Writing Friends:

Bespoke One-on-One Writer Mentorship

Huma took me by the hand and walked me into my writing life and into myself. She showed me that I was a writer. That I am a writer.
— Laurie

Writing is a joy, once you find the words, but it can also be deeply lonely. You can spend forever second-guessing yourself and falling down the hole of self-doubt.

Let’s say you’ve stayed up late for weeks, writing a post for your new blog - but something’s stopping you from publishing it. Or perhaps you’ve been asked to write for a magazine, only it’s the first time you’ve ever been commissioned and you just don’t know if your piece is any good. You’re not sure you want to show your writing to your sister or your partner or your best friend; they don’t know your writing and you’re not ready to share it yet.

So, then, what do you do? What do you do when you’re stuck for a word or you’re just not sure if you’ve got a good idea? What do you do when you’re faced with a big creative block the size of an ogre? What do you do when you’re bored and all out of ideas and all you want to do is delete everything you’ve ever written? What do you do then?

Or how about this: what do you do when you think you’ve written the perfect piece of prose, and your heart is dancing, and you want to share it with someone, to see if they feel it too? What do you do when you’ve caught an idea in your fist, a brilliant cloud, and you feel a flurry of writing coming on? What do you do when you wish you had someone to whisper those inspired secrets to? What do you do then?

Well: either way, you can write to me.

Writing Friends is my one-on-one 12 weeks mentorship scheme. We can call it bespoke mentoring, but I’d rather we call each other friends. I’m here for guidance and support and to help you arrive at a place where you can write without doubting your strengths.

I’m here to get you through the dark, lonely, bits. I’m here to pull you up when a rejection falls in your lap. But I’m also here to punch the air with you when you get a commission or when your blog post does spectacularly well. I’m here to nudge you - a little harder each time (for which I make no apologies) - when I see an it’s instead of an its. I’m here to sing your triumphs, but I’m also here to tell you the truth. If a piece you’re battling with just isn’t working or doesn’t read very well, then I’ll tell you it’s time to move along onto something fresh. No ideas? We’ll make up writing prompts together and I’ll help you find inspiration again.

How Writing Friends Works

Perhaps you’ve already taken my writing course, The Quiet Words, with me and feel you want to continue on that journey. Maybe you’ve read my book or remember me from my journalist days or just like the way I think and write on my blog. We still need to get to know each other. So when you first sign up, I’ll ask you for a sample of your writing plus a series of detailed questions to sound you out on your writing goals.

Assuming it feels right for both of us, then we’ll be Writing Friends.

And so, we shall write to each other.

As Writing Friends, we’ll email each other twice a week and set writing goals. I’ll share reading suggestions and writing prompts when you feel stuck. And every fortnight, you’ll send me your writing and I’ll read it and send it back to you with detailed, honest feedback.

Why choose me as your Writing Friend?

  • For personal and honest feedback on your writing that will help your writing flourish. My feedback will encourage you to uncover your writing voice and perfect your very own editing skills so that each time you write, you’ll do so with confidence in your own style.

  • For the chance to work one-on-one with a published, agent-represented and award-winning writer.

  • For accountability. If we agree a deadline, I’d want and expect you to stick to it. And if you need help with that, we’ll work together to make sure you meet your goals.

What Writing Friends includes

  • Fortnightly personal and honest feedback on one written piece at a time. Your pieces must be: blog posts, magazine or newspaper articles or short stories up to 7,000 words.

  • Two detailed emails a week comprising:

  • One email to check in and set goals

  • Another email at the end of every week to catch up on progress made, discuss any issues or questions you have.

  • Bespoke suggestions of books, articles, blog posts or podcasts to help you on your specific writing journey

  • Writing prompts when you are stuck for ideas


Writing Friends is a 12-week scheme. Please note that Writing Friends has sold out for 2019 and for January-March 2020. I am now booking from April to June 2020 places. Please email me directly to discuss your interest at hello@ourstorytime.co.uk.

A testimonial from a former Writing Friend:

Huma’s gentle, quiet encouragement was a great presence in my writing life throughout Writing Friends.

And now she is the voice that echoes in my head as I write, as I stumble over what I’m trying to say, or lose my train of thought. She is there still, gently helping me along the road.

I gained so much more from Huma than simply an improvement in my own writing. She taught me how to slow down and think about my writing; to carefully consider the message I was trying to convey. She is also a great inspiration. She demonstrates that anyone can write, and make time to write, as she does.

I can’t wait to work with Huma again. I would urge anyone who has the desire to write but needs a little push to sign up.
— Laurie


Can we talk on the phone, Facetime or Skype?

I much prefer writing to talking. I feel your time and mine would be better spent writing than talking on the phone for an hour at a time. Corresponding by email is more flexible for both of us and also, I feel, leaves room for thoroughness and thought and the time to think things over.

I’m writing a book; can we be Writing Friends?

Sadly not. I am here for you to lean on, but I am a writer myself, who is also writing, and so I am simply unable to take the load of reading manuscripts for fiction/ non-fiction books in progress.

I’d like to start freelancing for magazines and newspapers. Will you be able to help me pitch my ideas?

While I’d be over the moon if you told me you won a commission for a piece, I’m not available to help you with crafting individual writing pitches to publications you’d like to write for. Writing Friends isn’t a pitching course.

How detailed will your editing be?

My feedback will be very detailed. I won’t amend your work without explanation but instead I will guide you towards polishing your pieces, explaining why I’ve made a particular suggestion. You’ll soon learn to be your own best editor. We’ll share documents in Google Docs, and I’ll add my suggestions as I read your pieces. If you’ve worked with me on The Quiet Words, you’ll be familiar with how I’ll do this; I’ll pick out what works, what doesn’t work, if something needs restructuring or rewriting. But I won’t re-write your work myself or continually correct typos or grammar; it’ll be up to you to be thorough.

Come this way to be Writing Friends