The Writing Coach team are available to work with you on your manuscript or as your mentor. All consultants are either published writers, professional editors or university lecturers and all have broad experience of working with developing writers. Your work receives nurturing, individual attention, with a focus on positive, constructive but honest feedback.
I am so proud of the mentors and literary consultants on the team. These experienced consultants are all personally known to me and will give close attention to your manuscript. I ensure that your work is seen by a mentor/coach/editor who is exactly right for you.”
Welcome to new consultant Chetan Mahajan
Chetan Mahajan is an author, blogger, and writing coach. He lives in a village in the Indian Himalayas where he writes full-time, and runs the Himalayan Writing Retreat. Over the past two years the Himalayan Writing Retreat has hosted over 15 events which have been attended by people from 5 nationalities, some travelling from halfway across the world.
His first book was published by Penguin in 2014. His writing career started at the unlikely venue of an Indian jail. Wrongly imprisoned as the fall guy for his employer, Chetan realized he was surrounded by interesting subject matter. Always a closet writer, Chetan started to write a daily diary. This was published by Penguin in 2014. The non-fiction “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” is the story of an Indian jail told through Chetan’s eyes.
In addition to coaching and teaching, Chetan is also working on his next book. If he follows his own advice, it should be in the stores by mid – 2019. His blog about leaving the city for the mountains recently won the Indiblogger award for humour. A graduate of the Northwestern University in Chicago, Chetan has formerly worked in the corporate world both in India and the US.
Nikki Sheehan is an author, journalist, mentor, and mother of three teenagers. She has published three MG and YA novels and also writes poetry, and books for younger children. She has been shortlisted for, and won many awards, and her books Swan Boy and Goodnight, Boy were both nominated for the Carnegie medal.
She is passionate about nurturing creativity, and is a very experienced workshop leader and mentor. Nikki is used to facilitating original stories, poems and scripts with all ages and abilities, and particularly enjoys working with advanced writers to extend their work and achieve their writing goals.
Nikki lives in Brighton and is available for one-to-ones locally and in London.
Lindsay Hawdon is a former Sunday Times and Telegraph travel columnist and a writer of fiction. On leaving school, she spent three years travelling around Europe, Africa and India, hitching rides and sleeping under canvas. She has since travelled to over eighty countries. Her travel column “An Englishwoman Abroad”, began in the Sunday Telegraph in 2000 and ran for seven years.
Her articles for The Sunday Times, “Have Kids Will travel” followed a year’s trip travelling solo with her two young boys around South East Asia. Their most recent trip, featured in a monthly column for the Independent called “The Rainbow Hunters”, took them around the world to find the origin of colour, raising money for the charity War Child as they travelled.
She has had numerous short stories published and in 2015 her first novel Jakob’s Colours, which was shortlisted for The Authors Club First Novel Award, was published by Hodder and Stoughton. She is currently writing her second novel. Lindsay also works as a mentor and as visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University, runs a writer’s workshop now in its third year, and has a wide experience of editing and proofreading.
Interests: Travel, adventure and nature writing. All fiction especially literary, women’s fiction, crime, thrillers, commercial fiction and experimental.
Rosalie is an editor and literary consultant who has the knowledge and expertise to help you perfect your manuscript.
She has a first class degree in English Literature from King’s College, London, and has several years of experience in the Publishing industry, working for both independent and multinational publishing houses. Whilst working as a Commissioning Editor for independent publishing house Blackbird Digital Books, her first commissioned title Valentina achieved great commercial success, resulting in book-prize nominations, features in the media, and an audiobook deal. She also ran the novel’s social media campaign, reaching a global audience. She has subsequently worked in the Education division of Cambridge University Press, and has continued to work closely with authors throughout the editorial process and coordinate various digital marketing campaigns.
Her strengths lie in her eye for detail, her passion for the written word and her ability to spot what makes a book a success.
Shaun is a playwright who has had over a dozen of his stage plays professionally produced. (Bristol Old Vic, Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, Bike Shed Theatre, Theatre 503, Brewery Theatre at the Tobacco Factory, etc.)
He has written BBC radio drama series (e.g. Radio Classic Serial) and individual dramas (Saturday Play). He now develops his new plays in co-productions with his company Hooligan Theatre Productions. He has been a part-time tutor in writing for performance at Oxford University (Continuing Education) for over 15 years.
He is also a part-time senior lecturer at UWE (University of the West of England) where he helps deliver a new degree in creative writing that he co-authored. He is guest speaker at a number of HE institutions in Europe and is a Royal Literary Fellow.
Phil Viner is a Crime writer and writing mentor. Phil has written for stage, screen and audio in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Russia. He returned home after ten years overseas and founded an independent audiobook publisher creating the SmartPass and Shakespeare Appreciated brands.
His first novel The Last Winter of Dani Lancing was shortlisted for International Crime Novel of the Year and is in production with Warner Bros for Showtime. He has been developing a new crime show Consequences for ITV global. His new book will be published next year.
Phil lives in Brighton with his wife, the academic and writer Lynne Murphy and their 9-year-old daughter.
Mentoring new writers excites Phil as he has a very visual way of working with timelines and structural breakdowns, which he thinks is ideal for developing crime stories.
Dr. Pauline Kiernan
Dr Pauline Kiernan is an award-winning playwright, commissioned screenwriter and prize-winning short story writer. She is also a Shakespeare scholar, taught English Literature at the University of Oxford for twenty five years and was awarded the Leverhulme Fellowship to work as dramaturgy and research resource with Mark Rylance and the companies at the Globe in its first six years.
She has published two scholarly monographs: Shakespeare’s Theory of Drama, and Staging Shakespeare at the New Globe, as well as the best-selling Filthy Shakespeare. She has also published the best-selling, snappily entitled Screenwriting They Can’t Resist: How To Create Screenplays of Originality and Cinematic Power – Break The Rules.
She has been a literary consultant and creative writing mentor for eleven years and has taught on the University of Oxford’s Creative Writing MA Courses. She has a passion for encouraging writers to develop for them-selves the most imaginative and powerful way to shape their unique creative vision.
Pauline has won several short story prizes, and has just completed a new play, Sedition.
Voula Grand is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a corporate psychologist. After completing her MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck in 2005, she completed her debut novel Honor’s Shadow, published by Karnac in 2011. In the same year, she was a contributing author to The DK Psychology Book, which won an award from the British Psychology Society. She is currently working on a new novel.
Voula combines her writing activities with her work as a psychologist in business, as an executive coach and leadership development expert. Later this year, these two worlds collide when, in collaboration with Isabel Costello, she will be offering a workshop on “Perseverance and Motivation for Writers.”
Voula enjoys general and women’s fiction, and speculative fiction; and her special interest and knowledge in psychology makes her well suited to support writers of psychological drama (as she herself writes) and non-fiction writers of psychology.
Frances Moloney is a writer, editor and literary consultant. Having spent over six years working at some of the largest publishing houses in the UK, including Hachette and Simon & Schuster, she now mentors up-and-coming authors and loves working with new writers to bring out the best in their stories. She has particular skills in children’s fiction and understands what makes a successful series and what works on an international level.
When she’s not working with new authors, Frances also writes both creatively and professionally, including on the Swedish travel blog Routes North and the women’s interest blog Safe Space.
Having been coached or mentored at key stages in her writing life, Heidi understands the enriching experience and significance of both. Her latest poetry collection, The Print Museum (Bloodaxe, 2016), was shortlisted for the 2016 East Anglian Book Award. Her first, Electric Shadow (Bloodaxe, 2011), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry.
Her work has appeared in journals across the UK, America and Australia and she has been translated into Polish, German, and Turkish. In 2008 and 2009 she was Writer-in-Residence for the London Science Museum’s Dana Centre. From 2011 to 2014 she was Poet-in-Residence at the John Jarrold Printing Museum.
Heidi studied poetry and prose at UEA. She qualified as a Writing Coach through the National Association of Writers in Education and the Arvon Foundation, and is a professional member of the Association of Coaching (AMAC), specialising in Writing Coaching.
Jon Magidsohn, originally from Toronto, is the author of Immortal Highway and is a memoir writing teacher and facilitator. His work has been featured in The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, The Bangalore Mirror, Hippocampus Magazine, Full Grown People and has written about fatherhood for Today’s Parent, dadzclub.com and the Good Men Project.
He’s been an actor, singer, bartender, upholsterer, sales representative, handyman and dad. He and his family live in London where Jon received an MA in Creative Nonfiction from City University.
Judi Goodwin specialises in helping people write about their lives. She is a coach, mentor and trainer and also works with clients who wish to focus on editorial articles, memoirs and creative non-fiction.
As a freelance features journalist, she has contributed to The Daily Telegraph, Radio Times and Homes and Gardens and her work has been syndicated internationally. She spent five years as Commissioning Editor for Ideal Home and was a regular interviewer for BBC Woman’s Hour.
Her workshops are frequently described as “inspirational’ and she has run feature writing and interviewing workshops for the NUJ and two of the UK’s largest magazine publishers. She believes confidence is the key to fluent, powerful writing and clients value her whole person approach.
Glynis Kozma is the author of two non-fiction books for parents – Secondary School and Leaving Home – and a freelance journalist who writes for The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Independent – as well as a wide range of consumer magazines. Glynis is a fully qualified coach and a member of the Association for Coaching.
A former teacher of English in secondary schools, Glynis also has specialist teaching qualifications in dyslexia and has supported dyslexic graduates in the workplace, including a rocket scientist, a forensic scientist and a police officer. She is also a former teacher with the National Extension College, Cambridge, by distance.
Glynis’ specialism is non-fiction, beginning with sourcing ideas to preparing a full proposal. With her contacts in the media she is able to offer insight into what publishers look for and how non-fiction authors can raise their profiles to become the ‘go to’ person for their subject.
Stephen Brown is a playwright, dramaturg and creative writing tutor. His adaptation of Rory Stewart’s bestselling memoir Occupational Hazards will have a major London production in 2016. He is currently working on a commission for the National Theatre.
Previous work as writer includes Filter Theatre’s Faster (BAC / Lyric Studio / 59E59 New York / UK Tour), Future Me (Theatre503 / Public Theatre New York / UK Tour), Does My Society Look Big in This? (Bristol Old Vic) and, as dramaturg, Lost Dog’s Salvage (Laban Centre / The Place).
He has taught playwriting at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, since 2011. Stephen has also worked extensively as a book editor, translator and theatre critic (including on Radio 4’s Front Row). He was publisher of the London-based political magazine Prospect.
I am particularly excited to have Stephen on the Writing Coach team as I have chosen him as my own mentor, as I complete my first play. Stephen is incredibly knowledgeable about the genre and is a brilliant and astute teacher; I cannot recommend him highly enough to aspiring playwrights – Jacqui Lofthouse
Louise Voss began her writing career with four novels for Transworld/Black Swan, the first of which, To Be Someone, was published in 2001 with its own CD soundtrack. To Be Someone was followed by three more contemporary women’s fiction novels, until she successfully switched to publishing thrillers with Mark Edwards in 2011. She and Mark were the first British indie authors to reach No.1 on the Amazon charts with Catch Your Death, where they stayed for the month of June 2011. This led to a four-book deal with Harper Collins.
Today Louise is a hybrid author, self-publishing her old solo novels and continuing to publish with Mark. Thomas & Mercer have just published From The Cradle, their fifth novel together, and her first solo psychological thriller, The Venus Trap, has also recently been published.
Sara Starbuck has spent almost twenty years working in UK trade book publishing. She has had experience as a commissioning editor, desk editor and development editor, and also as an author’s agent. She currently works as a freelance book editor, specialising in fiction, YA and children’s books. Sara is also the author of seven published works, including the memoir Breakfast Epiphanies (Atlantic Books, 2006); the children’s adventure novels, The Dread Pirate Fleur and the Ruby Heart (Random House, 2009) and its sequel, The Dread Pirate Fleur and The Hangman’s Noose (Random House, 2010); The Fairythorn Tales series under the pseudonym, Lara Faraway (Templar Publishing, 2013); and most recently a non-fiction book for children, Lions (The Orion Publishing Group /Born Free Foundation, 2015).
Sara is passionate about storytelling and working with writers. She has a keen eye for a good story and the ability to hone it.
Steph Roundsmith is a children’s literary agent, freelance editor and runs a reading and writing scheme for children in the north east of England called kidsreadwritereview. She currently works as editorial assistant for Myrmidon Books in Newcastle and specialises in fiction and children’s books. Steph spends a lot of her time working with children’s authors, schools and children and has built up a wealth of knowledge as to what children want, what publishers are looking for and what booksellers are hungry to sell.
Steph is very keen to work with children’s authors in any genre up to YA and has a wide-ranging skillset from proofreading and copy-editing to mentoring and consultancy. Steph has worked with a range of writers and has a talent for spotting a great story with the ability to polish it to submission standard.
Stephanie Zia edits both fiction and nonfiction at Blackbird Digital Books where she oversees all stages of the digital publishing process from commissioning new works to editing, formatting and promotion. As author of Self-Publishing Ebooks including Self Publishing Ebooks: The Absolute Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide, she has guided many authors through the digital maze of ebook and POD paperback publishing.
She has had two commercial fiction novels Baby on Board and Keeping Mum, published by Piatkus and two non-fiction books published by Hamlyn. She has also written for a variety of magazines and newspapers and for five years was a regular columnist for The Guardian Weekend Magazine’s Space Solves page.
Dr Sharon Zink
Dr. Sharon Zink is the author of Welcome to Sharonville (Unthank Books, 2014) which was long-listed for The Guardian First Book Award. A former Young Poet of the Year, her first collection, Rain in the Upper Floor Café, was published when she was seventeen, her short fiction winning her the title of Writers Inc. Writer of the Year and leading to her being shortlisted for The Raymond Carver Prize and in The New Writer competition four years running.
After being an English Literature academic, Sharon now works as a writing tutor and literary consultant. She has extensive editorial and mentoring experience, having worked privately with a wide range of writers, as well for agencies and publishers worldwide. Her former clients include the bestselling author Amanda Prowse and the critically acclaimed Mark Gartside.
Caroline Green is an award-winning, best-selling author of fiction for both young people and adults. Her first book, Dark Ride, won the Waverton Good Read Award and the RoNA Young Adult Novel of the year in 2011. Cracks, her second book, was nominated for nine awards and featured on Radio Four’s Open Book as one of its teen reads of 2013. Hold Your Breath, her third, won the Oldham Brilliant Book Award for the Young Adult category. Writing as Cass Green, her adult debut The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller. In A Cottage, In A Wood is her second adult novel.
Caroline works extensively in schools teaching creative writing and is currently Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University.
Dr Sara Bailey
Dr. Sara Bailey is a writer, consultant and lecturer who has been working with authors and screenwriters for many years in London, the Southeast and more recently in the Orkney Islands. Her first book, Writing the Horror Movie was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 and more recently, she was the debut author for Nightingale Editions in 2016 with her novel, Dark Water.
Sara has a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from Bangor University. She is currently developing a Creative Writing degree for the university of the Highlands and Islands and completing her second novel.
She is a member of the Crime Writer’s Association, the Author’s Association, the National Association of Writer’s in Education and is actively involved in national and international conferences on writing.
After years as a journalist and copywriter now Laura writes novels. She has published five novels for adults (two under a pseudonym) and numerous short stories. Her contemporary fiction is published by award-winning independent press, Accent. Her novel, Public Battles, Private Wars, was a Welsh Books Council Book of the month. Her latest, Redemption Song, is an insightful look at learning to forgive and love again after significant loss.
Alongside writing, she runs workshops on craft and has spoken at literary events nationwide. Over the past five years she’s worked as a developmental editor and mentor, coaching students to competition shortlistings and publication. Laura loves to help writers find their voice and create compelling fiction. Interests include: manuscript assessment; substantive and copy editing; developmental mentoring from early draft through to finished submission package in women’s fiction, romance, psychological thrillers and historical.
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