Chapter and Verse

Do you want to develop your writing under the guidance of a published author or professional editor? Our unique and highly successful mentoring scheme Chapter and Verse is the ideal option for those serious about their writing. It is designed for writers working on a book project and the scheme pairs each writer with a mentor who gives tailored feedback on the work over a period of 12-18 months, supporting the writer to complete their book. A second reader is then assigned to appraise the completed work, and mentees are invited to a full day in-house at TLC’s home at the Free Word Centre, London, to meet with an agent and editor, find out about the industry, and pitch their work in an intimate and supportive environment with fellow writers.

“For me, the TLC mentoring scheme provided much better value for money than the writing MA I had previously undertaken . . . Crucially, too, there was no requirement for ‘jumping through the hoops’ of a University’s critical/analytical component. All the energy was focused on improving my novel, and it really paid off.”

Rachel Connor, Sisterwives 

Chapter and Verse is designed to work around any lifestyle, operating online with emailed submissions and feedback. We only work with experienced mentors of the highest quality. It is for writers of fiction, creative non-fiction (including memoir), short stories, and poetry. The scheme was co-founded in 2007 with Sara Maitland, one of TLC’s most treasured writers and a manuscript assessor with the company until 2015. Sara had worked on a mentoring scheme with the British Council, and had seen first-hand the value of the online editorial support for writers. Rebecca Swift and Sara Maitland developed the unique TLC scheme together, and, with help of Arts Council England, launched the scheme which has become highly valued by writers who embark upon it. Sara brought with her some tried and tested mentors that she rated personally, and TLC has added some new ones. The net result is a cracking team.

“Yet again TLC has come up with a scheme that is both cutting-edge and a winner. Think of the mentoring scheme as a literary life support machine – so sign up and get creative.”

Simon Trewin, literary agent

How it works and FAQs

Over the course of 12-18 months, TLC mentees are offered six written feedback reports by their mentor, based on submissions of material from their writing project. Currently, Chapter and Verse is the only mentoring programme that also offers a full manuscript assessment of the completed book at the end of the process. We also invite mentees to an intimate Industry Day in focused, small groups at TLC’s base the Free Word Centre at the heart of Clerkenwell, with a guest literary agent and editor to discuss the publishing industry today, including top tips on pitching your work to the industry.

If you are a more advanced writer interested in face-to-face mentoring with an industry specialist mentor, please enquire with us directly about our Premium Chapter and Verse scheme offer.

As part of TLC’s commitment to environmental sustainability, for every new mentee who signs up from July 2019 onwards, we pledge to plant one tree in the National Forest. To find out more about how you can support the National Forest directly, click here.

Who does Chapter and Verse work best for?

Chapter and Verse is open to all writers writing in English anywhere in the world who are working on a book-length project. The programme has been designed to support writers to completion of their book-length project: this may be a novelcreative non-fiction, a collection of short stories or a collection of poems. The scheme has been designed to fit around any lifestyle, with deadlines set two months apart, and a generous six-month period at the end of your mentoring sessions to complete the project and submit it for a full manuscript assessment by a second reader. This series of deadlines is designed to help you keep vital writing momentum going and help you realise your creative vision.

We recommend that you have written at least 10,000 words of your book project before applying, to ensure that your mentor is able to help you fulfil, rather than lead, your creative vision.

N.b. Unfortunately we cannot offer mentoring on children’s illustrated fiction, scripts or screenplays, but we do offer manuscript assessment of each of these genres, by specialist readers.

What is the Industry Day?

Each Chapter and Verse mentee has access to an Industry Day, held at TLC’s offices. Industry Days offers our mentees a chance to meet fellow mentees, and hear from industry guests. There will be an opportunity to ‘pitch’ your work in the afternoon, with live feedback given by our industry guests. This is a unique opportunity to find out more about the industry and the life cycle of a book from draft to bookshelf, and to get practical, up-to-the-minute advice about working with agents and publishers. Previous Industry Day guests include Juliet Mushens, Kishani Widyaratna, Kirsty Dunseath, Chris Wellbelove, Emma Paterson, Anne Meadows and Lucy Luck. Tea and coffee is provided.

How much does it cost?

Chapter and Verse is competitively priced at £2,200 + VAT. This is extremely good value when compared to creative writing MAs and other courses which are offered on a shorter timescale and/or are not designed to support a particular writing project, focusing instead on the craft of writing and peer feedback. Chapter and Verse offers bespoke feedback to your writing at all times, and includes support from TLC’s team, access to the Industry Day and a full manuscript assessment at the end of the programme, worth on average £650.

Can I pay in instalments?

Payment is required upfront, or in two instalments, with the second due on the date of your third mentoring submission. We ask writers to ensure they can commit for the full length of the programme, and will provide you with a contract outlining your commitment, your mentor’s, and TLC’s. Once the mentoring process has begun, no refunds are available.

Can I meet my mentor?

No, Chapter and Verse has been designed as an online mentoring course with bespoke feedback available via email. The programme is managed by our in-house team who are on hand to help throughout. Postal submissions may be arranged if email is not possible, with any additional costs covered by the writer. The writer is responsible for their own travel and attendance at the Industry Day.

How do I apply?

To apply, please send a one-page synopsis or proposal*, a completed  Application Form, plus a 2,500 word sample of work, to with the subject header ‘Chapter and Verse Application.’ Please tell us a little about yourself, and why you are applying, in a short covering letter.

*It is fine if this is an outline only, as we understand you may not have written the whole book yet.

“TLC’s mentoring scheme provides the chance to develop work in an encouraging environment, but it’s unique in also offering a realistic assessment. This combination of personal attention and truthful critical advice is ideal for anyone who is serious about their writing.”

Joanna Briscoe, author of Sleep With Me, Bloomsbury

See also:
How to apply
Terms and conditions