Mentoring

Barbican Academy – Mentoring for writers by our expert writers

A note from Martin Goodman:  ‘Our writers work one-on-one, drawing on their experience to develop the writers they work with. That journey will be thrilling and tough. Get ready to push yourself where you did not know you could go.

‘Note that this is a mentoring programme, which goes way beyond an editorial / critiquing service. We don’t set up to judge your work. We tune in to what you are trying to achieve and work with you so that you get there. Fundamental to this are our one-on-one conversations that follow on from the mentor reading and reviewing your writing sample. You and the writer who is leading you take time to talk things through.

‘Our published writers have PhDs in Creative Writing – they have been through lots of training and trained others. They know that learning never stops – every project sees a writer breaking new bounds. Their aim is for you to be the best of yourself. Our writers know that the writers they lead are their colleagues. Welcome!’

We offer four packages:

Project Pitstop

A 4-6 weeks package

Submit 15,000 words of your ongoing book project, plus your responses to our four page questionnaire which will include a synopsis of your book. The very act of filling in that questionnaire will help you find your way forward. The mentor will review and return your writing sample, with comments, and review your questionnaire responses. This will fuel a one-on-one live meeting of up to 90 minutes in which you both discuss your best way forward with the project. Four weeks later, submit a fresh 5,000 words and revised synopsis, which your mentor will review, followed by a one hour meeting.

So: One submission of 15,000 words plus a questionnaire: a review of those materials, plus a meeting of up to ninety minutes. One further submission of a 5,000 word section, a review of this material, plus a meeting of an hour.

£480

Why choose Project Pitstop?

You have a book that is well underway. Perhaps you simply want to check in with an experienced writer before continuing. Maybe you are in a rut, and need help in rejigging your book so it can carry on. Perhaps you feel some parts work well and others don’t, so you need showing what you do well and what you might do better, and how. You don’t simply want a written appraisal of your work; you need to talk it through with somebody who can think their way into your work and what you want to achieve.

 

The Fresh Start

A 3-month package.

You will send in 5000 words of your new project. Your mentor will review this, send you their comments, and then you will meet one-on-one with the mentor for an hour to discuss the work. That meeting will show you what is working well, and set you a few challenges: some things you can do to make your work stronger. You will redraft that work, and use what you have learned to help write the next 5,000 words which you then send to your mentor. You will meet again for an hour to review your progress, and then do the same with a fresh 5,000 words one month later.

So: three submissions of 5,000 words sections (total 15,000): three mentor reviews of that work, returned with comments; three one hour meetings with your mentor.

£580

Why choose The Fresh Start?

You may wish to make some headway with a book or play before really committing to it. Your project may be short – a trio of short stories, perhaps, or a tribute to a parent. You may feel early professional feedback will set you on course, and when you have your solid start you are confident about finishing a draft on your own. It feels like a big enough investment and you want to see what return you get for it.

 

The Clean Run

A 12-month package

You will send in 5000 words of your new project. Your mentor will review this, send you their comments, and then you will meet one-on-one with the mentor to discuss the work. That meeting will show you what is working well, and set you a few challenges: some things you can do to make your work stronger. You will redraft that work, and use what you have learned to help write the next 5,000 words which you then send to your mentor. You will meet again for an hour to review your progress, and then do the same with a fresh 5,000 words one month later. This carries on for a total of ten meetings. Toward the end of this period you will complete and discuss our four page project questionnaire, so you have a clear sense of how to bring your book to completion.

So: ten submissions of 5,000 word sections (total 50,000 words); ten reviews by your mentor, returned with comments; ten one hour meetings with your mentor, including one review of your project questionnaire.

£1950

+ manuscript appraisal (up to 80,000 words) £580. £95 per 10,000 words over 80,000. Or £95 per 10,000 words not reviewed within the programme.

Why choose The Clean Run?

The Clean Run propels you on a regular schedule to complete a writing project. 5,000 words is a manageable monthly challenge, and the twelve months for ten sessions allows you a break should you need it. You’re glad of the chance to have your writing shaped by top level feedback, and steered to grow stronger every month. With this much support you can feel pretty sure about completing your book or script and it being a good deal better than your solo first draft might have been.

 

The Full Commitment

A 15-24 months package

First meeting: You will send in 5000 words of your new project. Your mentor will review this, send you their comments, and then you will meet one-on-one with the mentor for an hour to discuss the work and how you see your writing. That meeting will show you what is working well, and set you a few challenges: some things you can do to make your work stronger. This opening review session settles you into knowing that your mentor is in tune with you and your project; you make your own full commitment and know you also have their full commitment.

So: one submission and review of a 5,000 writing sample, and one hour meeting.

£180

If both parties agree, proceed to:

You will send in 10,000 words of your new project. Your mentor will spend two hours reviewing this, send you their comments, and then you will meet one-on-one with the mentor to discuss the work for a ninety minute meeting. That meeting will show you what is working well, and set you a few challenges: some things you can do to make your work stronger. You will redraft that work, and use what you have learned to help write the next 10,000 words which you then send to your mentor. This process continues for eight sessions, so covering 80,000 words. These take place over a period of between 15 and 24 months on an agreed schedule. (Playwrights will agree a pages equivalent to the 10,000 words.)

So: ten submissions and reviews of 10,000 word sections of your book, plus ten one-on-one meetings with your mentor of up to ninety minutes each.

£2,900

Why choose The Full Commitment?

You want to commit to writing a whole book or a full length play. You expect your writing to take you somewhere deep and you enjoy the struggles with that process, and you like going alone, but you don’t want to get lost. Feedback will help you clarify voice, sharpen your intent, give you the strength and belief to carry the project to its conclusion. Conversation has time to go beyond writer’s craft and examine the broad nature of what you are seeking to express, and how to reach your market. You don’t need an MFA or a PhD in Creative Writing and examination and university trappings, but you’d like personal attention at MFA / PhD level or better (and for a lot less money).

Please get in touch!

 

Contact Barbican Academy

If you have any questions about taking part in the Barbican Academy, please post them here.