Editorial Feedback. 15 min One-to-One 


Is your work well-designed for the current market? * Is your prose style strong enough? * Does your opening chapter do enough to grab the interest? * Will your covering letter interest an agent? *Does your synopsis look OK? * What are your recommended next steps?

A professional editor will read your work in advance of the Getting Published event. They will give you realistic, honest and constructive feedback. You will receive a page of comments, and you will have 15 minutes to discuss those comments with your book doctor. They'll aim to cover all the above questions.




Book Doctor: Andrew Wille

Andrew Wille was managing editor and then senior editor at Little, Brown UK, acquiring or working on critically acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction as varied as Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Subsequently he has freelanced for many of the industry’s most notable imprints, worked as a book doctor, and taught for Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Falmouth University’s MA in Professional Writing. His own fiction has been published in anthologies Uncontained and Primal Picnics and in many literary magazines.

Andrew’s interests include literary fiction, fantasy, horror, historical fiction, science fiction, and LGBTQ writing. In nonfiction his specialisms include memoir and life writing, natural history, gardening, travel, history, true crime, and social justice. More info at www.wille.org.


Book Doctor: C M Taylor

Craig (writing as C M Taylor) is the author of five novels. Premiership Psycho (Corsair 2011) and the Amazon best-selling Group of Death (Corsair 2012) form two thirds of a satirical trilogy about contemporary culture described as 'Brilliant' by The Sun, and 'Horribly entertaining' by The Mirror. He's also the author of Light, Cloven and Grief, the latter a dystopian fantasy described by British Science Fiction Association as a work of 'breathtaking originality' and nominated for their Book of the Year.

Craig has co-written a horror movie script, Writers Retreat, which was filmed in 2014 and premiered at the Sitges International Film Festival. He is an associate lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, and has taught widely, often on the underlying structures of narrative, and on Born Digital Literature, a particular enthusiasm which has seen Craig crowdfund a literary app on the Unbound publishing website, as well as instigate an experiment in digital literature with the British Library. He has been a book editor with the Writers' Workshop since (almost) its inception. (Wikipedia page here.)


Book Doctor: Debi Alper

Debi's first two novels, Nirvana Bites and Trading Tatiana, urban thrillers set among the sub-cultures of South East London, were published by Orion to critical acclaim. She has since set up her own imprint and has re-published both novels as e-books, along with the next in the series, De Nada Nirvana. Me, John and a Bomb and The Gene Pool will be following soon. 

For the last ten years, Debi has spent most of her time helping other writers to perfect their novels through critiques, mentoring, Book Doctor sessions and creative writing workshops. She edits in all genres and many authors that she has worked with have been signed up with agents and gone on to see their books published. She also runs the phenomenally successful Writers' Workshop Self-Edit Your Novel course, together with Emma Darwin, as well as acting as a competition judge.

Debi lives in South London with her partner and sons. She sometimes feels like a tiny island of oestrogen afloat in a sea of testosterone and smelly socks. (http://www.debialper.co.uk/)


Book Doctor: Emma Darwin

Emma’s debut novel The Mathematics of Love was described by The Times it as, “that rare thing, a book that works on every conceivable level. A real achievement”, and it was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers and Goss First Novel awards, longlisted for the Prince Maurice Prize and the RNA Novel of the Year, and has been translated into many languages. Her bestselling second novel, A Secret Alchemy, was acclaimed by the Daily Mail as “powerful and utterly convincing”, and her short fiction has won prizes and been published, as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her latest book, Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, (John Murray/Teach Yourself) was published in March 2016.

Emma was Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing with the Open University for some years, and has held Royal Literary Fund Fellowships at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Music.


Book Doctor: Martin Ouvry

Martin worked as a professional musician in Europe and the US before going to the University of East Anglia where he gained a First in English and received the Alumni Prize for Fiction in his year on the Creative Writing MA. Martin has taught widely, including as an associate tutor at UEA.

His work has appeared in various anthologies and magazines including Tell Tales, New Writing and Esquire, and has been translated into Chinese. Martin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow and is a grateful recipient of an Arts Council Writer’s Award and a 2010 Wingate Scholarship.

He has also reviewed books for the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Financial Times.

He is represented by Andrew Kidd at Aitken Alexander Associates. (AAA page here.)


Book Doctor: Gillian Stern

After the birth of my third child 16 years ago, I gave up my enjoyable career as a Publisher in academic publishing, specialising in criminology. Luckily, while subsequently volunteering once a week to sort through the slush-pile of a leading literary agency, I discovered a beautiful novel that went on to win the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Richard & Judy Summer Read of Summer Reads. Since then I have worked in a freelance capacity for Bloomsbury, Orion, Penguin and Transworld editing authors such as Joanna Briscoe, James Runcie, Kamila Shamsie, Sheila Hancock, Damian Barr and Rev Richard Coles.

As a Book Doctor and Ghost, I have worked on several books for Orion and Penguin including An African Love Story, a biography of Kate Middleton, an account of the Iranian Embassy Siege and memoirs ranging from a wartime childhood in a Derbyshire mining village to a member of the Royal Family.


Plot Surgeon: Jeremy Sheldon

Jeremy is an author, screenwriter and producer with 14 years’ experience in film, publishing, higher education and communications. His collaborators and clients range from top award winning producers to highly acclaimed independent filmmakers, from governments and global corporations to the world’s leading schools and universities.
Jonathan Cape have published two full-length works of his fiction, The Comfort Zone (2002) and The Smiling Affair (2005).

 Diagnose your plot in a surgery: The strength of your story's plot is critical to your novel's success. Luckily, we've plot 'doctor' Jeremy Sheldon taking cases throughout the day. Any attendee can reserve a one-to-one session where all aspects of your plot will be assessed and suitable remedies administered.


Book Doctor: Kerry Fisher


Kerry Fisher - self-published, traditionally published and now published by Bookouture, digital only publishers. Kerry Fisher has self-published her debut novel, which was picked up by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins, and republished as The School Gate Survival Guide. Her second book, The Island Escape, was a Kindle bestseller, reaching number two in the Amazon charts. Her latest novel, After The Lie, was published by digital only imprint, Bookouture. She is open and honest about publishing highs and lows - you can ask her anything!



Once booked: How to send us your work

Please send us your work by email to our main email address (info@writersworkshop.co.uk) by Friday 24th February. Please use the subject line 'Getting Published Book Doctor Submission' for the email. Your work should be in a single file, and be in either .doc, .docx, .pdf or other widely used file format. You should include:

A draft covering letter to an agent

A synopsis

Your opening chapter (up to 4000 words)

For a plot surgery with Jeremy Sheldon, you'll need:  a 400 word synopsis of the story (max)
- Synopsis should outline the events of the story in the order the reader experiences them (in the 3rd person, present tense, for the most part) and shouldn't aim to pitch the novel, or explain it in any way.
- Define the perceived plot problem in no more than 100 words.*These plot sessions are 20 minutes long*