Teaching & mentoring
“Emma Darwin is a rare thing - a gifted writer and a talented, intuitive teacher who is able to dig into technical subtleties and the horrifying mess of the first draft with wit, confidence and respect.” - Jenn Ashworth
mentoring & tutoring
Since cutting my teaching teeth many years ago on manuscript appraisals, and studying for my own PhD in Creative Writing while teaching as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, I have worked with all sorts of published and unpublished writers, in many genres: not only fiction and creative non-fiction, but academic and scholarly writing, as well as trade non-fiction. Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced writer, a Masters graduate, or a published author, I would be delighted to discuss how I can help you with your writing.
MENTORING is ideal if you want one-to-one help with both the close-up detail of your writing, and the larger challenges and opportunities of a book-length project and your long-term development as a writer. Many writers like to work by arranging, at the end of each meeting, the date for the next - every six weeks seems to work well - but others prefer to wait and see how they get on. I am happy to work either way.
ONE-OFF TUTORING & FEEDBACK: I am equally happy to arrange a single meeting, based on reading some of your work, to address whatever you feel your writing needs. Whether it’s your own confidence and hopes as a writer, a possible submission to publishers, an overall assessment of a project, specific technical and creative challenges, or any other aspect of this complicated business of writing, I will do my best to help.
For more details of how I work and the costs involved click the button on the right, or contact me. For a flavour of some of the many ways I can help you, click through to the Tool-Kit on my blog This Itch of Writing.
courses & workshops
Throughout the year I can be found teaching a range of groups from one-to-one “book-doctoring” to workshops and talks for writers at all levels. Recent work has included the York Festival of Writing and the Festival of Women’s Writing at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, seminars at the universities of Aberystwyth, Lincoln and Roehampton, and workshops for Nottingham Writers’ Studio and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. I also very much enjoy working with writers’ circles, so whether you are a festival director or a fledgling writer’s group, do contact me to discuss how I might be able to help.
To see where I’ll be in the next few month, click through to Events, or to have news of them delivered direct to your inbox, just subscribe to my newsletter using the form on the right. Most events are one-offs, but these two are recurring:
Self-Editing Your Novel: Author Debi Alper and I co-devised this six-week, online course for Jericho Writers (then Writers’ Workshop). We now have over 350 graduates; some have sizeable book deals with major publishers, others are making a big success of self-publishing, while others just simply relish the vastly increased skill and confidence they now have, and the continuing cameraderie of their coursemates. The course runs four times a year, and the presentation in January 2019 will be our 20th; it takes place in a private online forum, with a maximum of twelve writers in workshop-style interaction. All the exercises are based on each student’s own work-in-progress, and the course is suitable for anyone who has finished, or nearly finished, the first draft of a novel or creative non-fiction. For some years Debi and I co-taught the whole course, but these days she takes the lead in the feedback while I chip in as needed, and at the end of each week provide an overview and further discussion. For more information, and to book your place, click through to Jericho Writers.
Words Away Salons: The Words Away Salons for Writers take place in London, once a month on a Monday night, at the delightfully eccentric Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall. I co-chair these salons with Words Away’s founder Kellie Jackson, and each month we are joined by a guest to discuss a particular topic. Since we started over two years ago we have welcomed such writers as Monica Ali, Julie Cohen, Courttia Newland and Blake Morrison, as well as industry figures including agent Jo Unwin and publisher Lennie Goodings. For more information, and to book tickets, click through to Words Away.
testimonials & endorsements
I've worked with too many writers to count, from absolute beginners to authors and writer-teachers published by major houses. These are just some of the comments they've made:
"Emma Darwin is a rare thing - a gifted writer and a talented, intuitive teacher who is able to dig into technical subtleties and the horrifying mess of the first draft with wit, confidence and respect. She's not the kind of tutor or editor who dishes out a list of one size fits all rules. Instead, what you will get - what I got - is a nuanced reading, some shrewd questions and support and encouragement as you find your own way to turn your project into its own best self." - Jenn Ashworth
"Emma is one of the best editors I know. She is incisive with her analysis, clear with her advice and generous with her encouragement. An endless source of thoughtful wisdom, she picks apart the trickier aspects of structure and technique and presents them in ways that everyone can get something useful out of, from beginner to experienced writer.” - Jessica Ruston
"I loved every minute of it. Emma is a generous and supportive tutor. She is knowledgeable about her subject and enthusiastic about sharing that knowledge. Her passion is infectious. Although I am an experienced writer, I learnt a lot during that weekend. Emma is great fun - which always helps!" - Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn
"I have completed courses with the Writer's Bureau, Writers Forge, Open University, and more, and I can say that this was the one I learnt the most from. The teachers were exceptional." - Gavin Tomlinson
"The Fiction Masterclass was really helpful and Emma was approachable and enthusiastic. Would do this all over again."
"Those two are just magic ... what I eventually submit will be a far better, far more professional manuscript."
"The course was absolutely brilliant ... My only regret is not having taken this course a year ago!"
"Every moment was brilliant and I learnt so much."
"Emma Darwin is an outstanding tutor."
"Thank you to Emma Darwin, looking on with a protective eye and then bursting onto the scene with a fantastically concise and illuminating post on absolutely everything we could ever possibly ask about."