- BA (Hons) English Literature
I’m a children’s author with experience of running writing critique groups, creative writing workshops and providing editorial advice for partial and complete manuscripts. I have experienced the writing journey from both sides of the publishing ‘fence’, having worked closely with agents and editors on my own structural and line edits, as well as being a Write Mentor, and judge for their Children’s Novel Award 2019.
'Olivia's comments on my MG manuscript were thorough and thoughtful, commenting on pace, structure and characterisation and aiming to generally tighten up the writing. She threaded comments throughout the text so I could clearly see where changes could be made, also commenting on what was working well for her as a reader, and offered clear summary notes at the end which focused on a few key areas. Her notes are gently worded (not too scary!) but incisive and clear - I can see that they will improve my text. She caught a couple of things that I sort of knew were problematic, with suggestions I hadn't thought of on solving them, and has also noted plenty of things that I had missed on my many read-throughs. Her turnaround time was also surprisingly quick. I would definitely recommend her to help shape a MG or YA MS.'
Beth Kemp, author of Cambridge International AS and A Level English Language Student's Book and other textbooks for GCSE and A Level English Literature and Language, member of SCBWI Birmingham critique group.
'Olivia gave me helpful, careful and constructive notes on my novel for 8-12 year olds. She is a first-class writer and critiquer with plenty of great advice and insight to share.'
Leila Rasheed, author of CHIPS, BEANS AND LIMOUSINES and other novels.
'I couldn’t ask for a more friendly, insightful and conscientious mentor. Olivia’s feedback has been pivotal in improving and polishing my novel, and attracting the interest of several agents. Her thoughts and ideas are invaluable, and I can’t wait to work together again on my next project.'
Catherine Bowdler, writer of MOTH, Write Mentor mentee 2018.
'I was so lucky to have Olivia as a mentor. Her developmental edit letter was very thorough. She encouraged me where she thought the ms was strong and provided insightful feedback so I could strengthen the character arc and emotional heart of the story, and amp up the thriller elements.'
Tracey Brown, writer of HAPPILY EVER, Write Mentor mentee 2018.
'Olivia is an exceptionally incisive, constructive and intelligent reader of others’ work. She has a tremendous eye for detail as well as having the ability to quickly identify what works in an overall structural sense.
Olivia is very versatile, being equally adept in prose, poetry and drama. She is efficient, thorough and has a tremendous ability to offer clear editorial suggestions resulting from her highly developed critical insights honed over many years of wide reading and the running of highly successful writing groups and workshops.'
Michael Woods, poet -ABSENCE NOTES, ALGEBRA, OPENING TIME, published by Templar. Associate Lecturer, University of Worcester, editor of TANDEM.
'Over the last five years I have benefited enormously from Olivia's guidance. As an editor she is meticulous, with a precise eye for errors in punctuation, sense, tone and phrasing. As a mentor she has helped me to develop ideas and patiently supported me through every stage of the writing process. She is attentive to the line, but also to structure, combining rigour with enthusiasm. With her help I have now completed a first novel and secured an agent.'
Dr Eleanor Porter, Associate Lecturer, The Open University.
'Olivia is not only an outstanding writer, as evidenced by her successful novels, but is also a wonderful person to deal with. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to you.'
Karen Lowen - member of SCRIBBLERS critique group, Director of Turl & Co Ltd.
'Olivia is enthused and knowledgeable about the craft of writing. Her teaching and her writing background means she is receptive to a writer’s problems and is quick to see where they might need help. She is both creative and structured in supporting a writer in developing their work.'
Roisin Heycock, Publisher and Development Editor. Former editor at Oneworld Children's, Quercus Children's, Faber, Macmillan, Hachette.
'As Olivia’s agent, I have worked with her on several manuscripts at both a structural and line level – she is always professional, thoughtful and considered. She has a fantastic eye for detail, is truly passionate about her craft, and has a full and experienced understanding of character, voice, pace and plot. I have no hesitation in recommending Olivia as a writing mentor and editor and think any aspiring author of MG or YA would be lucky to receive her insight and support.'
Clare Wallace, Literary Agent at Darley Anderson
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My critically acclaimed novels, The Island and The Circus, are published in the UK and US by Oneworld. I am represented by Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson Literary Agency.
I am a member of Authors Abroad, and have spoken at all manner of events, addressing and delivering workshops to children, young adults, librarians, Open University students, pre–published writers and anyone with a story in their hearts.
As well as visiting schools, I 'method write'. When writing The Island, I foraged like my main character, and lived mainly on coconut water, porridge and Cuppa Soup. I am interested in characters that transform, characters that survive and characters that escape.
I run a writers' critique group, Scribblers, and in 2017 helped set up Lost and Found, a UK wide book tour with fellow YA authors Sue Wallman, Kathryn Evans, Patrice Lawrence, and Eugene Lambert.
The Island (13+) is a coming-of-age castaway adventure of survival and redemption. Raw and gritty, its flashback style make it ideal for teaching story structure, whilst its themes of survival and resilience have made it an ideal choice for inclusion in the PSHEC curriculum. The Island has been cited as part of a National Literacy Trust case study for its selection as a key text for the PSHEC through fiction scheme at Queensbridge School, and is a chosen text for the Ten For Ten school reading scheme in Leicestershire.
The Circus (13+) is the contemporary adventure story of a runaway - what happens if you step out of your old life and into another? Exploring whether it is ever possible to reinvent yourself and start again, or whether you take your old self with you, The Circus takes an unflinching look at the realities of running away from home and living on the streets, surviving only on dreams.
Secondary schools - various
As a former English teacher and examiner, I have read, assessed and given formative feedback for many scripts, but it is in mentoring that my heart lies. I enjoy the one-to-one element of the editing process, and offer Skype chats as well as detailed written feedback as part of a personalised package.
An experienced teacher as well as author, I love talking to students about all things creative. I enjoy taking stories apart and putting them back together again, and my creative writing work shops have a structural focus.