Mentoring

I work with authors to develop, revise and complete their manuscript. I have thirty years’ experience mentoring emerging and established authors. I offer conversations and written feedback that enable authors to hone and develop their craft and discover new techniques. I’m particularly focused on structure, narrative pacing, and language techniques. As a mentor I support writers to realise their vision for the manuscript, to stay on track, keep to deadlines, and to finish the work. I work with authors to prepare their work for submission to agents and publishers, and to bring the manuscript to a publishable standard.

Read more about the process: “Your Own Personal Yoda? Q&A with writing mentor Dr Jane Messer”, published in Women’s Ink, Winter 2021. Interview with Jacqui Brown, YA and science writer and Women’s Ink editor.

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Rates

  • Three Hour Taster $550
  • Sustained Development Mentoring starts at 10 hours $1,750; 20 hours $3060.
  • Manuscript Assessment begins at $500, depending on length of manuscript
  • These rates include reading time. Reading times vary because sometimes a work is a rough, early draft, other times the work might have gone through a series of close edits. A manuscript is a living, breathing thing, and very individual. A working estimate is up to 10K words— two-three hours, 35K words —eight hours, 70K words — sixteen hours.

MQ graduate discount

Graduates of Master of Creative Writing or the Creative Writing Major at Macquarie University a 20% discount through to the end of 2021 on these packages.  If you’re not quite ready to commence, contact me in any case and we can discuss.

Testimonials

Jane recognised my vision immediately and was ambitious for me, and incredibly supportive. She’s helped me work through the kinds of technical inconsistencies I wasn’t able to see clearly, being in the thick of the story. She taught me much about structure, and the importance of killing off darlings, and of being a disciplined and decisive editor of my work. Her advice and expertise in putting together pitch and proposal documents and creating a tight synopsis were also fundamental I believe, in getting my novel seen by agents and publishers.

Cassy Cochrane, emerging author, voice coach and actor

It was only through Jane’s vision and patient inspired teaching that saw me develop from a very green young aspiring writer, to an author with stories published in both Australian and international journals, such as IslandAntipodes and Wasafiri. It was the generous spirit in which she shared her knowledge and experience that allowed me to first find the courage to teach Creative Writing, then to work as Managing Editor, first of Southerly, then of Mascara Literary Review. Jane’s mentorship was an integral part of my own journey.

Michelle Hamadache, author and editor, creative writing teacher

Jane has a deep understanding of craft, in particular, focalisation, plot and character development; all skills gained from years of teaching and reading many kinds of manuscripts. She is an astute and highly intelligent reader. She is concise and constructive in her feedback. She is an extremely ethical and generous person, a creative problem-solver, an empath. All wonderful qualities in a writer and mentor. I would strongly recommend Jane as a mentor to other writers. I feel extremely privileged to have had Jane’s caring and unwavering support for my writing over many years.

Mary-Ellen Mullane, author and children’s TV commissioning producer, ABC

Jane Messer’s clarity, generosity and immense knowledge are the best combination of skills in a mentor. Her openness to students and colleagues from minority communities and genuine care for the emotional well-being of her students and mentees has had a direct and positive impact on my productivity as a writer, teacher and researcher. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from her wise counsel and to develop my own skills with her guidance.

Dr Roanna Gonsalves, author and creative writing teacher
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