Writing Mentorships

I had the utter privilege of being taught by Cath Crowley. It was a privilege because she’s generous and engaged. I mean really generous
— Anna Cowen, writer

How do they work?

I’ve mentored a lot of people over the years, and the truth is, every mentorship and its relationship works slightly differently. Because every writer has a different creative process.

Some writers want a check-in, every week, where I ask (kindly, supportively) Where’s the next chapter? I could never work that way. But some writers need the ticking clock, they need to be answerable to someone.

Some writers want a reader. Some want a critical reader, some a supportive reader.

And some writers come to me for lessons.

So the answer is — we’ll work it out together, through consultation.

What do mentorships cost?

I charge a fee for an initial member meeting (90 minutes, $300). I’ll read a sample of your work before we meet (2000 words). This initial meeting will be a discussion of your work, your needs, your questions. This meeting might be enough for you!

If it’s not, and we agree to move forward, I charge ASA rates for a block of mentoring hours. You can find the rates HERE. (I charge the non-member fee.)

You can use the hours in any way that you choose. I can read, advise, support, motivate—or all of the above.


Do I take on everyone?

No. You might send me your work, and I might look at it, and decide I’m not the mentor for you. If this happens, I don’t charge you anything for looking at your work.

Do I take on writers of novels other than YA?

Yes. Absolutely. But I’ll only take you on if I think I can be of help.

Am I approachable? Easy to work with? Nice?

Yes. I am. So if you’re looking for a mentor who cracks the whip, and badgers you, and makes you feel guilty if you haven’t finished that chapter, I might not be the right one for you.

I believe that writing a novel is hard. Incredibly hard. I’ve got a very good sense of humour but I work hard. I turn up. I read your work, I take you seriously, and I expect you to turn up, too. By that I mean—you want your novel to be the best that you can make it. I don’t mean you have to write brilliantly. I mean, you have to want to write that way.


‘Thank you does not fully convey how grateful I am for your continuing words of encouragement with my writing, and your generosity when it comes to sharing your knowledge and experiences of the publishing industry. There are teachers that are unforgettable for the way they inspire and you are one of those.’ Mary Howley

’Before I was in limbo - can I really write? Thank you so much for sharing so much of your knowledge and giving me some great foundations to my novel. I have really grown and developed as a writer under your guidance. Michelle Dodd

'I did your workshop at a crucial stage in rewriting All That Impossible Space – many of the techniques I still use all the time. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom.' Anna Morgan


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Manuscript assessments

What are manuscript assessments?

I think of a manuscript assessment as a structural edit. They’re not always written like this, but that’s when they’re most helpful. I read your manuscript and give you feedback on character, structure, language, dialogue, plot, setting—anything that needs work. (I also mention the aspects of the novel that are working. Knowing what’s working is as important as what’s not working.)

What does an assessment cost?

The cost depends on the length of your novel. I charge $580 for a 10,000 manuscript, and then $50 for every block of up to 10,000 words.

What’s included in the price?

An initial discussion. I don’t take on everyone. (If I don’t think I can help, I’ll refer you to someone else.)

A report. This report is usually about 2000 words for a 60,000 word manuscript. But it’s as long as it needs to be—some novels need more comment than others.

Can I talk to you about the report?

Absolutely. A 30-minute follow up phone call (optional) is included in the price. We can chat about the report, talk about ways to solve novel problems.


‘No matter how passionate I am about a new story, I find it difficult to objectively assess if or when it's ready to submit. Cath's astute assessment and feedback gave me the confidence to push past my doubts.’ Claire Saxby

'I loved reading [Cath’s] thoughts and how to make the writing work and connect. [She] is quite amazing. [She] gave me great ideas and helped me set up the plot to my novel. I have really grown and developed as a writer under [her] guidance. Michelle Dodd

‘The feedback was invaluable! comments and suggestions were incredibly helpful and [her] kind words of encouragement have given me newfound confidence in my writing and editing abilities.’ WV


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