Stop talking and write that book – we’ll mentor you through it.

 In All About Writing, How to write a book, Invitations, Mentoring

Mentoring applications open now – limited places available

If you’re serious about that book, apply for our Mentoring Programme, before the end of November, for our six-monthly intake in January. 

Why should you? Be honest. Will you ever write it all by yourself?  

Will you keep writing, month after month, without someone to encourage and guide, to help when you get stuck, to hold your hand when you get scared? 

Our Mentoring Programme was devised to offer the kind of support every writer needs through the lonely and difficult process of writing anything: fiction, non-fiction, a screenplay or collection of short stories. 

We’re very proud of this programme, which is unique as far as we can work out, and has seen a significant number of books published, as a result of our gentle nudging and support.  

The programme was started at the behest of our community. ‘It’s all very well,’ they said, ‘giving us the skills we need to write creatively – but then you abandon us when we need you most: when we sit down to write the damn book!’ 

That’s why we accept people into Mentoring only if they have completed a substantial creative writing course – either ours or another – or under extra special circumstances.  

So now, you’ll never feel abandoned. Acclaimed writers, Richard Beynon and Dr Jo-Anne Richards, will help you brainstorm, develop your rough ideas into stories and, most importantly, give on-going written feedback and advice while you write – and finish – your book.   

You’ll be part of a warm and nurturing online community of writers from all over the world, and you’ll have individual time, monthly, to discuss your project with us, over Zoom. 

But, don’t take it from us. Here’s what a small sample of our mentees say. 

Lisa-Anne Julien, from Cape Town, whose novel If you Save Me was released this year, says: ‘I shudder to think what my manuscript would have looked like without the Mentoring Programme and Jo-Anne and Richard’s brilliant editorial pens. More than saving me from a propensity for verbosity, exposition and purple prose, they saved me from myself.’ 

Three of our number have recently (or very nearly) completed manuscripts. Margaret Renn, from London, has been working on a biography. She says:  

There are two very good reasons for joining the mentoring scheme: you have a monthly deadline to work to, and you are rewarded for meeting that deadline by the most helpful, detailed and supportive comments you could wish for. Your writing will improve in ways you could not have imagined.’ 

Fizz Carr from Sussex has this to say of completing two drafts of a novel in the programme:  

‘Writing can be a very exposing process so I love the support I get from Richard and Jo-Anne’s mentoring. The advice is rigorous but always kind and constructive, and it’s lovely to be part of a writing community where everyone is rooting for everyone else’s project.’ 

And then there are those who are somewhere in the middle. Suzette Leal, from Johannesburg, busy with a sociological work of non-fiction, says the programme ‘has been the perfect tool for me to grow as a writer. The monthly timelines ensure I write at least two or three times a week, and they offer great insight and constructive feedback in areas that I find challenging – helping me bring my book to life. The collective platform is enormously beneficial as everyone works towards a shared goal. The mentoring programme helps to make what can be a lonely process not so solitary.’ 

Susan Erasmus, from Cape Town, who is working on a memoir, adds: ‘Joanne and Richard are extremely encouraging, but also forthright in their comments – in a way that is constructive and pleasant. They really speak from experience about both the joys and the obstacles of the writing process. They have helped me to stay focused, and to turn a writing project into a reality after decades of hesitation and self-doubt. Without them, I am fairly certain that this would not have happened.” 

Here’s what you need to send us: 

  • Your name, phone number and physical address, the writing course you’ve completed, or any books you have already written 
  • A sample of your writing 
  • A synopsis of what you’d like to write or simply an idea of what kind of project you have in mind. 

If you’re nurturing the desire to turn the idea in your head, stop procrastinating. As someone once said to me: ‘Shut up about it, will you? Just write. (And apply for our Mentoring Programme.)’ 

Click here to read more, and here to download the full programme details. 



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