I offer private mentoring and developmental editing services.
A person can write a wonderful novel by themselves standing at their kitchen counter. They can write a beautiful short story, emailing back and forth with friends. However, some writers are looking for a regular steady source of feedback and this is where I might be able to help you. My philosophy is that the core of your work can only be determined by you and that an experienced writer or teacher can help you get closer to the work’s truest form. I’m happy to work with novels, short stories, and memoirs. I have taught at universities in the UK and USA, on the Faber Course, and beyond.
What we’ll do—I’ll make notes on your work for you to read and think about. We’ll then meet to discuss both my notes and your thoughts and ideas about where to go next. We can also discuss what books might be useful inspirations or comparison points. I can give you my personal experience on the industry and thoughts about graduate programs etc.
What this is not—I am happy to recommend proofreading services to you. But this is not something I am able to provide. I cannot promise publication, but I will help you work on your strategy if that is one of your goals.
This is the most bite-size version of working together. I would recommend it most for a writer working on starting a novel or short story collection. You will receive notes on up to 5,000 words of material. We’ll discuss your goals and make a plan of how to get there. This includes talking about writing routine, craft, reading, and edits. In this role, my job is to care for you as a writer. I’ll be your backup if you need a second read of any work and someone to bounce ideas off. Meetings will be up to 1 hr and I’ll read the pages you send me in advance and make notes.
Minimum commitment—3 meetings.
I’ll read your first chapters and, if it exists, your book-plan. (Up to 20,000 words.) I’ll give you notes in track comments and we will have a video call of up to 1 hour to discuss.
Together we’ll figure out what you want to do next. We can talk about fuzzy patches in your structure as well as questions you have about pacing, ideas, style, etc. The goal here is for you to feel as confident as possible as you set out on your first draft.
This is what it sounds like. I’ll read your whole book. I’ll give you notes in track comments and we will have a video call of up to 1 hour to discuss.
My feedback will focus on—1. What is already powerful. 2. If there are elements I think you could include or develop further to make the work stronger. 3. Any questions you have about the book.
I started working with Rowan 6 months ago and believe that our mentoring sessions have motivated me to move forward with my novel. Rowan consistently provides me with constructive criticism and support. Working alongside her helps me to develop a routine and structure to ensure that the novel is always one of my main priorities despite the indefinite overarching time frame. Rowan challenges me to think about my novel in different ways while encouraging me to trust in my own voice. I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to work with her at the beginning of my novel and I am looking forward to continuing to do so as it develops into a first draft and manuscript. I would 100% recommend her as a mentor to any fellow writer. Committing to a mentoring program with Rowan has been one of the most empowering and encouraging parts of my journey as a writer so far.
Rowan mentored me throughout writing the first draft of my novel. This was my first experience of being read by someone in the industry, and it has truly changed the way I view my writing. Rowan was kind, patient, and razorly observant. She pointed out what needed work, what made her laugh, but most importantly: what made her curious. Since I showed her the chapters as I wrote them, her curiosity and questions actually informed upcoming parts of the novel. My self-editing skills have taken leaps since being read by Rowan, and my confidence grew with each meeting, which were fun, rewarding, and never rushed. I miss the meetings! What a luxury to sit and talk unapologetically about my own work with someone with such a keen eye and generosity with praise. I couldn’t recommend Rowan as a mentor more.