I love working with aspiring authors who dare to dream big.
So you’ve completed a writing course such as those run by Faber Academy or Curtis Brown Creative. Maybe you have an MA in Creative Writing, or perhaps you’ve been a member of a critique group for some time. You’ve begun work on a novel, maybe even finished a first draft (well done!) and now feel that not only do you need a professional eye but that you’re ready to get serious about pushing your writing to where it needs to be.
Actor/Comedian, Steve Martin, when asked in an interview if he could give advice to someone wanting to break into the entertainment industry, said, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’
I want to help you make your book so good they won’t ignore it.
Because that’s what lights me up – working with passionate, hardworking clients, helping them recognise their own brilliance and capabilities whilst navigating them through the trickier parts of writing a novel.
I’ll be line editing your work and giving you specific feedback about your story structure, characters, voice/style, dialogue, all the elements needed to make great fiction. No more staring at your work in progress wondering if your scene is too long, your ending rushed, your dialogue stilted or your voice consistent. You’ll be able to show up at your laptop each day knowing exactly what you need to be working on.
Writing is a craft like any other. It takes time to learn and needs to be worked at most days. An aspiring athlete or musician wouldn’t dream of working without a coach, teacher or mentor. They need to know what they’re doing that works, and what needs improvement. Becoming an author is almost impossible to do alone, which is where I come in.
‘Hire a coach and/or get a mentor. Coaches and mentors are further along than you are, they’re sitting on the top of the mountain, eating an orange, watching you stumble around down there. They can point something out in, oh, twenty-eight seconds, that might have taken you the next three years to figure out.’
If you’re writing Literary Fiction/Upmarket Commercial, Young Adult or Middle Grade, I’d love to hear from you.
Some of my favourite contemporary writers include Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, David Nicholls, Sally Rooney and Matt Haig.
If you’re writing YA, I love humorous novels about teens attempting to navigate friendships/relationships and figure out their place in the world. A few favourites are The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Elenor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and We are all Made of Molecules by Susin Neilson.
I love Middle-Grade adventure stories such as The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher or The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, mysteries, or those books that centre around family and friendship like Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe and Boy Underwater by Adam Baron.
“Emily’s editorial skills are truly impressive: encouraging and nurturing, but always rigorous. Working with her on my middle grade story, she enabled me to get the very best from my words. The script is so much better for her attention to detail. Lucky is the writer paired with Emily – but a word of warning: kill those ellipses.”
Dale Hannah, Middle Grade writer
Why work with me?
I love being an author. Writing is my life and writing and mentoring is my sole occupation. Writing was all I ever wanted to do. I was the kid sitting at the kitchen table writing stories in my unicorn notepad whilst everyone else was outside playing swing ball. I wrote all through my teens and twenties and my debut novel was published when I was thirty-one. I am represented by Madeleine Milburn literary agency. My YA/Crossover novel was nominated for three awards, including the Carnegie medal, and featured as The Sunday Times children’s book of the week. I have a BA and an MA (almost) in Creative Writing. I am a practising writer with a new novel out next year. I am also an avid reader of both adult and children’s literature and I like to think I’ve read every book on writing there is (tell me if you know of a good one). I am a bookish introvert who loves lazy walks along the canal, tea and cake, stripy tops and black A4 Moleskin notepads (I moved on from the unicorn).
How does it work?
We’ll have an initial call to discuss your book and your plans for it. I’ll be editing your words and providing track change suggestions/comments. You’ll also get a detailed reader’s report. We’ll finish with a final call and you’ll have access to me via email for a further twenty-eight days.
How to get started:
I offer mentoring and manuscript assessment through the lovely folk over at The Riff Raff London.
You can check out their rates and packages here on their website along with my bio. www.the-riffraff.com (opens a new tab)
If you’d like to work with me, you’ll just need to send them a friendly message to that effect along with a writing sample and they’ll get straight back to you.
“My experience of working with Emily has been absolutely fantastic. She went through my sample in detail identifying weaknesses and strengths. Before starting she asked me questions to find out exactly what I wanted out of the experience. This really helped to streamline our work together. She also researched and found novels written in a similar way to what I was aiming for which I found extremely useful. If I were to recommend her to a friend I would say she is professional, communicates regularly, provides helpful and actionable feedback and was a pleasure to work with. The most important thing I took away from working with Emily was self confidence and motivation to keep going with my project. I think part of embarking on a novel is faith and it helps to work with someone who is passionate about your project. My biggest result was identifying a weakness in a particular chapter, learning to craft my scenes so the reader can make their own deductions rather than telling them what happens.”
‘A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.’