Kind Words

On Mentoring:

“I had the good fortune of being mentored by Sophy for one year as part of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers’ Award Scheme. I could not have had a better mentor.

During challenging times, it was Sophy’s understanding and belief that bolstered my own and kept me from flagging. Her warmth and approachability is matched by a deep knowledge of her subject, helping her get the best out of people. I feel very lucky to have had her guidance on my writing journey.”

– Kenneth Stephen

“Sophy has been my writing mentor for the past two years as I finished finally a novel I have been working on for years. Could not have done it without her. She seems to know just what to say, making one or two observations or suggestions at a time, each one being what I need to hear. Now we’re into revising and editing.

As much as any work I have ever done, I have enjoyed this writing and this collaboration. Sophy has been my shepherd.”

– Todd Evans

“I was delighted to be chosen by the Scottish Book Trust to receive mentoring from Sophy whilst writing my second novel. It was invaluable to have someone as insightful and supportive as Sophy to help keep me focused and writing.”

– Zoe Venditozzi

On Editorial Feedback:

“Sophy’s response was prompt, thoughtful and reassuring, for it drew clearly on her extensive professional experience; she suggested a fantastic range of relevant reading, made pertinent comments about style and picked up meticulously on detail.  At the same time, I felt that she ‘got’ me, that she was sensitive to what it was that I was trying to achieve and that she wanted to work with me rather than offering a formulaic response.  In those early days of utter uncertainty, Sophy’s warmth and clarity were just what I needed.”

– Helene Witcher

“I’ve been through the report a few times and will use your advice to move my MS on. The more I read your report the more I have a clearer view of where I want to go. Thanks Sophy, this has helped a lot.”

– Neil Blair Cairns

“Sophy is both encouraging and plain-speaking, which is a very helpful combination. She listens clearly and responds directly and with understanding. She gave me a lot to think about and the encouragement to carry on. Working with Sophy has been very useful.”

– Peter Mohan


On coaching:

“I had no idea what to expect from a coaching session. If I’m honest I could see no harm but imagined any benefit unlikely. I am happy to report I was utterly wrong.

Because Sophy is so easy to chat to I had, within a few moments of beginning our session, forgotten the overall purpose of our conversation and was just enjoying the chance to talk about my writing, the process and the procrastination. Sophy, however, had not forgotten. With a few precise comments she suggested new ways for me to approach certain aspects of my work environment and also how I might fix some scheduling issues. Her directions made so much sense they seemed obvious as soon as she’d said them. I think that is the measure of her abilities – those solutions seem obvious only because they so perfectly fit the problems. Believe me when I tell you they had previously been as obvious to me as a black cat in a coal cellar.

Since my coaching session the stress and guilt I felt at my lack of progress has entirely lifted and with that fug of emotion removed I am free to get on with the rest. I can thoroughly recommend Sophy’s coaching.”

– Susan Kemp