The Writing Coach offers a personally tailored approach to literary consultancy and manuscript assessment. I work with my team of literary consultants to help you develop a manuscript that is ready to submit to agents and publishers. Established in 2005, the Writing Coach is a leading literary consultancy with a solid track record of helping clients get published.
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 and the bestselling Apple Tree Yard.
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. We now also work with playwrights and screenwriters.
The literary consultant reads your work, annotates your manuscript and can either provide a detailed written report, or meet with you to discuss their findings. The literary consultant outlines the strengths of the work and the areas for further development. S/he can also advise on manuscript submissions to literary agents and publishers or theatres and production companies. S/he can offer advice on self-publishing and epublishing where appropriate. The intention of literary consultancy is to enable you to look at your work through fresh eyes and to give a realistic assessment of the manuscript’s readiness.
A selection of books written by our clients and students
What is different about your literary consultancy service?
We offer a personal and exclusive literary consultancy service. You get to know your consultant. All of the consultants are known to me personally and we are a close-knit and dedicated team. As we are a small organisation, we have fewer overheads and more of your fee goes directly to your consultant, contributing to their deeper commitment to your project. We offer the option of an in-person meeting about your work, rather than a written report. Where you choose the written report, we offer a 30 minute follow-up telephone conversation to answer any outstanding questions.
I am available to speak with you, should you have any questions about the process at any stage. I take a personal interest in your success. Your consultant is also available for follow-up work on your book. In addition, there is a private Facebook group for Writing Coach clients to enable you to discuss your publishing journey with like-minded peers.
I am an experienced novelist (published by Penguin, Bloomsbury, many international publishers and a digital publisher) as well as a fully qualified coach and teacher, with twenty years experience of the writing and publishing world. The team are all experienced in their spheres. The team includes novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, editors, agents and publishers. Between us, the team have helped many clients to get their work published. Our primary aim is to empower you as a writer. In order to do this, your literary consultant will be honest with you at all times about the readiness of your work. We will tell you whether we believe your work is ready for submission – and if there is work to be done, we will give you clear direction about the nature of that work.
A few of our team of consultants
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. We also annotate the manuscript with comments, usually via track-changes. Please note that this is not a full editing service, although we can quote for full editing.
The Literary Consultancy Reader’s Report includes:
- A summary of our 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 Jacqui and she will forward an example.
Is there an alternative to the Reader’s Report?
Yes, we also offer the alternative of a two-hour in-person meeting in central London or two one-hour Skype or telephone calls. This meeting takes the place of the Reader’s Report. The consultant/mentor will meet with you, share the annotated manuscript and give full verbal feedback on the work. In this instance, the consultant will also provide bullet-point notes on follow-up work required.
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 literary consultancy work or contact Jacqui.
Can you help me with the package I send to agents and publishers?
Yes. There is an option of an agent/publisher submission package (review of up to 15,000 words). Your consultant can work with you on your covering letter, synopsis and sample three chapters to help you get that work in perfect shape for submission. The report details what needs to be done to ensure that the work really catches an agent’s eye.
Learn about Literary Consultancy prices:Literary Consultancy Packages
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 literary consultancy spot, Jacqui will be in touch to find out your particular requirements. The service includes a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation enabling you to discuss your response to the report (where the written report is the option chosen). If you want to discuss your submission do get in touch.
- 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.
- We invoice you in advance of the work done. Our standard turnaround for literary consultancy is 4-5 weeks.
- 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.
Submit your Manuscript
Fill in the contact form and we will respond promptly. We look forward to working with you and helping you take your writing career to the next stage…