Manuscript Midwifery

a 3-month program to help you revise your draft

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

I came to Lauren faltering, even with the finish line in sight. Her keen eye, light touch, and deeply compassionate nature allowed me just the right support to move through the stuck place and finish my draft.  Lauren was undaunted by the challenging material in my story. She helped me see what I did well, and hand-selected lessons so I could improve the weaker parts of my text. My manuscript and I are both better now, thanks to Lauren’s skillful coaching.

Jessica Waite

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T18:20:36+00:00

Jessica Waite

I came to Lauren faltering, even with the finish line in sight. Her keen eye, light touch, and deeply compassionate nature allowed me just the right support to move through the stuck place and finish my draft.  Lauren was undaunted by the challenging material in my story. She helped me see what I did well, and hand-selected lessons so I could improve the weaker parts of my text. My manuscript and I are both better now, thanks to Lauren’s skillful coaching.
I had a couple of hard drive's worth of unfinished novels before I started Lauren’s mentorship program. I was about to give up on story-telling when Lauren analyzed what I was doing on a scene-by-scene basis. She found patterns in my work, and provided concrete direction. She also helped me to find a sense of calm in my practice. Now it’s like my brain is re-wired, and I am well on my way to a satisfying finished product. This mentorship program is like hopping on the bullet train after years meandering on a rusty tricycle!

Joanne Loney

Lauren Carter
2022-04-27T15:46:14+00:00

Joanne Loney

I had a couple of hard drive's worth of unfinished novels before I started Lauren’s mentorship program. I was about to give up on story-telling when Lauren analyzed what I was doing on a scene-by-scene basis. She found patterns in my work, and provided concrete direction. She also helped me to find a sense of calm in my practice. Now it’s like my brain is re-wired, and I am well on my way to a satisfying finished product. This mentorship program is like hopping on the bullet train after years meandering on a rusty tricycle!
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Lauren Carter

You wrote a book!

Congratulations! This is no small thing!

Getting that first (or second or third) draft done is a huge accomplishment which proves your tenacity and dedication. Now, it’s time to re-affirm your commitment with rewriting and revision which will add depth, connective, cohesion, and resonance to your story, bringing you fame and fortune (okay, maybe not, but at least, hopefully, some happy readers!).

If you’re finding this part of the process a daunting struggle, I can help – through feedback on your work and Zoom conversations to help you stay connected with your work, figure out what’s working and what’s not, observe the book as a holistic storyline, better understand your character goals and journeys, and more!

My insights on 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 figure out how best to say it. You will deepen your understanding of your early draft(s), written “while not knowing what you are doing,” as Jane Smiley wisely says in 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel.

She goes on: “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,” In this three-month program, we will bring a broader awareness to the creative choices you’ve made (often unconsciously) so you can expand and enrich your book with knowledgable intention.

Revision is my favourite part of the writing process; its gift is the opportunity to study what you made, pull out the most significant strands, deepen your voice, and build an unshakeable arc.  Let me help you find this gift with your work, grow as a writer, and ultimately create a richer and better book for all your lucky readers!

 

Need less intensive help or want to try out my critique services? Read about my Baby Steps Critique Session.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Part coaching, part manuscript evaluation, part ongoing substantive edit, this program will guide you into a deeper relationship with revision. Through weekly accountability check-ins and short, curated lessons on writing craft and process, you’ll broaden your knowledge of writing, strengthen your practice, and make clear progress towards finishing your book!

What you get:

6 one-on-one ZOOM calls

A plot outline evaluation

Inline editorial notes on up to 20,000 words of your manuscript

12 Monday morning accountability check-ins and 6 mini-lessons curated specifically for you!

Unlimited email access to pick my brain through the journey!

THE PRACTICALITIES

The program starts three times a year: in September, January, and April. I encourage registration at least two weeks in advance so you have time to complete your plot outline and we can determine our calendar of Zoom dates and manuscript submission deadlines.

The cost for the three-month program is $1395.  You can pay in full or month-by-month at $360/month (with a commitment in place for the full term), and I also offer a senior discount of 10% (please contact me for either option).

I only accept three clients each session, so if you want to get going on your novel, click to purchase and choose your start date! I’m excited to help you get closer to fulfilling your writing goals!

photo by Anthony Schellenberg

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

Here’s what some of my clients have said

I am so very grateful to you for your editing suggestions and your ongoing encouragement. I didn’t have the confidence to send writing off for publication last year, but your help this year built my confidence, strengthened my writing, and gave me courage to begin submitting my pieces - and now one is being published in an anthology! Thank you for these gifts!

Tabatha Nordby

Lauren Carter
2021-06-01T21:47:47+00:00

Tabatha Nordby

I am so very grateful to you for your editing suggestions and your ongoing encouragement. I didn’t have the confidence to send writing off for publication last year, but your help this year built my confidence, strengthened my writing, and gave me courage to begin submitting my pieces - and now one is being published in an anthology! Thank you for these gifts!
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.
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 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 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.
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!
I came to Lauren faltering, even with the finish line in sight. Her keen eye, light touch, and deeply compassionate nature allowed me just the right support to move through the stuck place and finish my draft.  Lauren was undaunted by the challenging material in my story. She helped me see what I did well, and hand-selected lessons so I could improve the weaker parts of my text. My manuscript and I are both better now, thanks to Lauren’s skillful coaching.

Jessica Waite

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T18:20:36+00:00

Jessica Waite

I came to Lauren faltering, even with the finish line in sight. Her keen eye, light touch, and deeply compassionate nature allowed me just the right support to move through the stuck place and finish my draft.  Lauren was undaunted by the challenging material in my story. She helped me see what I did well, and hand-selected lessons so I could improve the weaker parts of my text. My manuscript and I are both better now, thanks to Lauren’s skillful coaching.
Thank you for a focused workshop that gave me new insight into how I can move forward with a plot that has been bothering me. Your suggestions and writing exercises helped to “jump start” my novel writing process. I feel re-committed to the work I want to do with my story, so I appreciate your insight and skill!

Kim Fahner

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T18:27:09+00:00

Kim Fahner

Thank you for a focused workshop that gave me new insight into how I can move forward with a plot that has been bothering me. Your suggestions and writing exercises helped to “jump start” my novel writing process. I feel re-committed to the work I want to do with my story, so I appreciate your insight and skill!
Lauren is a highly encouraging and knowledgeable teacher. Every time I take one of her classes, I come away with motivation that keeps me going.

Micheline Maylor

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T18:28:02+00:00

Micheline Maylor

Lauren is a highly encouraging and knowledgeable teacher. Every time I take one of her classes, I come away with motivation that keeps me going.
This workshop has been invaluable to me. I came out with so much more knowledge than I had going in, and I am feeling really inspired to jump into my characters. I thought Lauren was phenomenal! Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop!

Teresa Witkowskyj

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T21:30:23+00:00

Teresa Witkowskyj

This workshop has been invaluable to me. I came out with so much more knowledge than I had going in, and I am feeling really inspired to jump into my characters. I thought Lauren was phenomenal! Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop!
An excellent workshop with lots of writing opportunity. Great value for money. Thanks, Lauren!

Diane Ferguson

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T18:29:34+00:00

Diane Ferguson

An excellent workshop with lots of writing opportunity. Great value for money. Thanks, Lauren!
Lauren's blue pencil sessions have helped me to feel more confident and to progress as a writer. Her keen eye for detail and helpful insights have enabled me to bring more nuance and expression to my poetry. I have appreciated having both written notes and a ZOOM call for discussion. Lauren has a supportive, encouraging approach, and it is a joy to work with her.

woman standing alone overlooking a forest landscape

Kerry Galenzoski

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T22:24:13+00:00

Kerry Galenzoski

woman standing alone overlooking a forest landscape
Lauren's blue pencil sessions have helped me to feel more confident and to progress as a writer. Her keen eye for detail and helpful insights have enabled me to bring more nuance and expression to my poetry. I have appreciated having both written notes and a ZOOM call for discussion. Lauren has a supportive, encouraging approach, and it is a joy to work with her.
I had a couple of hard drive's worth of unfinished novels before I started Lauren’s mentorship program. I was about to give up on story-telling when Lauren analyzed what I was doing on a scene-by-scene basis. She found patterns in my work, and provided concrete direction. She also helped me to find a sense of calm in my practice. Now it’s like my brain is re-wired, and I am well on my way to a satisfying finished product. This mentorship program is like hopping on the bullet train after years meandering on a rusty tricycle!

Joanne Loney

Lauren Carter
2022-04-27T15:46:14+00:00

Joanne Loney

I had a couple of hard drive's worth of unfinished novels before I started Lauren’s mentorship program. I was about to give up on story-telling when Lauren analyzed what I was doing on a scene-by-scene basis. She found patterns in my work, and provided concrete direction. She also helped me to find a sense of calm in my practice. Now it’s like my brain is re-wired, and I am well on my way to a satisfying finished product. This mentorship program is like hopping on the bullet train after years meandering on a rusty tricycle!

Lauren’s prompts and insightful guidance helped push me forward, freeing me to write fearlessly and unapologetically through some resistance I’ve been feeling for a long time. Thanks for a great afternoon!


Leanne Fournier

Lauren Carter
2022-04-28T17:07:25+00:00

Leanne Fournier

Lauren’s prompts and insightful guidance helped push me forward, freeing me to write fearlessly and unapologetically through some resistance I’ve been feeling for a long time. Thanks for a great afternoon!
Lauren's Simply Write workshop got me into a much-needed writing groove. Her style is one of encouragement and affirmation, while consistently nudging you to draw more deeply from your well of experience and to translate it into authentic creative expression.

Liz Kornelsen

Lauren Carter
2022-04-28T17:09:07+00:00

Liz Kornelsen

Lauren's Simply Write workshop got me into a much-needed writing groove. Her style is one of encouragement and affirmation, while consistently nudging you to draw more deeply from your well of experience and to translate it into authentic creative expression.
Lauren's session was so valuable. Her calm guidance led me to a writing place where I was able to 'find' a scene I didn't even know I was looking for.

Wendy Burton

Lauren Carter
2022-04-28T17:10:30+00:00

Wendy Burton

Lauren's session was so valuable. Her calm guidance led me to a writing place where I was able to 'find' a scene I didn't even know I was looking for.
[This workshop was] an inspirational day that helped me get in touch with my character’s motivations and to move forward with confidence.

Susanne McLarty

Lauren Carter
2022-04-28T16:52:28+00:00

Susanne McLarty

[This workshop was] an inspirational day that helped me get in touch with my character’s motivations and to move forward with confidence.
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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. 

Currently enrolled in – and halfway finished – the SFU Editors Certificate program. 

 

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, and a fifth on the way! 

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.”

Baby Steps Critique 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 5,000 words (add on additional words for .04 cents / word ). 
  • I’ll point out strengths, give you questions to consider, and make suggestions for ways to strengthen, focus, or further explore your work 
  • Notes and in-line editorial comments will be emailed
  • Questions and discussion of solutions and your next steps over Zoom

Cost: $280

Lauren's blue pencil sessions have helped me to feel more confident and to progress as a writer. Her keen eye for detail and helpful insights have enabled me to bring more nuance and expression to my poetry. I have appreciated having both written notes and a ZOOM call for discussion. Lauren has a supportive, encouraging approach, and it is a joy to work with her.

woman standing alone overlooking a forest landscape

Kerry Galenzoski

Lauren Carter
2021-08-25T22:24:13+00:00

Kerry Galenzoski

woman standing alone overlooking a forest landscape
Lauren's blue pencil sessions have helped me to feel more confident and to progress as a writer. Her keen eye for detail and helpful insights have enabled me to bring more nuance and expression to my poetry. I have appreciated having both written notes and a ZOOM call for discussion. Lauren has a supportive, encouraging approach, and it is a joy to work with her.
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Lauren Carter

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