Wow you lot really like mini-mentoring. We’re pausing bookings while we catch up with the backlog. Back soon. Love you mwa.



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What is Mini Mentoring?

Therapy isn’t just for your periodic existential crises, it’s for your writing too. It’s time to chuck your words on the couch and let us help you give them a good ol’ shake down with a dose of mini mentoring.

Sometimes your writing life needs some serious analysis, and we’re here with a crack team of WHQ mentor queens (and a token king) to show you all the nooks and crannies of your work that you might be struggling to see.

Send us your stories, chapters, outlines, you name it, and we’ll critique, review, feedback, and get to the bottom of your writerly-angst.

Chat to us about your writing hopes, dreams, challenges and pitfalls, and we’ll help you to make a solid plan for the future, life-coaching stylee.

What kind of mini mentoring can I have?


Extensive feedback, advice, encouragement, and lovely lovely pep.


Life coaching for writers! Advice, encouragement, and a nice firm kick up the bum.


A real life chat about your strengths, style, technique, and any areas for development.


All the things! Emerge feeling more powerful than ever before…


You send us your words. We read your words. We send them back with extensive comments and feedback and critique (which are all the same thing, surely?), advice, encouragement, and all that good pep talk stuff.

  • A professional critique of your work between 1,000 – 6,000 words. You will be able to select your word count at the checkout. You will get inline comments as well as a general overview of things that worked, things that can be improved, and ideas of where to go next.
  • A two email exchange with your critique partner (that’s you-send-we-reply, you-send-we-reply. (Sorry to be all like ONLY TWO EMAILS but we don’t want to end up with accidental million year long convos that are totes awks and we’re like argh we don’t really have the resources to manage it sorryyyyy).

Non-members £25 per 1,000 words
Members £21.25 per 1,000 words (15% discount)


You book a 1-hour Skype/phone call with one of our splendiferous mentors and shoot the breeze about your writing aspirations, challenges and arg-why-can’t-I-stop-procrastinating issues, and we give you advice, encouragement, and a nice firm kick up the bum (as well as some gentle hand holding and pom-pom waving) to get you feeling SUPER pumped about where your creative journey is headed. Lovely. (It’s basically life coaching for writers, yo.)

  • A professional one-hour mentoring session with one of our lovely WHQ creative development coaches (Sarah or Paul). We’ll work with you to find a suitable time/date for a Skype/phone call and answer any questions you have about your writing journey, offer advice on how to move forward, improve, and feel more confident about your work. Proper writing therapy, yo.
  • A follow-up two-email exchange with your mentor (eg: we say “hey how did you find the session, any other questions?” and you say “yeah it was great, oh and I also wanted to ask [additional question]” and we answer it. Everyone’s happy!)

Non-members £60 per 1hr Skype/phone call
Members £51 per 1hr Skype/phone call (15% discount)


Similar to a critique but instead of getting on-paper feedback you get to speak to a real live WHQ person via Skype/phone for a whole hour about how awesome you are. Essentially, you send us a writing sample and then we chat about your strengths, style, technique, and any areas for development.

  • A professional one-hour mentoring session with one of our lovely WHQ writing feedback mentors (Jo or Alexa). You send us up to 3,000 words of a work-in progress (or an outline of your plot, or your Plotstormers 16PP). We read and assess it. We arrange a Skype/phone call at a suitable time/date for both of us and chat about your writing, answer any questions you have about your work, offer advice and feedback on the specifics of your piece and make you feel encouraged and excited to carry on!
  • A follow-up two-email exchange with your mentor (eg: we say “hey how did you find the session, any other questions?” and you say “yeah it was great, oh and I also wanted to ask [additional question]” and we answer it. Everyone’s happy!)

Non-members £60 per 1hr Skype/phone call
Members £51 per 1hr Skype/phone call (15% discount)


Oh baby, are you in for a treat. Our full whammy package gets you THREE one-hour phone calls (spread over an agreed period) and a critique of up to 3,000 words. Pick ‘n’ choose between your preferred style of mentoring, or go for a mix of both. Emerge feeling more powerful than ever before…

  • Three professional one-hour mentoring sessions with one of our lovely WHQ creative development coaches (Sarah or Paul) and/or our writing feedback mentors (Jo and Alexa). We’ll work with you to find a suitable time/date for your Skype/phone calls – we find them to be most useful over a period of several months for ongoing projects, but we can suit arrangements to your needs.
  • An in-depth critique of up to 3,000 words from one of our WHQ feedback team (please not this may not always be the same person as your mentor but we all work closely together so we’re offering consistent feedback – plus, it’s always a bonus to get more than one person’s opinion on your work!).
  • Follow-up emails for all sessions and your critique to make sure you’re feeling supported and positive about your writing progress.

3 x one-hour mentoring phone calls + a 3,000 word critique
Non-members: £230 (save 10%)
Members: £195.50 (an additional 15% discount)


If you’re in need of some mini mentoring action but don’t have the funds or are from an under-represented background, you can apply for our Sponsor a Writer scheme to get the support you need!

Our bursary fund is here to help marginalised, low-income, and otherwise struggling writers achieve their goals, whether that’s through access to our online courses, retreats, or mentoring.

Find out more and apply by clicking the big orange button below… 

Your mini-mentors

Alex Clark – Creative Writing Critiquer
Cheltenham Writers’ Retreat host and wordy powerhouse

Alex Clark hosts the Writers’ HQ writing retreats at Cheltenham. Her short stories and poems have appeared in a range of places, including Lighthouse Journal, The North, Prole, Shooter Literary Magazine, Litro Online, MIR Online, Fairlight Shorts, and anthologies by The Fiction Desk. She is currently writing her second novel.

She belongs to a writing group whose members are agented novelists, creative writing lecturers, journalists, literary magazine editors, published short story writers, poets, and, most importantly, kind and honest critique partners. She also exchanges work with a number of other writers, and has read for two flash fiction competitions. Good critique has been the single most important factor in improving her writing.

Poppy O’Neill – Creative Writing Critiquer
Portsmouth Writers’ Retreat host and calming voice of literary reason

Poppy O’Neill has an MA in creative writing from the university of Chichester, for which she won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize.

She’s published five books with Summersdale and her writing has been shortlisted for the Bristol Prize and published in Oh Comely, Stories for Homes and Gramarye magazine, among others.

She runs the Portsmouth writers’ retreat for Writers’ HQ, as well as critiquing and hosting online workshops.

Jo Gatford – Writing Feedback Mentor
Half of Writers’ HQ and problem-solving editor wizard

Jo is happiest when she’s figuring out other people’s plot holes because it means she doesn’t have to worry about her own. She also enjoys telling people what to do.

Before WHQ she worked as a freelance editor, proofreader and copywriter for far too many years to count, and is an experienced manuscript wrangler and author whisperer.

Jo is also an award-winning novelist, playwright and short fiction author who tweets about weird 17th century mermaid tiles at @jmgatford. She feels very strongly about punctuation and puns. You can read some of her work and find out more at

Alexa Radcliffe-Hart – Writing Feedback Mentor
Cambridge retreat rep and glorious pep-queen

Having been in a long term relationship with Writers’ HQ for some time now, Alexa runs our Cambridge writing retreats alongside freelance life of storytelling for her own sanity and for all good corporations and all those in between.

She has also run courses and workshops for Swanwick Writer’s Summer SchoolAlt.Fiction, and Connections: Jersey Festival of Words as well as various secondary schools.

Alexa open to discussing all things words, but literary, speculative, twisting tales is where it’s at for her. Alexa’s short stories have appeared in collections such as Lost Voices, Past TenseThe Casual Electrocution of Strangers and The Little Book of Fairy Tales. She’s currently, for her sins, writing a novel.

Paul Macauley – Creative Development Coach
Brighton Writers’ Retreat co-host and general excellent person

Paul is a writer, theatre maker and award winning playwright. With a bunch of experience in making things he has supported creatives through individual coaching and facilitating workshops. He most enjoys helping people find what really matters to them, to grow their unique creative voice and finding meaningful ways of getting shit done.

Paul is over 200 days into a year commitment to do at least 15 minutes of creative work every day – you can follow his journey on Instagram and find out more at

Sarah Lewis – Creative Development Mentor
Half of Writers’ HQ and high priestess of getting shit done

Despite a lengthy career as a pathological procrastinator, Sarah is the queen of making things happen. One time award-winning environmental journalist, Sarah set up and launched an eco-ethical lifestyle magazine and a regional award scheme for environmental best practice.

She graduated in the top 20% of her MA creative writing class at UEA, won the David Higham Award, won an Arts Council grant to complete her first novel under the mentorship of critically acclaimed author Peter Hobbs, was one of the NWS10 talented early career writers, and gained a rarely given special mention in the BBC Short Story Award.

She then got completely sidetracked by Writers’ HQ, which she uses as a front for building a quiet community of radical writers who are going to revolutionise the world with awesomeness.

Sarah writes endlessly and is never satisfied, but as long as you do as she says not as she does, she will sort your shit right out. She loves yoga, having opinions, and being right. She occasionally tweets angrily at @fictionalsarah