IMPORTANT NOTE: Coaching, Mentoring and Literary Consultancy services are now closed, as Jacqui Lofthouse is about to re-enter full-time education. These pages remain live as a reference point for current clients who are now completing their work with Jacqui. Please subscribe to our blog using the button on the right hand bar of the home page and to our newsletter for updates about our products and services. This site will continue to offer advice and information for writers and subscribers will be alerted to any changes in our offerings.
The Writing Coach offers a personally tailored approach to manuscript assessment. Our expert consultants work with you to develop manuscripts that are ready to submit to agents and publishers.
“Jacqui is the first person I show all my novels to and my most important critic. As well as being a terrific novelist in her own right, she has an acute eye for what is not quite working in any piece of work and is exceptionally good at pointing it out in a way that is firm but constructive and helpful. I can recommend her highly to anyone who needs help.”
- Louise Doughty – Colleague, Booker Prize Judge 2008 and Author of Costa Prize 2011 shortlisted novel Whatever you Love, Faber
What is Literary Consultancy?
Literary Consultancy is a service to writers who need honest and constructive feedback on their writing work, prior to submission to agents and publishers. As the publishing market becomes increasingly competitive, the role of the literary consultant is to help you ensure that your manuscript is as good as it can possibly be, before you consider sending it out. We work with fiction and non-fiction writers.
Our consultants read your work, annotate your manuscript and provide a detailed written report which outlines the strengths of the work and the areas for further work. We also advise on manuscript submissions to literary agents and publishers and where a book is exceptionally strong, we act as a Literary Scout for literary agents. In addition, we offer advice on self-publishing and epublishing where appropriate.
The intention is to enable you to look at your work through fresh eyes and to give a realistic assessment of the manuscript’s readiness.
What is different about your consultancy service?
We believe that the service we offer is the most personal in the UK marketplace. Our founder, Jacqui Lofthouse, is in regular contact with our consultants and has a personal investment in your success. Jacqui is available to speak with you, should you have any questions about the process at any stage. We encourage you to develop a relationship with our business and to join our community.
Jacqui can speak with you prior to manuscript submission to ensure that the consultant you work with is ideally placed to understand your work. Where we do not already have the right consultant for your work, we will source that consultant. Our team includes experts in commercial fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, young-adult and children’s fiction, journalism and PR, academic writing, comedy, memoir and ghostwriting.
We are constantly building strong and valued links in the industry, amongst agents and editors who trust our judgment on the manuscripts we offer them.
Most importantly, our primary aim is to empower you as a writer. In order to do this, we are honest with you at all times about the readiness of your work. We will tell you whether we believe your work is likely to be accepted – and if there is work to be done, we will give you clear direction about the nature of that work.
What is the Reader’s Report?
The Reader’s Report is a detailed, written report, which gives full editorial comments on the work submitted. It includes a summary of the work’s strengths, as well as constructive suggestions for improvement and editing. The report for a full-length manuscript will be between 7-10 single-spaced pages and our consultants pencil annotate the manuscript with comments. This is not a full editing service, although full editing services are available on request.
The Report includes:
- A summary of your consultant’s response to the work and our objective advice on its market-placing and readiness
- Notes on the synopsis (if submitted) and its effectiveness
- An outline of the work’s strengths and weaknesses
- Comments on layout and presentation
- For novelists – notes on characterisation, dialogue, plot, point of view, narrative voice, pace and other technical aspects of the writing
- For non-fiction writers – notes on content, style, voice, structure and market-positioning
- Specific and constructive editorial suggestions on how to improve the work. This will be the focus of the report.
- Particular emphasis on any points raised in your New Client Form
If you would like to see a sample copy of one of our Reader’s Reports, please contact us and we will forward an example.
Is there an alternative to the Reader’s Report?
Yes, for London-based clients we also offer the alternative of a two-hour in-person meeting with your consultant. This takes the place of the Reader’s Report. Your consultant will meet with you, share the annotated manuscript and give full verbal feedback on the work.
Can Literary Consultancy work with Coaching?
Yes. Clients who are happy to submit their work in shorter chunks may choose the Full Mentor Package with Jacqui Lofthouse. Please see the Coaching page for details of how coaching can compliment the consultancy work or contact us.
Can you help me with the package I send to agents and publishers?
Yes. We have an agent/publisher submission package. Send us your covering letter, synopsis and sample three chapters and we will work with you to get that work in perfect shape for submission. Our report details what needs to be done to ensure that the work really catches an agent’s eye.
How much does Literary Consultancy cost?
Our full fee structure is outlined on the fees page. You need to scroll down for the Literary Consultancy fees.
I want to go ahead and submit my manuscript to you. What do I need to know?
- Please fill in the website contact form prior to submitting a manuscript in order to book in a date for reading and return of the report.
- Once you have booked a spot, we will be in touch to find out your particular requirements. Our service includes a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation enabling you to discuss your response to our report. And if you want to discuss your submission just get in touch and we can set up a time to talk.
- Texts must be printed in 12pt, double spaced, on one side of A4 on loose, numbered sheets. A total word count is also useful. Where the text is not double-spaced or 12 pt, the fee will be adjusted accordingly.
- Prior to submission, please ensure you have a full backup copy of your manuscript. All due care is taken to safeguard your manuscript but we cannot be held responsible for manuscripts lost in the post.
- When submitting, please include a short (one or two page) synopsis plus a little personal background and any particular questions/concerns you have about the work that you wish us to address in our report.
If you have further queries, please fill in the contact form
We look forward to working with you and helping you take your writing career to the next stage…