‘I will never forget the Gold Dust experience. Sitting with Jill Dawson at Wicken Fen café, talking with someone who believed in the characters and world I was creating and – as importantly – believed in me as a writer. Focusing tightly on the work but also roving widely over our reading and writing experiences and exploring how they related to our own lives. Jill helped me to capture immediacy in my writing and stay true to my own voice. She is perceptive, direct, energetic, quick to question a character’s dodgy motivation, equally quick to celebrate what works. Thank you Jill.’
Chris Buckton mentored by Jill Dawson
‘I have benefited from Sally’s mentoring in ways I could not have imagined. Sally challenged in ways that brought out skills I did not think I possessed and her energy and commitment to me never tired. Her instincts and wisdom were incalculable in the benefits she brought to my writing. I shall always remember our sessions for the clarity and insight that was brought to bear on my inexperienced and nervous attempts to express myself through writing.’
Angela McPherson, mentored by Sally Cline
‘Sal was a real help. The ‘infection of courage’ is her speciality. It is difficult to work without deadlines, critical reading and encouragement – Sal provided all three, the latter, particularly, in bucket loads.’
Katherine McInnes, mentored by Sally Cline
‘Being part of this programme has enabled me to acquire a realistic perspective regarding my ability as a writer. It is apparent how far Sally has taken me when I compare a piece of writing from a year ago to any of the last pieces I completed under her mentorship. With Sally’s help, I have developed a better critical eye when examining my own work and I can almost hear her in my head during the editing process. Her feedback was always honest and although sometimes hard to take, was always fair. I am going to miss working with her but look forward to reaping the rewards of the hard work we both invested in the process.’
Milton, mentored by Sally Cline
‘I cannot imagine better tutoring/mentoring than I experienced in the last one year with Shelley. To put down good ideas and a strong plot on paper is one thing, but to go through the step by step process of crafting a readable novel is a totally different experience. I would not have known how to write in a consistent, structured and emotionally deeper way, if I had not gone through the sessions with Shelley. She has not only looked deep into the content and the storyline, but also enabled me to create more plausible, real characters. The concept of point of view against a camera vision allowed me the freedom to build and evolve the main characters in a more natural manner.
Shelley is an understanding and devoted mentor, who recognizes your ‘ups and downs’ during the mentoring process. She appreciates the pressures and setbacks that you may feel throughout the writing process. Her constant encouragement and guidance have made me confident of completing my project in a far more streamlined manner. I feel fully armed with the right techniques of story writing.’
S. Raina, mentored by Shelley Weiner
‘It has been a great privilege to work with Sally. Her thoroughness was incredible – and like nothing I had encountered during my MA. Her insight was amazing and always proved correct. She seemed to know my own doubts about a particular character or scene before I knew them myself! My writing has improved considerably under her tutelage, as has my editing (I like to imagine a miniature Sally sitting on my shoulder guiding me through as I do this!). Above all, her constant encouragement and belief in my work has helped me keep going.
‘It has been such a joy to work with her and I will treasure those momentsforever.’
Jen Morgan, mentored by Sally Cline
‘Without Louise’s guidance, support and friendship, I think I’d still be muddling around in a quagmire of multi-narratives, cloying clichés and brain-numbing superlatives. It’s been a wonderful and rewarding year working together, and if I achieve any success, it will be all thanks to Louise’s skill and patience.’
Paula Yare mentored by Louise Doughty
‘I had written about a third of a draft of a novel, and had a rough outline for the rest of the book, when I approached Gold Dust. As someone used to external deadlines, I was finding it hard to create a working rhythm for writing – which has to fit in with demands of work, family, life. I lacked confidence that the writing itself was good enough to justify the sacrifices required to finish that elusive first draft.
I will always be grateful to Jill Dawson for taking me on as a mentee. Our sessions provided a structure and pace to my writing at a time where I had got quite stuck. Our sessions in the British Library café were energizing; she read my work closely and critically, and was an enthusiastic champion. Jill is very generous and open in sharing her own experiences as a writer, and has helped me develop the confidence and discipline I needed to complete that first draft. Gold Dust is not cheap, but looking back at the mentoring experience, I know it has been money well spent – a great investment in my writing life.’
Rachel Clare, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘Over the past couple of years, Louise Doughty has been the most extraordinarily generous mentor to me. Louise is both informative and inspirational. She is honest in her critical appraisal of my writing, but tempers it with warm encouragement. She has seen the best in my work ,understanding the possibilties inherent within it, and then shown me precisely how to improve it. She has taught me the technical craft of writing, without removing any of the joyous alchemy involved in the writing process.
‘Louise is a professional and has demanded the same professionalism of me. When my work had finally reached a point when it was ready to show to the industry, Louise used her personal contacts to get my work read.
Over the past couple of years, Louise has made our work together feel like a collaboration, an exploration, and a glorious journey in a resolute and unremitting search for honest and good writing.
I feel astoundingly privileged to have had Louise in my writing life, and any success I have achieved is directly a result of working with her.’
Charlotte Macleod, mentored by Louise Doughty
‘My mentoring experience with Jill Dawson and Gold Dust was fantastic. Jill was honest, positive and extremely supportive and most of all (which surely is what we want from a mentor) has helped me discover the right direction for my novel to go in. I have learnt a huge amount, both about the art of writing and my own writing. It has been a joy to be mentored by her.’
Joanna Parry-Gokce, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘Through the recommendation of a close friend, I heard about Gold Dust and Shelley Weiner, and started to work with her soon afterwards. I got so much out of our time together: her focus on detail (without ever losing sight of the main thrust of the story and the development of the main characters) was critical in helping me to define what I was trying to say. She is remorseless in her pursuit of excellence in writing – though in a very human and understanding way – pushing you to mine the richest seam of potential from every character and development of the plot. She made me think about the whole process of writing in a different, deeper and more rewarding way. Shelley was hugely encouraging and supportive throughout – calm, authoritative and sympathetic. I really felt that I had her full support, belief and understanding in the sometimes lonely and frustrating task of writing on such a scale. I can’t recommend her highly enough.’
Richard Marson, mentored by Shelley Weiner
‘Since being offered a place on Gold Dust mentoring scheme to develop the rough beginnings of a novel to full manuscript my writing has transformed. I have learned so much about my writing, my self and my story since working with Sally Cline. Her critical and creative skills have inspired me to hone my craft and understand my motivations as a writer. Her enthusiasm and compassion have helped me through some difficult personal experiences during this time, kept me focussed and positive and convinced that I really do have something – my writing skills and story – worth sticking with. Sally Cline’s energy and drive is an inspiration and Gold Dust as a scheme has been instrumental in nurturing the skills and confidence I needed to progress as a writer. This has just been proved by my securing literary representation last week from my first choice agency on my first mail out. I know have an enthusiastic agent in a reputable and established agency who has already been in talks with publishers showing a strong level of interest in the novel. So fingers crossed for a publishing deal later in the year! What more can I say than a deeply felt thank you Gold Dust, thank you Sal.’
Sarah Gibson Yates, mentored by Sally Cline
‘I heard Jill Dawson speak at a writers’ event, and knew instantly that here was the woman who could coax my rambling scribblings into something approaching a book. Thankfully she took on the challenge, and together we immersed ourselves in the world of fraud in 1840s. The structure that Jill gave to my writing – with deadline and tasks – was invaluable in keeping me on track, while her insightful questions and laser-like pinpointing of holes in the plot made my book a thousand times better than I could have managed alone. But perhaps the most valuable thing she gave me was confidence: she referred to me as a writer, so I started to believe that I was a writer, and this gave me permission to ignore the ironing and get on with “my job”. Whether or not the resulting book is ever published (and we have hopes), I shall consider my Gold Dust experience an investment in myself that has been worth every single penny.’
‘I approached Gold Dust in 2008 because I had a strong idea for a biography but was unsure of how to proceed. I had been writing for over 20 years (poetry, songs, journalism) but had never thought of writing a biography.
‘I knew I would benefit from Gold Dust mentoring but couldn’t afford the fee. Someone suggested Arts Council funding and within months I had attained a Grants for the Arts Awards enabling entry to the mentoring programme.
‘I was lucky enough to be paired with Sally Cline and our work together started in September 2008. Sally is a talented, successful writer who generously shares her experiences. She gave me heaps of advice about writing, publishing and promoting biographies.
Sally boosted my confidence and forced me take both my ideas and talent seriously. I came away from every meeting feeling stretched, supported and inspired by my mentor. She also offered a constant stream of advice and encouragement via email, phone and snail mail.
We’re still in touch and I continue to be inspired by her. Sally has more physical, mental and creative energy than anyone I’ve ever met. She is a magical mentor and a wonderful woman.’
‘It has been an extremely useful and, at times, vital experience. I think I was a rather difficult student, in that I came ‘fully formed’ in some ways – i.e. I have completed 5 novels ( – all unpublished) and perhaps I was not sufficiently open to new or different approaches to what I produced for Shelley. At first I certainly felt resistance on my part. I appreciated her attention to detail and her encouragement from the start, as well as her patience in teasing out nuances in my characters. I have learnt some basic essentials to the craft, such as sticking to the past tense more consistently in describing action; and the thorny problem of point of view has become much clearer for me now. However, more significantly, after about session five I found that she had a different ‘take’ on some very important aspects of the novel I was working on. Fortunately I could see that she was absolutely right. And I worked to accommodate her more subtle approach.
‘She enthusiastically supported my changing from one novel, to beginning another, about a third of the way through the mentoring year.
‘I think we have developed a trusting relationship, where I have been able to share with her some of the tribulations of this process. She helpfully shared with me some of her experiences in this tough business of writing and being published. During the mentoring year I found an agent based on a previous novel, and Shelley has been extremely supportive over that big step.
I would like to add that she has been very generous with her time. She has on a few occasions offered and given much more than the specified time to read my work.
‘All in all, I feel very privileged to have had this degree of intimate and skilful input.
So, many thanks of course to Gold Dust for providing the ‘umbrella’ under which I have worked with Shelley.’
Dorothy Judd, mentored by Shelley Weiner
‘Shelley has mentored my writing for over a year and I found her calm, determined, authoritative style a perfect antidote to my panicky worries about structure, character, authenticity, description, voice, perspective, grammar and tension – and that was just page one. She talks from experience and understands what a new writer is going through. She doesn’t magically solve your problems for you but gets you into a place where you can (hopefully) solve them by yourself. Shelley offers a firm hand when you’re feeling wobbly and is quietly supportive and encouraging just when you need it. I think I may have found a friend for life
Anne Gilchrist, mentored by Shelley Weiner
‘Shelley Weiner is a dedicated and committed teacher, whose enthusiasm about my project helped enormously to motivate me through writing an entire first draft. I am grateful for her continued support and frank.’
Detailed feedback Judy Battalion, mentored by Shelley Weiner
‘When I applied to Gold Dust I had written a novel and was struggling to find an agent. I didn’t know if my novel was any good, or if I should just put it away and start another. I was accepted in October 2009 and I found an agent in Australia at around the same time so I decided to leave the first novel alone and use the mentorship to progress with a second.
‘I liked Lesley Glaister as soon as I met her and it’s been wonderful having someone so experienced to work with. My novel was at a very early stage when I began the mentorship, and I’ve been stuck several times already – I really struggle with first drafts. But Lesley’s brilliant, always ready with suggestions and reassurance. I usually sense when something’s working, but when things go wrong can take me ages to recognise why. Lesley will tell me when she can’t ‘see’ a character I’m working on, or if the voice isn’t right. But crucially, she also has an instinct for when to simply leave it to me – the novel is still very much mine and there are some things I need to figure out through trial and error.
‘In April I signed a two book deal with Random House Australia. My first novel, Desert Fish, will be published early in 2011 in their Vintage imprint and I want to deliver the novel I’m writing now as my second book. I’m about half way through and I aim to finish a first draft by the end of the year.
‘I felt completely stuck when I applied to Gold Dust and it was a real step forward. Getting a publishing deal has been brilliant, but it’s a beginning, not an arrival. I won’t have the luxury of time that I had when I wrote Desert Fish, and I’m finding Lesley’s guidance and support invaluable. Gold Dust is for people who take their writing seriously. It’s been a brilliant investment for me, worth every penny.’
‘A year or so after completing an MA I was experiencing a low ebb of confidence and could see only how difficult it was going to be to complete a first draft of my novel. I knew I needed someone to help me set and enforce deadlines as well as to give me consistent feedback on what was working and what was not. Being accepted onto the Gold Dust programme has given me exactly that. I feel extremely fortunate to have been matched with Louise as my mentor. We discussed and agreed the way we would work together, have set deadlines and have kept to them. The greatest benefit to me so far has, in many ways, been the most unexpected; it is the encouragement that she has given me. When we talk I feel that the characters I have created have an existence in her mind’s eye, and that degree of engagement with my work is remarkable to me. She has also encouraged me to add complexity to the plot, which now done seems to have always been inevitable, but would have taken me a long time to achieve on my own.
‘That is not to say she is uncritical, but only rarely do I disagree with her comments, and I have found that her recommendations on trimming the text are now influencing the work I am producing.
‘I am half way through the programme and may already be suffering separation anxiety.
Rowena Dunn, mentored by Louise Doughty
‘I just wanted to thank you again for all your help over the past year. I certainly would not have produced such a focused and consistent piece of work without you. I think at the outset I said that I felt it would be good to have someone to challenge me, someone whose work I respected but who wrote differently from myself. I think it worked, and I have really appreciated your professionalism as a mentor and your interest in me as a developing writer.’
Jon Chapman, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘I embarked on the Gold Dust adventure with some misgivings, but was immediately reassured on meeting Sal. Her friendly, but rigorous approach was exactly right and under her guidance my manuscript has improved immeasurably. Plot, character and language have all been developed and tightened and I now feel I have a story which is ready for submission. However it fares, the journey to completion has been fruitful and enjoyable and I recommend the course to any would-be Gold Dusters. Thanks, Sal.’
Liz Hourston, mentored by Sally Cline.
‘Without Jill Dawson I would probably still be reading travel books on Iran rather than getting on with writing the novel in which the main character is from Iranian parentage.
‘With Jill’s inspiration I finished a polished first draft of the novel within 8 months.
‘When I applied for a mentor I had written two novels that were not published. What I needed was permission to start a third novel, somebody to tell me that I can write. Jill gave me the necessary encouragement, and most of all, raised my confidence as a writer.
‘I’m a serious writer. My novel is publishable. I deserve your respect,’ were the positive thoughts she gave me as a parting homework during our last session, to keep in mind when writing to agents.
‘If you have been writing for a long time and are losing confidence because of a lack of success, try Gold Dust.’
Fatima Martin, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘Working with Jill Dawson was like having an experienced writing friend who provided editorial input, motivation and industry insight in equal and plentiful measure.’
‘Put simply, Michelle Spring helped me to transform a creaky outline into a polished first draft. But so much more – she combines a powerful analysis of plot and searching insights into character with a sympathetic and supportive approach to her ‘mentees’. A highly successful writer in her own right, Michelle understands the process and will deftly guide you through, around or over the many obstacles along the way.’
Kathryn N. Skoyles (Escalator Award-Winner, whose novel is currently with her agent), mentored by Michelle Spring
‘Having just completed my year with a mentor, I can honestly say that there is no way I would have been able to produce a 60,000 word novel in twelve months without her. The experience was exactly what I needed and had hoped for. Whilst regretting that this amazing creative period has come to an end, I do now feel energised and ready to engage with the literary world. If you are serious about writing, and about becoming ‘a writer’, then you owe it to yourself to sign up.’
Helen Bettinson, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘I have just come to the end of my Gold Dust mentoring year and simultaneously completed the first draft of my first novel. It has been hard work but hugely rewarding, rather like a fast-track MA in Creative Writing only better as the monthly one-to-one feedback and discussion sessions that I had with my mentor could address my specific needs. I have learnt so much and feel so much better equipped to move ahead with my writing. I am eternally grateful to my wonderful mentor and so delighted to have had the “Gold Dust” experience.’
Lesley Gray, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘I had reached a crossroads in my writing (although it felt more like a dead end!) when I met Jill Dawson and learnt about the Gold Dust mentoring scheme. I knew I could write but had experienced enough knocks to make me wonder whether it was worth continuing. Jill showed me that it was. She has restored my self-belief and rekindled my passion for writing, and that alone is enough for me to be forever indebted to her. The future is still uncertain but I feel much better equipped to deal with the challenges of becoming published. I knew I didn’t need yet another bog-standard writing course teaching me the nuts and bolts, although Jill’s experience was invaluable in helping me iron out some structural issues in my novel, I needed an ally; someone who cared whether or not I sent in a few thousand words a month to read. Having regular deadlines gave my productivity and confidence such a boost that I not only finished my novel during my time with Jill, I started on a second. Jill was warm, patient, constructive and inspiring. I cannot thank her, or Gold Dust enough.’
Anne Catchpole, mentored by Jill Dawson
‘I have to admit that initially I was angry that I had to ‘resort’ to seeking help from a mentor; I had heard of the scheme back in December 06 but at that time, I was confident that I had something that agents and publishers would leap at. I wrote down the name and began sending out my work.
‘My initial agent’s rejection merely spurred me on to write a better book proposal but even when that had been achieved, the rejection letters continued to appear and by the late Summer I found myself in a position whereby I had ten rejections from my first few chapters and two from reading the entire manuscript. These two last rejections were what propelled me forward to seek help for both had singled out structural and editing issues and the consensus was that my book needed repair work.
‘I did not know what to expect from Sally and I found the prospect of someone critiquing my precious work daunting, although her cheery emails put me at great ease. I remember at our first meeting how horrified I was when she told me that she would not, as I had expected, be reading my work first, but that we would dissect it chapter by chapter. However would we finish the book? I wondered. I soon saw sense in her method and as she justly accused me of littering the work with cliches, poor language and 2 dimensional characters I quickly realised that I had been naive to think that I was ready for publication.
‘Halfway through my mentoring period, I decided with Sally’s blessing, that I would take everything that I had learnt from her and that I would come back in a few months time, with something resembling a novel. It was almost eight months later that I sent the manuscript back to Sally but in that time, the one day a week and the odd writing retreat that I devoted to my book enabled me to digest her advice and produce a more accomplished novel.
Sally was utterly brilliant; I found her no-nonsense approach exactly what I needed and to have found somebody who appreciated my sense of humour was a wonderful bonus. And I have chosen to continue with her; I have some minor repairs to conduct on my final draft and I shall be seeking her help to write my book proposal.
‘Last but not least, Ruby, I cannot thank you enough for setting up this scheme; you have done a great service to up-and-coming writers and I feel enormously privileged to have been a part of it.’
Jacqueline Cloake, mentored by Sally Cline
‘An intensely rewarding experience which gave me an insight into how to get under the skin of my characters.’
Katharine Morton, Cambridge
‘I have valued the opportunity of this mentorship immensely and found it an extremely useful process. Sally’s and my goal for our work together was to take what were essentially poetic vignettes rather than true short stories, and turn them into stories. The work was challenging but also enjoyable, although sometimes less so when I was at home alone wrestling with an old habit! Sally has a very warm manner and I always found her criticism constructive and illuminating. I very much enjoyed working with her and am sorry the mentorship has now come to an end.
‘Sally and I focused intensively on the mechanics of short story writing, taking my work back to the basics to look at what I do well in my writing and the areas that needed strengthening. Our aim was not to change my writing ‘voice’ but to look at specific elements of my work and improve their effectiveness. We worked on plot, characterisation and including more dialogue. We also focused on structuring my stories and making them less meandering and vague, while constantly looking in detail at the language I was using.
‘I now have a much greater understanding of how a short story works and have applied this knowledge to existing stories as well as writing new pieces. Sally has also helped me to identify the recurrent themes in my work, which I am now able to build on to pull my stories together into a cohesive body of work. From having written a selection of unfinished and unsatisfactory pieces, I now have a small collection of finished stories that I feel confident about sending to competitions and hopefully publishing.’
Anne Prouse, London
‘I am indebted to my Mentor, Jill Dawson. Our sessions have provided me with a real sense of purpose, and the feedback I have received at each one has been invaluable: constructive, focused and tactful. My Mentor has truly inspired me, and given me the confidence to pursue writing as a career.’
Stephanie Cross, London
‘Having a professional spend time looking at my manuscript and being able to offer advice on all aspects of writing was invaluable – I would highly recommend it to everyone with a manuscript that is not quite there yet – a second opinion (that isn’t your best friend or your mother) is incredibly useful – and with this scheme you can always argue your case.’
Victoria Patch, Dartington, mentored by Kathryn Heyman.
‘The mentoring scheme’s frequent (and much needed) deadlines provided me with stability and focus, as I juggled lecturing, research trips, funding applications, administration work and housing concerns with the main business of writing itself. I looked to both Sally Cline (my mentor) and Jill Dawson (my tutor at UEA who recommended the scheme) as examples of established writers who had managed to balance such issues.
‘When Sally Cline and I drew up our contract during the first mentoring session, we agreed to redraft the first section of my three-part novel, The Gossamer Year, to a publishable standard. We also aimed to rework the climactic scenes at the beginning of part three. Each session involved two elements: a critique of a twenty page novel extract, submitted chronologically; and a chance to reflect on a previous submission, redrafted in light of the last mentor meeting.
Certainly, the first part of my novel has now reached a much higher standard. Sally was both an exacting and supportive influence throughout this rigorous process of reworking. We will redraft the climactic scenes during the last two hours of mentoring. The mentoring has further developed my own critical faculties. I now feel more confident about working alone to improve and complete the rest of my novel. Sally’s advice was particularly useful in encouraging me to concentrate not only on each individual line, but to look more closely at plot, pace, character and overarching structure.
‘Sally’s generosity, with both her time and experience, provided me with insights into commercial as well as artistic considerations. I now feel better equipped to create and maintain a compelling narrative – although this still remains one of my greatest challenges. She also provided invaluable and patient advice about the synopsis of my novel, helping me to create, eventually, a document that makes The Gossamer Year sound both commercially viable and literary. The mentoring process has ended with me having approached literary agents. Claire Alexander of Gillon Aitken and Kate Jones of ICM have expressed interest and have asked to read the full manuscript once it is completed – a task I aim to achieve by February.’
‘I found this mentorship invaluable. When I first met Kathryn last May, I had been working on my novel on and off for three years, struggling to make the transition from short stories. I was wallowing around in almost 70,000 words which were not really going anywhere and I’d given myself one last year to sink or swim. Kathryn and I made a plan, set deadlines to keep up the impetus and – with wonderful brio and humour – she encouraged me to be brave, to put aside sentence by sentence fiddling until I had tackled the larger structure of my novel. The focus on plot and structure was just what I needed and, with her consistent support and guidance over the months, I grew confident enough to cut away great chunks and rearrange others, and to keep pushing on. Kathryn is a stimulating and inspirational teacher. At each stage, with clear thinking, infectious energy and enthusiasm, she provided detailed verbal and written constructive criticism, mixed with praise, and she was particularly skilful at prompting me to ask myself questions, about each character and their role in the narrative, about tension and the ordering of scenes. It was exactly what I needed. Kathryn’s guidance helped me to ‘discover’ what my novel was actually about. Well within my target year, the novel was out there in the real world, with an agent.’
Jane Rusbridge, mentored by Kathryn Heyman.
‘I was lucky enough to be mentored by Sally Cline during the winter of 06/07 and found the process transformative, challenging and utterly essential. I took a first novel to her which had become bogged in bad habits and ignorance of good technique and with her guidance and firm resistance to all things clichéd I produced a manuscript which has won me a literary agent. Not only am I now further along the path to being published, I have learnt how to write and how not to write. The insight Sally brought to my work was impossible for me to see alone. I doubt such strides could have been achieved without her. She was a joy to work with; fierce, kind and unfailingly positive. I always left our tutorials feeling buoyed up by her ability to combine honesty with encouragement. She refused to let standards drop. As a result I have discovered it is always possible to find the right word and impossible to hide a wrong one. I would encourage all first time novelists to work with a mentor. The worst that can happen is that you will have to rewrite your novel. The best that can happen is that you will have to rewrite your novel.’
Ella Anstruther, mentored by Sally Cline
‘Jill Dawson has enabled so many new writers, through her work with the Royal Literary Fund and Arts Council England, to write better, and Gold Dust is another brilliant opportunity. I have had the privilege of working with both Sally Cline and Kate Pullinger. Not only have they looked after my words but they have looked after me, and these periods of my writing life I shall always be grateful for.
‘Kathryn Heyman is a revelatory teacher. I love her directness, her honesty, her clarity and her humour. There is always laughter, sometimes an epiphany – literally I feel like I’ve heard the slud and slide of pieces/words/stories falling into place. She is brilliant, and each time I have gone away with the confidence to know what to do.‘
Miranda Landgraf, mentored by Kathryn Heyman
‘Having Shelley Weiner as my mentor this last year 2008-09 has been a rewarding experience. She has read my novel and provided me with positive critical feedback on a monthly basis, which has been invaluable in helping me develop my confidence and abilities as a writer.
I doubt I would have been able to progress as far without her professional editorial support.’
‘I thoroughly enjoyed the Gold Dust experience. It was an excellent discipline ensuring that finished exercises were presented on time. The mentoring was educational and rewarding. I learnt a tremendous amount about creative writing in a relatively short time.
I was tutored by Jill Dawson and Kathryn Heyman who both gave me insight and encouragement. They are both delightful and accomplished women and it was a pleasure to meet them. Although I only ‘met’ Kathryn on the phone, we immediately established a good rapport I hope to have a short story published this year as a direct result of their help and encouragement. I have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone wishing to fine tune their creative writing skills.’