Author Coaching & Writing Mentorship

Get support with plot, structure, motivation and goal-setting

No masterpiece was created in isolation

Great authors of the past didn’t have writing coaches – but they did have story editors at their publishing houses who worked closely with them to hew their works into shape and to keep their sometimes messy lives on track while they got wildly creative. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Nowadays, however, budgets are tight, competition is fierce, and publishers just don’t provide that level of author support anymore. Which means you have to find it yourself.

The modern equivalent of the old-time publishing editor is the author coach, a.k.a book coach or writing coach. Author coaching and book coaching will help you:

  • stop thinking about writing and start putting words on the page
  • get clarity on your story plot or book structure
  • identify the hook that gets readers involved and craft a great ending
  • set writing goals and stick to them (accountability)
  • assess the strength of your text through objective writing feedback
  • gain new ideas and insights when you’re feeling stuck
  • feel supported and affirmed in your project, with regular feedback to give you the confidence of knowing you’re on the right track

Specialist author coach & writing mentor

What makes me able to coach you as an author? My two great passions in life have been creative writing and human potential coaching. I am an award-winning author, veteran copy editor, and a certified coach with more than 10 years’ experience. I combine the technical aspects of writing with supportive coaching practices to help you solve problems with your text as well as overcome the inevitable obstacles in life that impact on your creativity. Writing can be a lonely occupation and you can write for years without anyone seeing your work and affirming the worthiness of your creative dreams. This is why artists need coaches and mentors, and this is why I love this work. See my coaching offers below or contact me for other options if you feel another approach will be more supportive.

Russel Brownlee portrait

Author coaching shop

Popular book and manuscript coaching offers. 

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Editorial Assessment

Duration: Once-off
Outcome: A written manuscript appraisal and feedback report of 5-12 pages
Details: A read-through of your text to provide a high-level overview that highlights issues that may need to be addressed before you progress to copy editing or publishing. Also known as a manuscript appraisal & feedback (read more). Recommended if you have already written a first draft or a few chapters and you want feedback on whether the story works. The assessment can lead into ongoing coaching if necessary.
Prerequisites: A complete manuscript or just the opening chapters
Sessions:  A written report of up to 12 pages plus email support after delivery of the report.

Investment

From R4,000

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Start Writing

Duration: 3 months*
Outcome: Your first 10,000 words, plot and structure, character outlines, chapter list (nonfiction)
Details: A three-month power-up to get you writing, overcome blocks, establish a writing routine and reach a target wordcount. Includes working on plot and structure if necessary, plus any other aspects of the book that need to be defined so that the writing can pick up speed.
Prerequisites: A basic idea for a work of fiction or nonfiction.
Sessions:  Four calls of 60-90 minutes and 1.5 hours of reading time over 3 months. Worksheets to guide your exploration. Email support between calls.

Investment

R6,000

* Time periods can be adjusted by agreement

Plan Your Book

Duration: 1 month*
Outcome: Fiction: A premise, plot, character arc. Nonfiction: Chapter outline, hook, lesson
Details: A one-month intensive to find the structure and plot of your book, novel or screenplay. The structure outline will provide you with a roadmap to follow from beginning to end. This programme is a great way to start writing if you’ve been procrastinating because you don’t know how to translate your ideas into a  solid structure for writing.
Prerequisites: A basic idea for a work of fiction or nonfiction
Sessions:  Two calls of 60-90 minutes. Reading of your work (60 mins). Worksheets to guide your exploration. Email support between calls.

Investment

R3,300

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Monthly ongoing

Duration: Month to month or ad hoc
Outcome: Outcome of your choice (e.g. write 10,000 words/month; finish a short story)
Details: An ongoing coaching engagement or brief intervention to keep you focused on the work and meeting your writing goals. Ideal if you’ve started writing and just need accountability and a thinking partner to help you clarify story, plot and argument as you go.
Prerequisites: A solid premise, plot or book outline. (Do the Plan Your Book intensive if necessary)
Sessions:  One call of 60-90 minutes per month plus 30 mins reading time. Worksheets to guide your exploration. Email support between calls.

Investment

R1,500 per month

An investment in your talent

Writer coaching is an investment in your growth as an author. You’ll be supported and challenged to reach greater heights of creativity and expression so that dream of writing can become a reality. Your coach will help you stay accountable to your ambitions and will make it easier for you to get the big picture and see beyond the inevitable problems that arise.

Contact me with your questions or to book your first coaching session.

Get a writing coach