Writing can be a lonely endeavour. Alone at your desk, perched precariously between all of the other demands in your life, it’s easy to lose heart, and faith in yourself and your words. If it’s the first time you have attempted a book-length work, it can be hard to know where to start … or how to finish.

We’re great believers in the mentorship model for learning the craft of writing.  It is more practical and personal than a university course or workshop, and usually much more effective. Our goal is to support you in completing your project and improving your writing and self-editing skills.

A mentorship is about you, your writing project, and your dreams as writer.

A skillful mentor can help you draw out the full potential of your work – and yourself. It can be a challenging but often exhilarating working relationship, during which you make more rapid progress than you would if you stumbled along by yourself.

“Inga’s work, mentoring my first completed novel, has been like a heart surgeon performing a triple by-pass. The changes she facilitated in my ability to write have been outstanding. Working on the page with Inga was more rewarding for me than attending any university. She has the gift to know how deep to cut to transform your work, while still motivating you towards its completion ­– be it the first draft or a major overhaul” ~ Laurie Truce.

Olvar Wood offers three month, six month and year-long mentorships.

Year-long mentorships are designed around developing your book-length manuscript for submission to a publisher. It includes a broader program of reading, research, thinking, exploration of your creative process, and self editing skills. From 2014, year-long mentorships are available via application only, with a maximum of four places.

All mentorships are based around a fortnightly submission cycle of up to 5000 words. Your mentor will read your work and provide detailed feedback within a fortnight. If practical, you can also meet with your mentor regularly to discuss your progress. This option is available by phone for those farther afield, or by email if you prefer.

Where do we begin?

Contact us:

Please provide details about your writing experience and achievements, the project you are working on, and your goals. And a short sample of your writing (max 2000 words).

We’ll contact you to set up a meeting/phone call. The initial meeting is an opportunity for you to ask questions, to make suggestions, and for us both to see whether we’re a ‘good fit’.

The first meeting is obligation free, and (if in person) coffee is on us.


The feedback you will receive depends a great deal on where you are as a writer and the nature of the project. It will range from structural/big picture issues, right down to grammar, punctuation, and formatting. It will usually cover the basics of plot, character, setting, dialogue and so on, as well as style and voice – and how all of these things work together to tell your story. If there are particular areas – say writing dialogue or action scenes – that you wish to work on, your mentor can tailor additional material and exercises to suit. Feedback and discussion can also include tips on writing practice, planning and self-editing, and preparing work for submission to a publisher. It will usually include suggestions for further reading, research, and potential markets for your work.

The aim of the feedback is to be as honest and constructive as possible, explaining what is working well and what could be improved, using practical examples and suggestions, and equipping you with the skills not only to complete your project to its full potential – but to continue to develop as a writer.


Rates are based on a cycle of fortnightly 5000-word submissions and feedback.*

  • Three months: $1350.00
  • Six Months: $2600.00
  • Year-long: $5000.00

*Mentorships are personally tailored and flexible, with the cost based on the mentor’s time spent (2 hrs per week) rather than calendar time elapsed. You can choose to suspend your mentorship at any time or spread it out over a longer period if you need to take a break or have limited time to spend on your writing.

Return clients are eligible for a 10 per cent discount, now matter how long since we have heard from you.