Fiction Doctor Mission Statement
'Only you can write your stories. There's no one else can make them up, or remember them, or tell them like you can. No one can do it for you. But sometimes life gets in the way and formal education lets you down and experience takes away your confidence to write the way you would like to.
'I think anyone can be tutored in developing their voice and creating work they can be proud of. The rules aren't the same for everyone, and much of writing is about learning which rules to break. It's a huge challenge - trying to write something that other people will want to read. But through constructive criticism and feedback I can help people to get there.'
I'm currently offering some tutoring - or my preferred word - coaching, in prose fiction. Any genre (literary, detective, SF, fantasy, romance, historical) - plus memoir or narrative non-fiction. I can offer a 500 word critique on a 5 thousand word chapter or story or excerpt from you. I'm offering constructive, practical feedback on characterisation, plotting, structure and further suggestions for development and reading. I'm not offering proof-reading and copy-editing. This is about giving you pointers for developing your work in your next draft.
Special introductory offer.... ! Feedback for a five thousand word piece costs £70 at the moment. Turnaround is within two weeks, though usually sooner.
I'm also available for a *series* of such submissions and coaching over a longer period. Also for pieces of greater word length, though naturally the price goes up accordingly.
CONTACT ME: firstname.lastname@example.org
I've taught Creative Writing in universities and various places for twenty years. I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, where I taught on their world-famous novel writing MA for seven years alongside Andrew Motion and W.G Sebald. I also organised and taught their undergraduate courses on Creative Writing. Then I taught for seven years at Manchester Metropolitan University on their novel-writing MA. I have also taught many residential writing courses for the Arvon Foundation over the years since 1996.
Here's the bestselling 'Creative Writing Coursebook' which I co-edited with Julia Bell, available from Macmillan.
Recommendations from writers and some former students and colleagues...
"Paul Magrs was a superb tutor. Thoughtful and kind but at the same time sharp-eyed and tough where it was needed. Supportive without ever being smothering. He identified exactly the *centre* of my first novel when I was still struggling to see what I had; absolutely invaluable."
Naomi Alderman (‘Disobedience,’ Penguin)
“Paul taught me on the UEA's MA in Creative Writing. He is an excellent tutor who always has something insightful and constructive to say. He is great at identifying small, technical problems but is also able to throw a complete curve-ball at you that makes you re-consider the entire piece from a different angle. If you're a writer looking for some expert feedback, I'd definitely recommend you get in touch with him.”
Phil Craggs (former fiction editor of blankpages magazine)
“I worked with Paul Magrs as a colleague in a university context where we were both teaching writing and literary studies.
He is a wonderful tutor and critic, astute, honest and generous with his time and expertise.
As a writer he is both feisty and fearless; he works in several genres and registers and is always arresting to read, whether he is writing for adults or for younger readers.
I've learned a great deal from Paul, both from his writing and from many intriguing discussions about literature.”
Patricia Duncker (‘Hallucinating Foucault.’)
"Paul Magrs is a brilliant tutor whose feedback changed the path I took with my writing. He teaches with imagination and leads by example, whether through literary fiction or his Doctor Who novels. I'd be a poorer writer without his insights."
John McCullough, author of The Frost Fairs and winner of the Polari First Book Prize
'I consider myself incredibly lucky that Paul Magrs was my workshop leader when I was writing my first ever novel. His invaluable support and advice gave me the courage to write the book I needed to write. He waved his magic pen and helped me to be brave. Six published books later and his advice still guides everything I write.'
Caroline Smailes (‘In Search of Adam’)
“As a writing tutor Paul Magrs opened up my world to a lifetime of writing. His ability to pass on his unique insight into narrative has enabled me to grow as a writer and to transfer those skills into my professional life. He gave me continued support over the years it took to find my voice and the journey I had from writing for business, to finding a literary agent to getting published. Without Paul I don't think I would now be a professional writer. Ten years on I still find inspiration and direction from his words now.”
Amy Beeson-Uddin (Three Book Deal with Harper Collins)
“Couldn't think of a better mentor.”
Nessa O’Mahony (‘In Sight of Home’ – Salmon Press)
“I was lucky enough to have been tutored by Paul while studying for my MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan. Paul has a tremendous depth of experience when it comes to nurturing the talents of inexperienced writers. Striking the right balance between honesty and kindness is no easy feat, but Paul doesn't stint on either, and his criticism always comes with encouragement. Whenever I was banging my head against one of the many brick walls one encounters as a writer, Paul offered insight, support and new angles of approach that kept me from beating myself into a bloody pulp - lessons I'm still gratefully applying six years on.”
Roz Clarke (MMU MA Graduate)
“Whenever we've taught together I've been so struck not only by Paul's creative energy but his good humoured generosity with students. With his impressive range of literary and genre references, and innate understanding of both the mechanics and the mysteries of narrative structure, he's really well equipped to help bring out the best in each student writer's work."
“Want to be a writer? - look no further. I can't think of a better writing coach than Paul Magrs.”
Tommy Donbavand (Scream Street)