Your Writing Mentor Nicola Skinner
Get feedback from award-winning children’s writer, Nicola Skinner
Nicola is the author of critically acclaimed middle-grade novels BLOOM, STORM, and STARBOARD, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. She worked as a journalist and copywriter before becoming a published author, for titles like The Guardian, VICE, The Independent, and many national publications. She has been nominated for the Blue Peter Book Award, the Branford Boase Award, and been a Guardian Book of the Year.
Specialises in: Middle grade and young adult.
Nicola provides tuition for our Mentoring Service.
Why we love Nicola
Nicola is a self-taught middle grade writer with tonnes of experience under her belt. Whether you’re starting a new project or polishing your work, Nicola will be able to guide you through the world of children’s writing and give you expert advice on the publishing industry.
What Nicola says about Mentoring
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for unpublished authors is a lack of confidence. I should know; I was one too, for about thirty years, and I carried that lack of belief around with me like a bag of mouldy spuds. You might think that what’s stopping is you not knowing what the character arc for your main protagonist is, but really, it’s a lack of confidence in what you’re doing. As your mentor, I want to listen, feedback, understand what’s special about your writing, and help nurture and bring that out as much as possible. I want you to find that self-belief that will help you break through and keep going.
I’m definitely a self-taught author. I haven’t done an MA in Creative Writing. But I have written, professionally, since my 20s, across many different disciplines, from sales to marketing to editorial to journalism. My experience as a writer across these different fields has helped me develop resilience and an understanding of the importance of fluidity and adaptability when writing and editing. When I had the idea for BLOOM I was a tired and frazzled new parent working part-time who was convinced her idea was too weird to be a book but couldn’t stop herself from writing it. It was sheer bloody-mindedness that made me finish it, and give it to a few friends to read, and send it to agents, and deal with rejection, and rewrite it, and send it off again.
I’m also particularly keen to debunk myths around: getting into publishing, finding an agent, how polished and perfect your work should be, how much writing you should have done, what sort of writer you should be, how much you should write every day, and any other unhelpful assumptions that might be holding you back from taking your next step towards publication, while also sharing tips that helped me turn my unpromising first draft into an actual book. I look forward to hearing about your work.
Start your mentoring today
Get expert one-to-one advice from Nicola Skinner as you write and edit your manuscript.