Manuscript Mentorship Program

an intensive 12-week program to help you revise your working 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!
I have learned more about writing and about myself as a writer in these three months than I have in years of taking online courses. Lauren’s insight and suggestions are thoughtful and helpful, and having her give direct feedback on my actual words has given me a far deeper understanding of the craft of writing and where my own shortcomings were hiding. I’m coming away from this with a renewed faith in myself and my work, and a bolstered enthusiasm for writing in general!

Laura-Lee Pernsky

Lauren Carter
2022-06-23T19:24:52+00:00

Laura-Lee Pernsky

I have learned more about writing and about myself as a writer in these three months than I have in years of taking online courses. Lauren’s insight and suggestions are thoughtful and helpful, and having her give direct feedback on my actual words has given me a far deeper understanding of the craft of writing and where my own shortcomings were hiding. I’m coming away from this with a renewed faith in myself and my work, and a bolstered enthusiasm for writing in general!
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Lauren Carter

You wrote a book! Congratulations! It’s no small thing!

Completing a draft is a huge accomplishment which proves your tenacity and dedication. Now, it’s time to re-affirm your commitment. Through investigative, thorough, and smart revision you can add depth, connectivity, cohesion, and resonance to your story, bringing you fame and fortune (okay, maybe not, but hopefully some happy and hooked readers!).

If you’re finding this part of the process daunting, I can help. This intensive 12-week program is designed to submerge you in the revision process with me as your support, guide, cheerleader, counsellor, and sounding board. Through analysis of your story structure, direct feedback of 20,000 words of your manuscript, seven hours of ZOOM conversations, accountability check-ins, curated lessons on writing craft and process, and my open email inbox, you will deepen your understanding of your book, learn what’s working and what isn’t (and why!), and broaden your relationship to your work – and yourself as a writer – in ways you never have before. 

My insights on narrative arc, character, point-of-view, writing process, and more are hard-won: I hold an MFA in Creative Writing and recently completed a thorough rewrite of my third novel (and sent it off to my agent, yah!) while my fifth book, a short story collection, is slated for publication in Spring 2023. I work hard and I work deep and I love helping other writers do the same. With me, you will take a deep, diagnostic look at a draft that you probably wrote (because we all do) “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 investigate the creative choices you’ve made (often unconsciously) so you can expand and enrich your story with knowledgable intention.

Revision is my favourite part of the writing process because it’s at this stage that I find the opportunity to study what I made, enhance the most significant strands, extract the tendrils that aren’t working, deepen my voice and theme, and build an unshakeable, expertly woven arc.  Let me help you do this too. On this journey, you’ll grow as a writer, carve a path into your work, and ultimately create a richer and better book. 

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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

What you get:

* An evaluation of your synopsis or plot outline

* 7 one-on-one ZOOM calls

* Editorial notes on 20-22,000 words of your manuscript

* 12 Monday morning accountability check-ins

* 6 lessons curated specifically for your needs!

* Unlimited email access to pick my brain through the journey!

WHO’S IT FOR?

There’s no doubt: this program is intense! You need time and energy to commit to it, as well as a completed – or very nearly completed – draft of a novel or memoir. Plus, I only accept writers whose work really fits with my interests and tastes (since I want to give each project my full, excited attention!)! If you’re wondering if this is you, shoot me an email or, better yet, hit the apply button and tell me about yourself and your project.

Wondering what I mean by intense? Here’s the calendar…. (minus the weekly lessons and accountability check-ins):

Week 1: Submit plot synopsis (I can offer some help with if you’ve never done one); first ZOOM to discuss your plot and develop an action plan for what to submit (hint: it’s not your best writing but what you most need help with!).

Week 2: 1st submission deadline (4,000 words)

Week 3: ZOOM to discuss my feedback which I will send to you as inline notes a few days prior

Week 4: 2nd submission

Week 5: ZOOM about notes and process

Week 6: 3rd submission

Week 7: ZOOM

Week 8: 4th submission

Week 9: ZOOM

Week 10: 5th submission

Week 11: ZOOM

Week 12: Reflect to solidify learning, harness supports, plan next steps, reaffirm commitment; ZOOM to discuss and establish your next goals

THE PRACTICALITIES

The program runs three times a year. The dates for 2022 / 2023 are: 

September 12 – December 2, 2022 

January 16 – April 7, 2023 

April 10 -June 30, 2023

Application deadlines are: Aug 20,  Dec 12,  2022, and March 15, 2023. 

The cost for the three-month program is $3295.  You can pay in full or month-by-month at $1098/month (with a commitment in place for the full term), and I also offer a senior’s discount of 10%.

I only accept two clients each session, so if you want to submerge into your revision process, hit the orange button to apply for the next open term.  

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.

Here’s what some of my clients have said

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 have learned more about writing and about myself as a writer in these three months than I have in years of taking online courses. Lauren’s insight and suggestions are thoughtful and helpful, and having her give direct feedback on my actual words has given me a far deeper understanding of the craft of writing and where my own shortcomings were hiding. I’m coming away from this with a renewed faith in myself and my work, and a bolstered enthusiasm for writing in general!

Laura-Lee Pernsky

Lauren Carter
2022-06-23T19:24:52+00:00

Laura-Lee Pernsky

I have learned more about writing and about myself as a writer in these three months than I have in years of taking online courses. Lauren’s insight and suggestions are thoughtful and helpful, and having her give direct feedback on my actual words has given me a far deeper understanding of the craft of writing and where my own shortcomings were hiding. I’m coming away from this with a renewed faith in myself and my work, and a bolstered enthusiasm for writing in general!
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

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. 

Extensive experience teaching writers and holding positions as Writer-in-Residence and teaching in-person/online.

A member of Editors Canada, and currently completing 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. 

Two poetry collections and two novels traditionally published with agency representation, and a fifth (a short story collection) on the way, and stay tuned for an announcement about my third novel. 

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); longlisted for CBC Canada Reads for my first. 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.”

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