Writer's workshop


Royal typewriter graphicThis is my top service for writer's, both amateurs, professionals and would-be professionals. I'm talking about one-to-one telephone help, advice, support and encouragement—and at an "affordable" rate. Sound too good to be true? That's what I thought, but don't say it too often or I'll raise my rate.


How does my writer's telephone workshop work?


Okay. The idea is simple enough. You''re having problems developing your writing skills and/or are hoping to break into journalism or feature writing or copywriting and make a living from words. Or maybe you've got a novel inside you that's busting to get out, but you need a little guidance. Or maybe you just want to write for pleasure.

Either way, I've got yards of experience as a professional writer, and with this service, you pay me to share my insights, knowledge, tricks and techniques.

Armed with that, you can then go forth into the world as a professional journalist, diarist, columnist, stringer, correspondent or (and I hate this one too) "wordsmith".

To be more specific, you send me your problem material, or sample material, I read through it, deconstruct it, make some notes, then call you on the phone and we discuss it word by word, line by line, paragraph by paragraph.

After an hour of hitting me with questions and querying my responses, you hang up the phone a lot wiser, a lot happier, and with a whole lot more insight into your writing skills and habits. Meanwhile, I hang up £25 richer, because £25 is my fee for an hour's advice (backed up by around 30 years at the sharp end).

If you then want some follow up advice, it will cost you another £25 per hour, and so on. But keep in mind that these prices are based-upon a UK landline. Alternately, we can hook up across the world via Skype.


So does it really work?


Yes. But I have to admit, when I launched this service, I had some reservations. It sounded okay on paper, you understand. But a lot of things in this world simply don't make a smooth and satisfying transition from the drawing board, as it were, into the real world.

But this one did.

It's not a get-rich-quick-scheme. That's unrealistic. And if that's what you're after, try the National Lottery. Writing is slow, hard work. It needs dedication. Shrewdness. Savvy.

I used to offer (and still offer) much the same support service in the form of a written report. But it's become increasingly clear that person-to-person contact is far more efficient and helpful. I can cover more ground, and help develop themes, and more specifically tailor advice. Also, I get to understand something of the character of the writer. And that's very important because we're all different. We don't process information the same way. And usually, the answers we get in life require further questions.


You're talking about mentoring?


Pretty much. But I don't much like the word "mentoring". It implies taking some control from the mentee (great noun, huh? No, I didn't think so either). I prefer to think of this service not as mentoring but professional support. The important thing with developing your writing skills is the ability to discipline yourself. I don't want to impose anything on anyone. I don't want to steer a writer. I don't want to oversee. Instead, I want to be in the back seat offering help and suggestions and tips that have worked for me over and over again.


And  £25 per hour is the fixed charge?


That's it. No extras. No strings. And hey, no salesmen will call. But check around and see what other's are charging, and compare their skills—or alleged skills—and see who you feel comfortable with.

My fees are pretty modest. £25 per hour isn't very much at all for professional advice, and especially not when it can set you on the road to making a decent income.

And I know it works because over the years I've made a lot of money writing articles, magazine features, news reports and web stories. In fact, until I launched Mr Edit, media writing was my sole income, and I still "keep my hand in" by penning occasional features for the publications I enjoy and want to be a part of.


What kind of income is possible for freelance writers?


Not as much as it used to be, that's for sure. Thirty years ago, I was earning £125 - £150 per 1,000 words, or per page. Therefore, a news feature spread over two pages, with images that I supplied, earned me £250 - £300.

Today, editors and publishers have smaller purses. They're often under huge pressure to cu costs. I now get between £150-£200 per 1,000 words/per page, but only for the first page. Extra pages usually earn me around £100 each. It's still not too shabby, but in real terms it's fallen way behind.

As a freelance writer, I was comfortably earning around £2,000 - £2,500 per month. And because I had other related marketable skills (photography and graphic design), I was usually earning considerably more.


So I can earn that kind of money too?


The truth is, I don't know. No one does. Being able to write well is, after all, only part of the deal. You've still got to have ideas for features and news stories. You've still got to learn to sell them and develop a relationship with a publisher or editor. You've still got to discipline yourself to sitting down day after day and getting those fingers moving (and I can advise on all this too).

But I do know that without good "inside" advice from a tried-and-tested, cash-in-the-pocket professional writer, your chances of making a decent income are greatly diminished.


But your telephone workshop works for novelists too?


Yes. Unquestionably. Writing is largely about technique and tricks. That makes it sound terribly contrived. And to a great extent it is. It's like playing chess. There are certain well understood opening moves. Certain gambits. Certain "plays". Certain stratagems. And there's always a checkmate at the end. Naturally, you still have to have a tactical, devious, logical and cunning mind to play chess at a serious level. But you also need to know the rudiments.

When it comes to writing, my experience is that most would-be professional writers simply don't know the rudiments. They stumble along driven by doggedness (which is a great quality), desperation, luck and pluck. Most jobbing professionals manage to wangle a paid news story here and there, or an occasional feature, or even a small column somewhere.

But if you're going to make more serious money, more regular money, you need to raise your game, and the best way you can do that is by talking to a "player".


I'm interested. What do I do now?


Just email me, send me some material, and we'll discuss it. A few thousand words will do fine. If I can't help, I'll tell you straight. And the fact is, some people really don't have what it takes to make a really good living from writing. That said, almost anyone can earn a little extra money from news items and features if they're shrewd.

Interestingly, some of the best writers are people who didn't even recognise that they had any talent. They came into journalism or feature writing or novel writing largely by "accident"; by simply trying something new without any real expectation of taking it very far.

Maybe that's you. But you ain't gonna get to know until you try. And if you try it via my service, it will cost you £25 per hour.

So far, I've never had a dissatisfied customer, and I plan to keep it that way. But beware; my advice is brutally honest. You'll get it with both barrels, and I always aim high. However, you will learn something. You will improve your writing skills. You will have more confidence. You will learn what works, and what doesn't. You will learn those crucial opening moves. Moreover, that internal compass that's always going haywire will give you a better sense of direction.

But go ahead. Check the web. See what's on offer. Then give me a call if you want to take it any further.

I'm not going anywhere for a while.

Never give up.


Mike O'Neill





Mr Edit YouTube videos


Meanwhile, here are some of my You Tube videos that might be of interest to you. Hope you enjoy them.

You Tube video for writers and authors


Mr Edit. Let's talk about dialogue





You Tube literary agent video help


Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary agent.





You Tube video - how to write fiction


Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.





You Tube video for authors and novelists


Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.




Links for writers


Preditors & Editors. Here's where you can check out the credentials of literary agents and publishers. A must for any writer.



Creative Helps. Helpful resource for the creative community. Articles, links and tips.



Nick Daws' Writing Blog. Lots of useful posts on all aspects of writing, both for print and online, plus a guest post for anyone who wants to make a contribution. Check it out.






Creative writing























... more feedback

Justin Walters

"Terrific website. Happy to recommend your services to anyone."


Patricia Kenton

"Dear Mr Edit, I just want to say thanks for your kind advice and guidance. Am now doing the rounds with my first manuscript. Fingers crossed for me, please!"


Lee Stoner

"Your inspiration for writers was exactly the shot I needed. Thank you so much."


Alex Longley

"...well worth the money. Excellent service and support. The rest, it seems, is up to me now."


Sean Farrell

"Very interesting website. If anything, your prices are too low."

[I've no plans to raise them, Sean, but thanks for the thought - Mike]


Jess Tucker

"You've got a very good 'voice' and a great eye for detail. I've borrowed much of your technique. Thank you for showing me a fresh way to see things."


Sven Randrup

"Perfect! I knew that I was doing something wrong [actually, many things], but until you showed me my faults, I couldn't really move forward. Thank you for your help."


Elaine Butcher

"Your blog is very good. And free too. Isn't the web a marvellous thing?"


Millie Dalton

"You're probably getting tired of hearing from me, but I can't start writing each day until I re-read your wonderful words of encouragement."


Alicia Pemberton

"Incisive words of wisdom from a top professional. You've really saved my life."


Lizzie Howard

"I had my doubts that your
5 Minute Fiction Fix service was really going to be worth the money. But it certainly was and it opened my eyes to a lot of problems in my writing."


Joe Sims

"I think you need to change your name from Mr Edit to Sir Edit. Yours is a great service for a struggling writer."


Martina Novak

"For years I've struggled with dialogue. But after reading your advice, my characters are now beginning to sound like real people. Thank you very much."


Lindzy Sherman

"I can't really afford to have my entire novel edited just now [just lost my job], but I'm really grateful for the advice you've given me! I'm sure it will carry me a long way."

[Never give up, Lindzy - Mike]





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