Novel Coaching 

Testimonials

Why Me?

Blue Pencil Session

One-on-One ZOOM Call

A Four-Month Program To Help You Revise Your Novel

You’ve written a novel. What now?

First of all: congratulations! It’s no small thing to complete an entire draft of a book! 

But you’ll only be cheating yourself if you stop now, as it’s rewriting and revision which will truly bring your story will to life!

If you’re struggling to start or stay engaged with this stage of the writing process, I can help you find your way in this one-on-one mentorship.

Weekly e-mail check-ins combined with monthly deadlines and one-on-one ZOOM meetings to go over my feedback will keep you on track.

My insights on elements of narrative arc, character, point-of-view, and other craft and writer-life issues will help you broaden your conceptualization of what you want to say – and how best to say it. 

You will deepen your understanding of your characters, themes, structure, and all of the ways you’ve chosen to tell your story “while not knowing what you are doing,” as Jane Smiley so wisely says in 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. 

“You can’t pick the ideal point of view, the right protagonist, the ideal plot, or the perfect setting; you can only pick ones that offer some benefits and some deficits,” she writes. In this four-month program, we will bring a broader awareness to these creative choices so you can consciously expand, enrich (and maybe even finish) your book.  

Revision is my favourite part of the writing process! Let me help you deepen your relationship with your work, grow as a writer, improve your manuscript, and ultimately create a richer and better book! 

 

Need less intensive help or want to try out my critique services? Read about my Blue Pencil Critique and Coaching service.

How Does It Work?

Once you register, I’ll ask you to send me a 1-2 page plot outline or synopsis (if you’ve never written one before, I can offer some tips) and an initial submission of 2,000 words. 

After that, we will meet on a ZOOM call to talk about your plot outline, your concerns and/or craft questions, and my notes on the first submission. Together, we’ll create an action plan so you’re clear on your next steps. 

Every Monday after that, I will send you an e-mail check in so we stay connected. At the end of each month, you will submit a section of your manuscript up to 5,000 words (for a total of 22,000 words by the end of a four-month mentorship).

I’ll provide you with specific developmental/substantive notes on the submission which you can review before our monthly ZOOM call. On our calls I’ll answer any questions, help you talk through any issues, or assist with issues of motivation, procrastination, and other related topics. 

THE PRACTICALITIES

My novel coaching sessions start at the first of the month, with a minimum one-month commitment (although the full four months is ideal for really digging into your novel!) Prior to the start date, I will send you a short questionnaire to determine our ZOOM call dates followed by an outline of our time together with the video call links.

The cost for the full four months is $1395.  You can pay in full or month-by-month at $360/month. Want to get going right away? Click the orange button to purchase and choose your start date! I’m excited to read your work and to help you get closer to fulfilling your writing goals! 

photo by Anthony Schellenberg

Interested but need funding? Check out your provincial arts councils and the Canada Council for the Arts to see if you might be eligible for grant funding. You could also try a blue pencil critique session with me or take a class to start!

Here’s what some of my clients have said

I was stuck, and just could not make myself get to my desk and start working again even though I had projects waiting. Lauren's course really kick-started me. I found the connection with the other participants and the conversations triggered by the course material to be enormously helpful and inspiring. I am back at my desk, committed to a regular writing practice again. Thanks, Lauren, this course was exactly what I needed to get working again.

Nancy Hall

Lauren Carter
2019-03-15T20:46:42+00:00

Nancy Hall

I was stuck, and just could not make myself get to my desk and start working again even though I had projects waiting. Lauren's course really kick-started me. I found the connection with the other participants and the conversations triggered by the course material to be enormously helpful and inspiring. I am back at my desk, committed to a regular writing practice again. Thanks, Lauren, this course was exactly what I needed to get working again.
Lauren is a wonderful coach! She was always thoughtful, supportive, insightful and ready with just the right readings and resources. These days, the fact that I’ve committed to keeping my writing time [when faced with childcare challenges], rather than just throwing up my hands and losing steam (as has happened in the past) says a lot about how far I’ve come in the two months I’ve been with her! I really *feel* like a writer who is actively engaged in her practice! I am so excited about what is to come, and I’m so grateful for all she’s done to help me along the way!

Tara Borin

Lauren Carter
2018-05-06T15:42:43+00:00

Tara Borin

Lauren is a wonderful coach! She was always thoughtful, supportive, insightful and ready with just the right readings and resources. These days, the fact that I’ve committed to keeping my writing time [when faced with childcare challenges], rather than just throwing up my hands and losing steam (as has happened in the past) says a lot about how far I’ve come in the two months I’ve been with her! I really *feel* like a writer who is actively engaged in her practice! I am so excited about what is to come, and I’m so grateful for all she’s done to help me along the way!
I’m writing regularly on my own stuff now. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for 20+ years, but I’ve always had reasons why I couldn’t keep it up: the year-end is due, I have freelance writing deadlines, I have a 10+ item list of admin tasks; I’m a Mom; I’m busy! Lauren, very patiently, supportively, and non-judgmentally, gave me resources that spoke to my situation, put up a mirror to my “crazies”, and encouraged me to kick them down one by one. It was quite a journey and I’m eternally grateful!

A.G.

Lauren Carter
2018-05-06T15:43:19+00:00

A.G.

I’m writing regularly on my own stuff now. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for 20+ years, but I’ve always had reasons why I couldn’t keep it up: the year-end is due, I have freelance writing deadlines, I have a 10+ item list of admin tasks; I’m a Mom; I’m busy! Lauren, very patiently, supportively, and non-judgmentally, gave me resources that spoke to my situation, put up a mirror to my “crazies”, and encouraged me to kick them down one by one. It was quite a journey and I’m eternally grateful!
I’m feeling really great about the writing; thank you so much for helping me get my practice back!

E.C.

Lauren Carter
2018-05-06T15:43:50+00:00

E.C.

I’m feeling really great about the writing; thank you so much for helping me get my practice back!
Lauren is a personable, astute listener-teacher who gives thought-provoking challenges and exercises.

M. Guymer

Lauren Carter
2019-03-19T19:46:54+00:00

M. Guymer

Lauren is a personable, astute listener-teacher who gives thought-provoking challenges and exercises.
Before I did my blue pencil critique session with Lauren I wasn’t sure if I’d ever finish my novel. My revisions weren’t going well and I had encountered several structural problems I didn’t know how to resolve. After meeting with Lauren I feel excited about it again. She was incredibly insightful and helped me build confidence in my creative process. She provided me with the tools, knowledge and resources I need to restructure my novel. Lauren also helped me create a clear plan I can follow to accomplish my goals without feeling so overwhelmed.

E. B. Page

Lauren Carter
2019-03-19T19:50:27+00:00

E. B. Page

Before I did my blue pencil critique session with Lauren I wasn’t sure if I’d ever finish my novel. My revisions weren’t going well and I had encountered several structural problems I didn’t know how to resolve. After meeting with Lauren I feel excited about it again. She was incredibly insightful and helped me build confidence in my creative process. She provided me with the tools, knowledge and resources I need to restructure my novel. Lauren also helped me create a clear plan I can follow to accomplish my goals without feeling so overwhelmed.
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Lauren Carter

Who Am I?

what makes me such an expert?

MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. 

Certificate in Teaching and Training Adult Learners from Georgian College. 

Have taught writers throughout North America, including Mexico, and online. 

 

In-depth coursework in creativity coaching through the Creativity Coaching Association, including Beginning and Advanced Creativity Coaching 16-week courses with Eric Maisel and the 8-week course Building the Coaching Relationship with Creative Clients. 

Published in countless anthologies (including Best Canadian Fiction, selected by John Metcalf), newspapers, and magazines (National Geographic Traveler and the Globe and Mail among others), as well as most major Canadian literary journals: Prairie Fire, the Fiddlehead, Grain, The New Quarterly, and others. 

Four books traditionally published, including two novels, with agency representation. 

Nominated for the Giller Prize, the Journey Prize, and longlisted multiple times for the CBC Literary Awards in both poetry and fiction. 

Winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction (for my second novel) and past recipient of multiple arts grants, including the Manitoba Arts Council’s Major Arts Award, a $30,000 grant for artists “whose works shows exceptional quality and accomplishment.”

Blue Pencil Critique & Coaching Session

Are you stuck? If you are stymied by structure, confused about character, bewildered by the balance of show and tell, I can help! 

What you get: 

  • A read-through and in-depth critique of up to 20 pages of your work (double spaced, 12-point font)
  • I’ll point out strengths, give you questions to consider, and make suggestions for ways to strengthen, focus, or further explore your story, poems, essay, or excerpt from your memoir or novel
  • Notes and in-line editorial comments will be emailed
  • Questions and discussion of solutions and your next steps over ZOOM

Cost: $200

One-on-One Coaching Call

Sometimes all you need is a single call to figure out where you’re going, talk through a sticky craft issue, set goals, re-orient your practice, or discuss a pesky block. I can also give industry and career advice about agents, publishers, grants, and figuring out what to do with that completed manuscript. 

What you get: 

  • One 60-min call over phone or ZOOM
  • We’ll explore where you’re at with your creative practice/project and where you want to be
  • We’ll identify manageable goals to get you on your way!
  • Once you purchase, I’ll be in touch to set up a time!

 

Cost: $80/call

Want to know more? I’d love to connect with you… 

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