Writing Tuition and Mentoring

Jack Wolf

MA. PhD. FHEA.

Jack’s debut novel, The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones, was published to huge critical acclaim in the UK and US by Penguin Random House in 2013 and in translation by Belfond and Destino. It was listed for the 2013 Edinburgh Lit Festival Best Debut and the 2014 Polari Prize for Queer Fiction and won the 2014 Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award ahead of very strong competition. Jack subsequently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and attained Fellow of the Higher Education Academy status at Bath Spa University while teaching on the B.A. and the well regarded M.A. in Creative Writing programmes. Jack now teaches on the Open University’s online MA in Creative Writing and offers freelance manuscript consultation and mentoring to writers at all stages in their creative journey.

Jack is the founder and primary editor of Aurochs Underground Press.

Jack’s second novel, Mammoth and Crow, was published by Aurochs in 2022. A third novel, The Devil and The Rainbow, is planned for publication in 2023. Dog Walking Weather, Jack’s first poetry pamphlet, is also available from Aurochs.

Jack is represented by Will Francis at Janklow and Nesbit.

How I work:

  • Note that I cannot guarantee that any particular work or individual writer will definitely find an agent or publisher as any decision to take on or to publish anything lies entirely with the agent / publisher concerned and as such is beyond my control. Any tutor or organisation making such a claim should be investigated very thoroughly before any money is handed over.
  • Mentoring by me does not in any way imply current or future acceptance for publication by Aurochs Press. All potential Aurochs submissions must be made through the official submissions process, which can be found here: https://aurochspress.co.uk/contact

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I offer one-to-one tailored mentoring to individual Prose Fiction writers in a way that echoes the best practices of M.A and PhD Creative Writing manuscript supervision. The focus is firmly on the writer’s own work and intentions and there is no pressure to produce work to a set timescale or to read and critique other writers as there is in a Creative Writing group workshop or University class. Writers I have worked with have gone on to find agents, be published, and gain admittance to M.A. and PhD Creative Writing programmes. I work with writers across all genres from literary fiction to sci-fi, fantasy, and crime, and my feedback takes account of the norms and expectations of each genre as well as the writer’s intentions. My aim to to ensure that every manuscript is as good as it can be at this stage in the writing process. I do not attempt to tailor work towards the requirements of any individual publisher or publishing group.

All writers work differently and have different needs and requirements. Some writers will have completed the first draft of a full length manuscript and need short term support while working on a second draft, while others will seek the input of a mentor much earlier in the process and may need ongoing support over a longer period. Some writers may want detailed feedback, while others may want a general overview or the answer to specific questions such as whether the plot or a certain character is working. Others may want a brief ‘general reader response’ to a work-in-progress. Consequently the support I offer is tailored to the needs of the individual writer and can be delivered intensely over a short period or over a longer time from the inception of a new novel to the completion of a first draft.

I ask potential writers to get in touch and discuss their individual needs and requirements with me before agreeing on a mentoring pathway. Exact fees for initial reading and feedback will be determined during this conversation but an estimation of likely costs is given below. I place a strict limit on the number of mentees I am happy to work with at any one time, so unfortunately not all writers who apply can be accepted for mentoring. Mentoring meetings currently take place over Zoom for both UK and non-UK based writers.

In general, however, mentoring will follow the pattern below:

  • I will ask for a sample of work on which I will offer initial feedback. This may be the completed manuscript or a section of it if the work is still in its early stages.
  • After I have had time to read and reflect on the manuscript, I will get in touch to offer my initial written feedback. My feedback will consist of inline page by page comments and some thoughts and suggestions on characterisation, plot, style, pace, themes, dialogue and genre. When you have had time to digest and reflect on these, we will organise a time and place for a one-to-one mentoring meeting in which to go over my responses, discuss any questions and ideas you may have arising from them, and decide on the next step.
  • If we decide to continue the mentoring process beyond this point, then after an agreed length of time spent developing the manuscript, you will send a section (no less than 5000 words) for me to read and feed back on in the same way as before. Once you have had time to read and digest this feedback, we will set up a second mentoring meeting, and so on.

Fees:

  • In line with recommendations set by the Society of Authors my initial fee for reading a full length manuscript is £14 per 1000 words.
  • This fee translates to a fee of £1400 for a 100,000 word novel and £700 for a 50,000 word novella. Other lengths are calculated accordingly.
  • Payment for reading and initial written feedback is expected on receipt of manuscript. You will be sent an invoice for this.
  • I have a minimum word length of 5000 words per script and a minimum fee of £100 regardless of word length.
  • Work that is longer than 100k words incurs an additional fee of £50.
  • Follow up one-to-one mentoring meetings are charged at £50 per hour and have a minimum length of 1 and maximum length of 2 hours. During the current pandemic these take place over Zoom. One initial follow up meeting is mandatory, but there is no commitment to undergo more than one follow up meeting unless further manuscript samples are submitted, in which case further meetings will be required. A 48 hour cancellation window applies.
  • I have a limited number of places available at a lower cost to people on benefits and low incomes. If you would like to discuss this possibility please email me at the address below.

Contact details: Please contact me at Jackwolfrawhead@gmail.com