photo credit: mactrunk/



In 2020-21, Alison will extend her current work with emerging writers to mentorship adapted for on-screen mentorship, which will continue to include written feedback on submitted materials.

For her details of her mentorship work and full information, please contact Alison’s assistant, Sophie, at .


Feedback follows from some of the new and emerging writers who have worked with Alison. Many have gone on to publish short stories, short story collections and novels with excellent magazines, competitions and publishers. Others have received prestigious nominations and literary awards.

Feedback from Alison’s mentored writers, course participants, and writing students

‘What an extraordinary teacher and writer you are … so energising for the group, so open and generous in your time and attention. It was a joy.’

‘Expansive and enlightening experience, thank you.’

‘Very grateful for the expertise and generosity.’

‘so many wonderful words of wisdom’

‘It boosted myself-belief and gave me a wealth of knowledge, insight, structure and inspiration to continue in a new way.’

‘Very insightful into areas I could improve my writing & also how in the future I could continue in my development.’

‘I will treasure this opportunity.’

‘An event like this, that provides unpublished writers with direct access to a Booker longlisted author (I mean, when does that ever happen?), is worth its weight in gold.

‘Friendly, productive, confidence-boosting, BLISS!’

‘Alison’s demonstration of editing was really useful. Her workshop on writing the ‘inner life’ will remain with me.’

‘I enjoyed your workshops so much and took loads from them and I know the group did too – the feedback was fantastic – you really are an amazing teacher.’

‘It gave me confidence to press on as well as an awareness of the commitment needed. Opened my eyes to the potential of the short story form. Everything was wonderful – both challenging and supportive. I am exhilarated and exhausted!’

‘Completely changed my view of myself, I’ve never felt this comfortable, engaged, and excited in my life!’

‘Thank you so much for your teaching. I can’t express, even to myself, how much you have helped me… I also read your essay in Short Circuit & it has been transformative. A turning point.… I feel I have so much to nourish me now. I know I will always treasure this experience.’

“We all really appreciated your hard work, energy and commitment, and the evaluation forms were full of praise for you.”

the ‘input was invaluable and has helped me see a way forward with my novel.’

‘FANTASTIC advice, encouragement and professionalism. …generous, warm, available and well-organised.’

‘Thank you for making last week so very special. I came away truly ‘surprised by (a kind of) joy’ and now have to turn that joy into a resolve to continue to write.’

‘To be able to make time and space to see the big picture of my work, reflect, re-evaluate, make decisions – with expert support – has been invaluable. Thank you!’

‘very generous and supportive’

“I feel more confident, more inspired, reassured, more informed. I feel equipped to pull myself out of a writing dry spell in the future.”

“A huge thank you again. I really wouldn’t have got this far without you.”

‘It’s a cliche to say the week “changed my life” but, for me, it definitely did. I went in with a very poor view of my own writing abilities and the week for me was a final fling before giving it up.’

‘It has given me clarity, inspiration and technical understanding that will help me finish the project I am writing. Thank you!’

‘I wanted to get in touch to thank you, properly for your time and energy, and thoughtfulness, and your brilliant support of us at the writing retreat. It was such an extraordinary time for me: I’ve been churning out story ideas and beginnings ever since, though none of them as yet are finished. It felt like a jolt to the brain to be there, thinking and talking about writing, stories, and character. In any case, it was such a pleasure to meet you and be tutored by you. Thanks are not enough, but they will have to do. The retreat gave me a shot of self-belief, and permission to play with language, and I appreciate so much how hard you worked to make that happen.’

‘The technical advice… was invaluable … the collaborative spirit and atmosphere generated was really special.’

‘Thanks again for your tuition. Your enthusiasm is infectious, Im hoping your skill is, too.’

‘Thank you for putting so much into the course and making it work so well for everyone.  I came away very happy, and stimulated, and determined to do lots and lots of writing!’

‘Tremendously encouraging. Gave me lots to think about and work on going forward.’

‘What an inspiration you are.’

‘I found your course very inspiring and have written some more since, so it has definitely given me added momentum alongside some great insights.’

‘Just wanted to email to say how incredibly useful I found the course.’

‘I wanted to say such a huge THANK YOU for your teaching.’

‘Thanks again for such a fantastic course, I’ve been kept really busy with thinking of where to go next with the two stories I was working on.’

‘The writing week was a highlight of my year.’

‘Thank you for putting so much into the course and making it work so well for everyone.  I came away very happy, and stimulated, and determined to do lots and lots of writing!’

‘I’ve learned a lot about editing, and how to improve my writing from the sentence to the structure. The feedback I got, especially in tutorials, was incredibly useful, constructive and helpful. … Very generous.’

‘her thoughtful praise made me believe I could be a writer.’

‘I was stuck in my novel, I could not see how I was going to continue. Now I have a strong idea of what to do. I feel as if a weight has been lifted. I’m more inspired than I have been in a long time.’

‘Made me a bit more daring. Encouraged me to revisit a piece of work. Both very helpful. Alison’s structure and approach was really stimulating – also her confident preparation and generosity.’

‘Just wanted to say thank you again for such wise and considered tutorage, not to mention your fine company. The experience was a profound one.’


Forthcoming (in-person) Courses

w/c 25 Oct. 2021: – to be confirmed – Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre in the Scottish Highlands – To be tutored by Alison MacLeod and Adam Foulds, with guest, Jenni Fagan. Find out more here.