-to-face.

The appraisal service, pro rata, is £38 p h. If you want additional phone support, I will give you my phone number and the fee is also £38 per hour with a minimum of half-an-hour at £20. In some circumstances I may be open to negotiation.

As examples, for my evaluating and making comprehensive written suggestions on a synopsis and the first 10,000 words of a novel, you would expect to pay around £200+. NB: the first 10,000 words have the most intensive feedback in order to flag up general issues; this usually means that you would be paying less than that pro rata for the rest.

To read a poetry manuscript of up to 70 poems and give you an overview and general comments, including which poems are not as strong, and a sense of whether you need to reorder, you’d pay £150. If you want detailed commentary which includes suggested edits on any individual poem that requires this in addition to an overview, expect to pay between £200 and £600, depending on how many poems require attention.

I can of course also offer comments on just a few poems at a pro rata fee of £40 p h (I would usually expect to take up to 2 hours on a pamphlet-sized ms of 15–20 poems).

Copy editing, proofreading, research & indexing services
I will no longer be offering these services myself. When work permits, I will still take on appraisals, mentoring and tuition, as above, but I’m delighted to offer you a recommended editorial service via Ruth Luckhurst Editorial. Ruth is a professional writer and qualified copy editor and proofreader. Her speciality is in making your manuscript as appealing, clear and tidy as possible before you submit it to an agent or publisher.

Online courses
2020/2021 NB there are now several more online holistic writing courses available. See below. If you would like something tightly-structured, bear in mind that I offer two online courses supported with extensive study material and individual feedback: one on writing poetry, and one on writing a novel. These have had consistently excellent feedback from participants, and many of those are now published. (The Guardian dedicated a full-page feature to my first-ever long novle-writing course in 1988.) I’ve been promising an Introduction to Poetry course for a while: I still fully intend to launch it – well, sometime. Soonish.

In 2020 I also launched Writing the Bright Moment – poetry, nature & mindfulness, a 5-day solo but supported retreat. The next one is January 2021, followed by March 2021. This has also had very good feedback.

In 2021 I’m offering two more poetry courses.

Two other online courses with a deep ecology/depth psychology focus are available from 2018. One is a daylong course, Thresholds, the other, Tongues in Trees, a yearlong course.

Please ask! Drop me an email via the Contact form.

First of all, thank you.  I read all your feedback yesterday, some of it over and over… I’m very happy with it, it feels like just what I need… You’ve asked me questions that I have considered and am aware of, and many that I was only groping towards, and it all feels spot on. You’ve certainly given me plenty to think about… working with you is my way forward. Thanks enormously, Roselle.  I feel in good hands.’

‘I’ve been digesting our meeting, which I enjoyed and appreciated very much. I have come away feeling very met, welcomed but most significantly, confirmed as a writer. This has been a very deep experience, so thank you. It was great to clarify a plan of action and I have started on this, and with a new feeling of ease – that I can consider I can have a place and belong in this world. Again, thank you!’

‘I have felt I could write and reflect without censorship or self-disguise and that you would always find a way to meet me somewhere. I appreciate the obvious care and time you have always put into this.’

‘The only project in my life I really have put heart and soul into and where I have felt so pleased with the outcome [publication]. It has been some journey and you have been with me almost from the beginning… so all that said… a great thanks to you that have been such a fantastic mentor from the beginning of my writing to my shaping of [the final project].’

‘Helpful is an understatement, this is exactly what I need. This time… as in every other response, you’ve always gone straight to the heart of things, showing incredible perception, often about those passages which I knew weren’t quite working.’

‘Out walking earlier I thought our session was like someone switching on a light in the dark room I was sitting in or switching on the power to enable me to switch on and off lamps around this big cluttered room.’

Much more feedback here; and also on the various poetry & novel online courses pages.

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