Editing / Mentoring

Would you like help to support your writing ambitions? It’s my passion to support people to move their writing forward, whether that’s fine-tuning a story collection just before publication, improving a piece of writing before sending it out to an editor for the first time, or helping someone gradually to regain confidence and momentum with their writing after a period of frustration or disappointment.

My feedback and guidance draws upon over twelve years’ experience working as a freelance editor with other writers, and eight years’ experience as a creative writing tutor in Adult and Higher Education. I’ve helped beginner writers with individual stories and poems, and I’ve worked with several authors prior to the publication of their manuscripts.

I can offer feedback on most forms of writing. I have a particular specialism in the following: literary fiction (especially novellas, novellas-in-flash, short stories and flash fiction) and poetry (including prose poetry).

Please email me at michaellovedaywriter@gmail.com or send a message via my Contact page with a summary of your project / needs, and to discuss any questions you have about how my editing and mentoring services work.

Michael-8Services offered:

Copy Editing – advice on good English style, vocabulary choices, omitting unnecessary words, accurate and smooth grammar, correcting spelling / typos, punctuation, etc.

Developmental / Structural Editing – suggestions for enhancing creative and technical aspects e.g. characterisation, plot, setting, point of view, dialogue, vocabulary & imagery, rhythm, form (e.g. for poetry).

Creative Coaching – identifying goals, planning, motivation, overcoming obstacles to productivity, ensuring accountability, discussion of publishing opportunities / marketplace issues, freeing up greater creativity, reading recommendations, etc.

Mentoring – a blend of Manuscript Feedback and Coaching – to support the ongoing development of a particular manuscript or writing project

Story Writing for Poets – a year-long programme of 2 story prompts per month plus detailed, transformative feedback on up to 3,000 words of stories per month. Additional option: Face-to-face meetings in London / Bath / Bristol or Skype / Zoom / telephone discussions of your stories throughout the year. More details here.


Fees vary according to –
– type of service required
– whether comments are to be handwritten on manuscript or typed into Word document
– whether you would like a Skype / Zoom / telephone discussion or face-to-face meeting in addition to manuscript advice (face-to-face meetings available in London or Bath / Bristol area)
– speed of response required
– size of job (fee reduction available for larger projects)

Guideline Fees –
– Poetry – minimum £65 per 150 lines of poetry
– Flash Fiction – minimum £80 per 6,000 words
– Short Stories – minimum £80 per 8,000 words
– Novels – minimum £150 for first 10,000 words plus synopsis and covering letter
– Novella-in-Flash – minimum £170 per 10,000 words

Testimonials: 

“A book needs an editor – someone to cast an unbiased, critical eye over it.  Knowing how conscientious Michael is, I had no hesitation in asking him to edit my collection of flash fiction.  He didn’t disappoint. Michael approached the whole project in a professional, enthusiastic way, editing out many tiny errors, as well as making suggestions on how to improve individual stories and the narrative arc of the book.  ‘Finding a Way’, my flash collection on the theme of grief is being published by Ad Hoc Fiction in February 2019.” (Diane Simmons. Diane’s book ‘Finding a Way’ was shortlisted in 2019 for the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story collection)

“Michael is outstanding for the time he spends and the support he gives in his work as editor and mentor… His care and meticulous attention to the work in hand is exemplary… I can testify that without Michael’s help a way forward would not have been possible. It was money well spent.” (D.D.)

“Michael’s feedback on my collection of poems was by far the most detailed and best-informed advice I have ever received on my writing… I would recommend Michael to any writer who is looking for a truly different type of mentoring. His mentoring will elevate the strength of your writing to a whole new level. It is also important to mention that the quality of the service you receive surpasses the money you would spend.” (N.M.)

“Michael is meticulous in the quality of attention he gives to one’s work, with tactful comments and creative suggestions both in written comments and oral discussion… His own enthusiasm and belief in the writer’s potential are inspiring and he is keen to advise on further steps towards serious work.” (V.R.)

“Michael Loveday has been my teacher and writing coach since 2014 and I have learnt a great deal from him since then. When I began attending his classes I had no previous writing experience; on top of that English was not my mother tongue. Therefore it was very difficult for me to present or express my potential in the way I would like to, but Michael patiently and supportively guided me to overcome this. Using his comments as reference my writing has improved –  not only writing structure and techniques but in punctuation and grammar as well. I found Michael very reliable, trustworthy and well-organized.” (R.M.)

“Michael was my creative writing tutor for more than three years. His innovative approach was inspiring and unleashed a creative self I didn’t realise was there. As a result I have written a compilation of humorous true short stories for a paperback, with only a few more to go. Asking Michael to mentor me was an obvious choice and I am very happy with the work he has done. His comments are always clear and concise and every batch of stories was also returned with a covering letter, explaining the dos and donts and giving useful advice. His fees are also very reasonable and I am very grateful for his support with this – and hopefully – other projects.” (Connie B.)

“I felt validated as a poet. Feedback was thorough, insightful and thoughtful.  Michael took time to unravel why less successful lines needed more attention. A courteous, supportive relationship was quickly established; he paid attention to what I had specifically asked him to look at and gave clear advice… I found the comments have led me to positive development because while they were encouraging they also indicated where and why my work needed to improve. I’d recommend Michael as a sympathetic and helpful mentor whose aim is to progress the work of the mentee.” (Nola T.)

“With my novella-in-flash already accepted for publication, I was seeking help to ensure that the grammar, format and sentence structures were as professional as possible. I received my annotated manuscript back quickly. A summary page of common errors helped me to digest repeating patterns or areas for improvement. Each note within the main text was clear and precise. A structural suggestion for the novella as a whole added clarity… I have already amended some of my writing practice. As someone with no educational background in English literature and language past the age of sixteen, I learnt a significant amount to help my writing in the future. In terms of value for money, Michael was generous in taking into account the level of input I required and amended the price accordingly. I found the experience supportive and professional.” (Stephanie Hutton. In 2019 this novella-in-flash (‘Three Sisters of Stone’) won the 2019 Saboteur Award for Best Novella)

“Michael has been a sensitive and insightful reader of my work. He gave me much to think about, particularly in terms of character and motivation, which helped me to approach my manuscript afresh and with renewed enthusiasm. His gentle comments and questions are always on point, and his suggestions for further reading extremely useful. I thoroughly recommend Michael as an exceptional tutor in creative writing.” (Deborah T.)

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