Gail Anderson-Dargatz posted very helpful information on where to go for manuscript evaluations and mentorships on the Indigo Community Forum. (And on her blog, as well.) Since that post will only be held for 3 months, I’m copying it here:
Outside my work teaching advanced novel and advanced fiction at UBC, in the optional-residency CW MFA program, I do take on private mentorships and manuscript evaluations for fiction when I have time, and if I think I can really help the writer. Anyone interested can contact me at and I’ll send back a sheet with details and fees.
Booming Ground (the UBC non-credit CW program) also offers a great mentorship and manuscript evaluation service with some of Canada’s best writers, as does the Writers Union of Canada. Just google either and you’ll find information and fees.
I’m also interested in hearing from other professional writers who offer mentoring as I’m often approached by apprentice writers looking for mentorship, but I don’t always have time to provide it, and would like to have a list of writers on hand that I can pass along. If you’re interested, let me know, again at .
On mentorship, Gail explains:
It’s just one-on-one teaching or guiding a writer through process. The writer submits a story or portion of their manuscript by email once a month over the course of several months. I use the writer’s own material as an opportunity to discuss elements of craft. So I’ll give notes about the manuscript that are instructive, and I also give detailed comments on the manuscript itself (using the comment function on word). The writer and I discuss these notes, and then the writer goes off to rewrite and prepare the next month’s submission. Manuscript evaluation is also an opportunity for mentorship, so I offer instruction on elements of craft as I offer advice on how to improve the manuscript itself.
Mentorships are not only for unpublished writers. I enrolled in a Humber correspondence course while writing Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe. I was fortunate enough to have Carol Shields, a correspondence I treasure. I realize now, too, that I’m in the process of setting up a mentorship with Dan Smetanka for my next novel. Writers work alone, but it’s important to set up a support system, be it a writers’ group, a teacher, an editor, friend, family—or (in my case) all of the above.