I must say, I'm missing doing a bit of teaching.
I love my writing life, don't get me wrong. But I've been wondering just lately about doing a little freelance manuscript reading.
Nothing too massive. I still haven't recovered from being given 2.5 million words to read in a fortnight by somewhere that will remain nameless...
However, all those years of teaching workshops and tutorials - seven years on the MA and undergraduate at UEA; seven years at Manchester Metropolitan University, that co-editing of the Creative Writing Coursebook... all those many times since 1996 teaching residential courses for Arvon, by correspondence for the Open College of the Arts, etc etc... It's hard to imagine a life without giving a bunch of writers (at all stages of their development) constructive criticism and feedback.
So what about... if I decided to do some critiquing - of short stories or chapters from novels? Up to five thousand words at a time? Would people out there be up for that?
I'd supply a 500 word critique - about such things as characterisation, plot, structure, further suggestions for exploration or reading. I wouldn't be offering a full copy-edit or proof-reading - it would all be more about giving you pointers for developing your next draft. And, of course I'd work in any genre of fiction (literary, SF, historical, romance, everything!), plus memoir, and narrative non-fiction.
What do you think? Would you - or your writing friends - be interested?
Serious queries about details and rates - you can contact me on my usual email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
Before I leave you with that thought - here's a quote I've just received from one of my favourite former writing students, the soon-to-be-published Amy Beeson-Uddin, as a recommendation:
"As a writing tutor Paul Magrs opened up my world to a lifetime of writing. His ability to pass on his unique insight into narrative has enabled me to grow as a writer and to transfer those skills into my professional life. He gave me continued support over the years it took to find my voice and the journey I had from writing for business, to finding a literary agent to getting published. Without Paul I don't think I would now be a professional writer. Ten years on I still find inspiration and direction from his words now."
Amy has a three book deal with Harper Collins. Here at the links to find out more about her and her books: http://www.wordsbycommunications.com and http://amyibeeson.wordpress.com
Now here's a picture of some coffee and a cake - from when we went to one of my favourite Edinburgh cafes - Patisseries Florentin - in Edinburgh for a flying visit on Friday. This very table was the scene of lots of writing for me, back when I lived there...