Mentoring and Critiques

*Please note there will be a price increase from Jan 2024


With a proven track record and up-to-date knowledge of the industry, I am offering a mentoring programme suitable for writers who are now looking to take their career to the next level.

This mentoring package costs £650 and includes materials, five hours of 1:1 time [online], plus in-depth critiques on five texts or outlines. Whether these take place across five intensive weeks or a more leisurely five months is up to you but there’s plenty of reading and tasks in between sessions. We’ll work together to produce a final action plan to carry you forward.

To apply and to enquire about availability, please submit a picture book text to, plus a covering letter detailing what you hope to achieve through 1:1 mentoring.

“Clare’s feedback on my texts was so helpful and constructive.”

“Clare’s help with outlines was a lightbulb moment for me. She’s given me a toolkit to move my texts forward.”

“Clare is a very patient and professional mentor – just what I needed.”

“I so looked forward to our sessions and soaking up Clare’s wisdom.”

“Clare is a cuppa; of the first water.
Sitting down to talk writing picture books with her is cosy, quenching and refreshing.
As a writing teacher myself, I was impressed by her grasp of theory and appreciated how flexible she was with her lesson plans, adapting material to meet my specific needs. I believe the texts she critiqued for me have been greatly improved under her tactful guidance.
She shares her extensive experience generously and is super-organised. Just what you want in a writing tutor, I think.”


If you are looking for some feedback on your picture book text, look no further! As a published author, I can offer valuable feedback on your writing, your characters and your story premise.

Please note: I specialise in picture books (3-7years) and as such, am offering critiques of this age group only at this time.

Critique rate: £69 per manuscript.

Payment: Payment should be via paypal to or please email for Fund Transfer details.

Timescale: You can expect your critique within 1-2 weeks of receipt of payment

“Clare’s critique was thorough, balanced and very helpful. The format was clear and she related comments to points throughout my manuscript so I could see where to work on specific issues. I’m really looking forward to improving my story knowing I’m on the right track. I would highly recommend Clare’s service and will definitely be using it again.” K.H.

“I cannot begin to tell you how helpful your critique is! You have not only critiqued what is there on the page but have also given me inspiration and encouragement with regards to where to take the story next. I loved how clearly you set everything out and the format you use- I am not surprised to learn you are also a teacher! It is clear you have a strong grasp of what publishers are currently looking for.” A.M.

Thank you very much for the friendly, professional critique service. Your advice was honest and considerate. I really liked the scoring out of ten system as this shows exactly what I’m doing well and what I need to do to improve my story. I’ll certainly consider the characters’ motives more and how this could develop a stronger plot. This is my first picture book so I was nervous about someone else reading it. However, your feedback has given me a real confidence boost and I know I’d like to write more stories for very young children.” D.M.
The way you wrote my feedback was so supportive. It had just enough straightforwardness to show me which bits needed looking at, but at the same time you were complimentary and your tone was helpful/positive (rather than really overtly critical). Thank you so much.” A.B.

“You’re the first person to read [my text] and I must admit I was nervous when I clicked ‘Send’! Your feedback is incredibly helpful. Your comments on the double page plot structure, past/present tense, revealing the ability to talk to animals earlier and dialling up the humour are also invaluable. Your insightful critique has provided me with a clear focus of what to address as I tackle the next draft of the text. I would definitely recommend your critiquing services to anyone looking for specific guidance on how to take their picture book text to the next level.” B.M.

I just want to say thank you so much for the critique! It was so thorough and helpful, and wonderfully complimentary too! It was especially useful because while there were quite a few things you pointed out to me that I had already been thinking (so it was good to have my niggles validated), you also brought my attention to a few things that I’d never considered. Overall, it was absolutely brilliant.” T.K.

Please email with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and reading your stories!

In the meantime, you’ll find lots of helpful advice on the Internet; Picture Book Den is a great place to start. I love this post from Claire Lewis; Preparing for Submission, and don’t miss Michelle Robinson’s Blog Post; All Round Advice.  If you’re writing in rhyme try Word Painting and this advice from Catherine Emmett.