The Writing Room

The Writing Room is an online one-to-one support space for anyone involved in writing for their professional or personal life. As published writers ourselves, we understand the acute anxiety that often arises when devising topics, advancing ideas to publishers, beginning writing, meeting deadlines and confronting rejection or other negative feedback. We can help you address these concerns over the course of our sessions.

We offer individual support and bespoke mentoring for writers producing:

  • creative writing in the genres of: poetry, non-fiction and fiction, including memoir and cross-genre/hybrid forms of writing; play and film scripts; graphic novels; film narratives
  • research and academic writing
  • journaling and note-taking
  • journalism
  • book proposals (non-fiction and fiction; academic and popular)
  • grant proposals and applications
  • marketing and PR literature
  • speechwriting

Uniquely, we offer individual detailed guidance and feedback on writing projects at any stage of development. We aim to replicate the experience of an individual writing tutorial online. To this end we suggest booking a series of individual sessions in order to benefit from the process of an ongoing engagement with a writing mentor.

Roles we play

We offer:

  • Support at the level of devising ideas and early drafting.
  • Mentoring and support on critical and creative structuring and framing, including imagining an audience.
  • Help with developing and producing a critical and creative voice.
  • Guidance on tone, general style, unity and coherence of content.

When desired by the client, we also provide copyediting and proofreading on final or near-final drafts.

Who are we?

Sally Bayley
Sally Bayley is a cross-genre writer whose work explores the relationship between biography, autobiography, memoir, poetry, theatre and literary fiction. Her book, The Private Life of the Diary (Unbound, 2016), was inspired by the diaries of Virginia Woolf. Following a similar structure to Woolf’s novel, The Waves, this book is a biography of the diary as an art form.

Sally’s literary memoir, Girl with Dove (William Collins, 2018) tells the story of a young girl escaping from a cultic, all-female household by reading her way into the voices of literary heroines. She has just completed a sequel, No Boys Play Here (HarperCollins, 2020), which reclaims the lost male voices of her family history, blending these with the characters she encountered in Shakespeare as a teenager. Sally is now working on the third part of this sequence, The Green Lady, which will take the form of young teen’s notebook as she explores and takes notes on the curious characters and locale of her hometown.

Her other publications include a trade book study of America’s understanding of home, Home on the Horizon: America’s Search for Space (Peter Lang, 2010); and several edited collections on the poet and artist Sylvia Plath: Representing Sylvia Plath (CUP, 2011), Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual (OUP, 2007) and an essay on Plath’s diaries will appear in Sylvia Plath in Context (August, 2019)

Sally Bayley is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University. She also teaches writing, literature and the visual arts for the Sarah Lawrence Programme at Wadham College, Oxford and for the William & Mary Programme at Hertford College. She has taught in Higher Education for twenty-three years across a wide range of subjects, but her particular interest has been the relationship between poetry, literary narratives and the visual arts. For many years Sally has worked with film-maker Suzie Hanna, devising film narratives which explore the creative life of poets. She lives on a boat.

Julie Sutherland
Julie Sutherland writes in a number of non-fiction genres. She is also a professional copyeditor and manuscript evaluator and owns a thriving ‘language animation’ company, In Other Words (est. 2001), that offers services in these and other language arts.

Her academic writing has been published in The Modern Language Review, The Seventeenth-Century and Early Modern Literary Studies (etc.) and includes peer-reviewed articles and theatre and book reviews. She has also written online curricula for continuous Shakespeare modules (Athabasca University) and edited and contributed writing to an edition of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (Broadview Press). She is currently a contributing co-editor of Introduction to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Social Determinants of Health (forthcoming, Canadian Scholars’ Press).

Julie has also accepted commissions from government and non-government agencies to write policy documents. She also writes newspaper articles, blog posts, theatre histories and entries in popular encyclopedias (Cassell Illustrated, Barron’s and Quintet). She was also recruited to write Shakespeare curriculum for a children’s educational program in Nova Scotia, Canada.

As a writer for Pacific Theatre, an established professional theatre company in Vancouver, Canada, Julie was responsible for writing PR and media material, as well as successful applications for funding from multiple levels of government and private foundations.

As an editor, Julie has refined work for, among others, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, the Swiss Consulate General, an international human rights organization, an independent public policy think tank and a transnational corporation. As a manuscript evaluator, Julie has provided guidance on academic and popular non-fiction, as well as on fiction for adults and children. Her work has included evaluations of books that were subsequently published by prominent and respected presses in England, Canada and the United States. Julie’s professional work extends to language coaching, and she has mentored professional and emerging actors and poets who are studying texts for performance.

As the International Ambassador and Course Convenor for the ReLit, the Foundation for the complementary treatment of stress, anxiety and other conditions through immersion in the arts, Julie has facilitated workshops on writing for wellness in England, Canada and the United States.

Rates

We charge an hourly rate and bill by the quarter hour (GB£40/US$50/CA$65). Payments in Canada and the United Kingdom can be done via direct bank transfer. Payments in other currencies can be made via PayPal and will incur a 3% surcharge.

** A portion of The Writing Room’s revenue is donated to the ReLit Foundation, who uses these funds to encourage mental wellness through reading and the creative arts to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in England, Canada and the US.

Please contact us to discuss your project and a fee.

 

Testimonials

‘As a young creative writer, the crux is determining if you’re onto something. With her exhaustive knowledge of literary voices to date, I found a trustworthy opinion in Julie. This, combined with her compassion, thoughtful candour, and practical writing expertise gave me the confidence to keep going. Ultimately, I got from a place of total insecurity to something I felt good about putting in front of publishers. An invaluable partner!’ ~Julia Robins

‘Sally has inspired and challenged me in equal measures! Having no experience of academic writing she gently and generously enabled me to articulate my thoughts on paper until I achieved a piece of work that I am both proud of and feel that I can develop further on my own.’ ~Anne Griffiths

‘Sally is an amazing writing tutor and educator. She not only taught and helped with the logic, structure, and wording of my writings, but also showed me a philosophical, poetic as well as analytical way of reading literature, poetry especially. Coming from a Chinese cultural/language background, I was very lucky to have Sally as a writing/reading companion to lead me through the cultural/cognitive barriers, and eventually learn to find my own voice in my writings and ideas.’ ~Xinyi (Mel) Song, 3rd year visiting student at Wadham College

*Image credit: Suzie Hanna