About - WIP Consultations

‘In a nutshell I have to say it’s been just brilliant for me.’ SB

A Work In Progress (WIP) Consultation is a one-off support package available to longform writers (books and scripts in any genre) who are committed to developing their work to a high standard.

You may be a candidate for a WIP Consultation if you fulfil one of the criteria:

  • Your WIP is at least 20,000+ words long so far, plus you have a plan or synopsis outlining the rest.
  • You have already written an early draft manuscript (book 40,000+ words or script 10,000+ words) and in the process of redrafting.
  • You have almost finished your manuscript to a good standard, and are considering submitting to agents within the next 12 months.
  • Your manuscript has been rejected by several agents already, and you need help understanding why this is so.
  • You finished your first longform project some time ago, and are partway through another WIP that you think is much stronger.

Important: a WIP Consultation with Katie Ward is not a “how to get published” service.

Rather, the emphasis is on how to make your writing the best it can be.

Our priority will be identifying and solving the problems on the page. Together, we will also consider your creative process, what works for you and what doesn’t.

What I will deliver in your WIP Consultation package:

  1. A written report giving feedback on your manuscript (based on a 10,000-word max extract and a synopsis) highlighting its strengths and weakness using a traffic light system. Typically, a feedback report is 2,900 – 3,500 words long. I will comment on specific aspects of your project, such as plot; structure; genre; descriptions; characters; dialogue; and authenticity. I will also make recommendations, which you may reflect on, or ignore, as you see fit.
  2. A 50-minute one-to-one meeting at an Ipswich town centre location (Suffolk UK) to discuss your project and writing aspirations. Alternatively, a 50-minute phone call or video call depending on availability of tech.

‘The feedback report was forensic in detail and covered every area. Coupled with the system of highlighting the areas of most, through to least concern, I found it easy to work with. On the whole, I thought your criticism was fair and objective, and the recommendations were a real plus-point, not only because they offered potential solutions, but they showed the way I should be thinking about things in the first place.’ NM

During our conversation, I promise to:

  • Try to help you overcome any doubts you may be having about your writing process.
  • Listen to your aspirations, take them seriously, and offer practical suggestions when possible.
  • Answer your questions truthfully and kindly.

By the end of our time together, I hope you will have gained an insight into the kind of writer you are, have confidence to complete your WIP to a high standard, and feel inspired to explore your talents further.

‘My consultation with Katie Ward was inspirational. She has breathed new life into my manuscript and given me the confidence and support I need to finish my book. During the last eighteen months I have put considerable time and effort into my writing, but I felt stuck and could not see the wood from the trees. Katie’s feedback was precise, detailed and insightful. Katie challenged some parts of the chapters I submitted and she made me think about the impact of other chapters. I am delighted with the overall assessment and could not recommend her consultancy more highly.’ Gabby Niland

To benefit from a WIP Consultation, prospective clients need to:

  • Be able to accept compliments, and take them as encouragement to keep writing.
  • Have the maturity to receive constructive criticism, and consider this an opportunity to develop and improve your writing practice.
  • Be willing to have your assumptions challenged, push yourself further, and go deeper into what you’re trying to achieve on the page.

The support I provide is personalised and confidential. It is also only my opinion! While I have experienced the highs and lows of being a published novelist, I’m still learning too. You may disagree with what I have to say – and that’s fine. If I give you any feedback which you really don’t enjoy hearing, then please use this as a provocation; it is how the best art is made.

The writing life is full of frustrations and setbacks. It will almost certainly never make you rich. And yet we still want to write.

Here’s some free advice for you: we can all get better at writing.

With discipline, determination, and curiosity, it is possible to transcend the bad writing days. Just as you need to practice the piano to become a competent musician – or practice a new language in order to become fluent – the more we practice the craft of writing, the more we improve. But this is down to each of us individually. It takes time. There is no shortcut.

You don’t need to pay anyone to tell you that writing regularly and attentively is what will make you a better writer.

So, if you have honestly gone as far as you can under your own creative steam, and you are sure that a WIP Consultation is right for you, here’s what you need to know:

  • The total cost of 1 x WIP Consultation written feedback report and 1 x 50-minute conversation about your writing and aspirations with Katie Ward is £300.
  • This will be paid in two equal instalments of £150. The first instalment is a non-refundable deposit.
  • Terms and conditions apply. All clients sign an agreement in advance. The main reasons for this are to set the parameters of support; and to reassure clients that what is shared will be kept confidential.
  • Important: a WIP Consultation with Katie Ward is not a “how to get published” service. (It’s worth repeating.)
  • This one-off support package will be delivered to a mutually convenient timescale.

Your first step is to check the Diary for availability; then complete and return the Application Form. No money will change hands yet.

Application Form

‘I remember you saying, “You are already a writer!” and I left the meeting walking a little differently, with a little more bounce in my step – walking, feeling, breathing like a writer!’ SB

Background: The WIP Consultation offer is run by Katie Ward. It originated in 2018 when several participants at Wolsey Writers requested more bespoke support. However, WIP Consultations are delivered separately to Wolsey Writers provision which is now part of NWT Creative Communities.