FAQs

Q  I have completed an MA in Writing but still feel that I need more help editing or structuring and finishing my novel. Can Gold Dust help me with that?

Yes.  Gold Dust Mentors have a lot of experience and publications between them. They will be able to work with you if you would like to work on a book you are completing and whether you have a lot of writing experience or a little, if you feel you need help from one of our mentors, you are welcome to apply.

Q  I have no writing experience and have never been published.  Am I suitable for the scheme?

If your work is of the right standard (decided by our judges) and you can commit to the eight sessions – yes.

Q. I have an agent who has suggested revisions and I don’t know if I agree with them.  Would a Gold Dust mentor be able to help me with this?

As well as writing experience, all our mentors have a great deal of publishing experience. They would be happy to work with you and discuss all aspects of being published, including being represented by an agent.

Q  I live in Birmingham but notice your Mentors only work in London, Cambridgeshire, Manchester, Oxford, Bath, Ely, Carlisle or Edinburgh.  Can we arrange to meet in Birmingham?

No, if you are accepted and want to take part you must travel to one of those places to meet your Mentor.  You must also cover your own travel costs. However, when mentees are not resident in the UK, some mentors offer mentoring via email and phone or Skype

Q  £3300 seems like a lot of money. Can I apply for a grant?

We think £3300 (please note: some mentors charge VAT at 20%) is value for money when compared with studying for an MA in Writing, or compared with other writing courses such as the UEA/Guardian ones and Faber Academy. Bear in mind most of our mentors teach on such MAs and courses and with Gold Dust are offering you individual attention tailored to your writing and your needs, rather than leading group tutorials as they would on a course. Most script reading services charge several hundred pounds yet offer only a written report and no further feedback. Gold Dust is unique as a face-to-face opportunity to work with a highly respected, successful author, who will work with you over a period of usually eight to ten months to improve your work or talk about your writing.

In the past, some writers have received funding from the Arts Council, via their Grants for the Arts scheme. This might be worth exploring. However, Gold Dust cannot guarantee that applicants to the Arts Council Grants scheme will be successful and we no longer offer advice or help with applications.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ONCE A PLACE IS OFFERED, THE FULL FEE BECOMES DUE.

Q Can I pay in instalments?

No.  If awarded a place on Gold Dust it means that up to three of our mentors have read your work, and one of them has committed to working with you on the manuscript.  Payment then becomes due and must be paid in full before mentoring starts.  Please make sure you have funds in place before applying.

Q I would like to have a Gold Dust writing mentor but can’t spare the time. Can I do just a taster session and see if I like it?

Sorry but as places are at a premium, only the full eight sessions are available. Please note if you are offered a place and do not accept it there can be no re-application to Gold Dust.

Q I write screenplays for Film or TV (or poetry) or plays – can I apply?

Sorry but Gold Dust does not offer mentoring to screenwriters or poets.

Q Can you recommend an agent or publisher to me?

If your work is of a suitable standard, your Mentor may well recommend an agent, but we cannot offer guarantees of publication. Gold Dust is for writers wishing to explore and experiment and improve their writing.  Publishing might come as a result of that improvement but we do not offer any promises of publication.

Q I know the writer I’d like to work with and see that she/he is on your site. Can I ask for that writer as my Mentor?

Certainly. Please mention the name of the Mentor you’d like to work with and we’ll do our best to pair you up with him or her, although if they are very busy you may be disappointed and offered an alternative.  At this point, if you decline, your place on the scheme will go to another applicant.

Q Can I talk to someone about why my application was rejected?

Gold Dust regrets but judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into.

Q Where will I meet my Mentor? I’m worried about going to a stranger’s home.

Mentors always meet writers in public places such as galleries, cafes or anywhere else where talking together quietly is possible.  This is agreed between you, via email. Mentors never invite writers to their home and no home contact details are given for the Mentor, although you will have an email address for him or her.

Q I really want to ask my Mentor about doing research and writing a non-fiction book, memoir or biography, is this something they are going to be able to help me with?

Absolutely. We have many experienced biographers and non-fiction writers on the team.  Look up the work of Sally Cline, Midge Gillies and Louise Doughty.

Q  I have fallen ill/ lost interest in my novel/ got a new job. Can I have my money back?

No refunds will be offered to those writers who are accepted onto the scheme.  As there are limited places per year, and competition is high, please make sure you are committed and available, should you win a place on the Gold Dust mentoring scheme.

Q Can I read the testimonies of others who have been mentored?

Yes, click here.

Q How do I know which mentor to choose?

Click on the mentors’ page and read their list of publications and awards.  Or do contact us via the email address and our administrator will discuss choices with you.

Q I am based in Australia/ America/ etc – do any of your mentors offer email mentoring?

Yes – Kathryn Heyman, Kate Pullinger and Shelley Weiner currently do.  Others may do on request – please contact us and enquire.