Teaching/mentoring

I am an experienced tutor of creative writing.  I taught on the undergraduate creative writing degree at Liverpool John Moores University for many years.  I have run writing workshops for all ages in schools, universities, libraries, in association with literary festivals and in the community.  I regularly tutor for the Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School  and have taught for Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Saw Trust.  I provide one-to one feedback sessions for The Poetry Society.   My next session is at The Poetry Cafe, London on September 27th.

You can read about an Arvon course I co-tutored at Lumb Bank, working with teenagers here. I am fully DBS (formerly CRB) checked.

I provide private, one-to-one mentoring (via email/Skype/in person) for the development of poetry writing projects/manuscripts. You can read a blog post looking at the biographies and acheivements of poets I have worked with since 2015 here.  Do get in touch at gosspoems@hotmail.co.uk if you would like to discuss a mentoring project.

TESTIMONIALS: 

Mentoring and editing:

‘Working with Rebecca has been absolutely pivotal in my development as a writer. Over the course of an eight month mentorship she helped me to carve out a real sense of craft and practice for myself. Andrew Motion said that studying under Peter Way was like having someone walk into his head and turn all the lights on, the same can be said for my time spent with Rebecca.’ – Simon Costello, mentee 2018

‘Rebecca is an extremely thorough mentor. She always balances her edit suggestions with positive feedback; Rebecca has the knack of being able to get to the heart of what is not working with the poem/sequence and what will potentially make it a lot stronger. As such, I always finish the sessions feeling optimistic about my poetry, even if there’s a lot of work to be done.  As a busy mother-of-three, keeping to a strict timetable was crucial for me and Rebecca did not let me down. From the beginning, I was very impressed at the way Rebecca put together a timetable (taking into account holidays etc) of submission dates, feedback sessions and rewrite deadlines. I cannot recommend Rebecca highly enough.’ – Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, mentee, 2018
As a relatively new poet, Rebecca’s mentoring is proving invaluable in helping me to polish individual poems, giving me confidence to experiment with a wider range of forms and styles, and beginning to think about building a small collection. Being able to tap into Rebecca’s experience of and insight into the world of poetry publishing is also hugely valuable and greatly appreciated. It’s giving me the confidence to send more things out into the world, and the intelligence to know where to send them. – Alison Binney, mentee, 2018

 

‘Working with Rebecca improved my sense for my own poems enormously. With her kind but accurate eye for detail, I was able to look at my work from a reader’s perspective and edit or rewrite accordingly. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rebecca and always looked forward to our mentor/mentee sessions. Rebecca was instrumental in helping me fine tune my first (to-be-published) pamphlet length collection for Eyewear Publishing. It was the best investment in my poetry that I have ever made.’ – Jo Burns, mentee, 2017

‘Rebecca is as serious about another person’s work as she is about her own. She is able, through dialogue, to tease out what the poem is really trying to say and she can help the writer find an appropriate way of exploring the depth of the poem. Rebecca can offer insight that it is often difficult to see for your self when you are involved in the actual writing of the poem. Rebecca will offer further thought for reading and websites and ideas where to send your poems. She is altogether very professional and takes other people’s poetry very seriously. I can recommend Rebecca to anyone who is in need of another viewpoint and who wants a dialogue around their work. Thank you Rebecca!’ – Wendy French, mentee 2018

 

‘I had the good forture of working with Rebecca when I was at a real crossroads in my work, especially as I was preparing my first collection. Rebecca was the perfect mentor in every way – sensitive, intelligent and insightful. With each session I could see the poems taking shape and the manuscript falling into place in ways I had not anticipated. I would unreservedly recommend working with Rebecca to any poet, whether you have a particular poem you need tweaking or you need advice with compiling a chapbook or full-length manuscript. You’ll never know where she might take you!’ – Victoria Kennefick, mentee, 2016/17 

‘Being mentored by Rebecca was a thoroughly beneficial and pleasurable experience. The sessions felt relaxed enough so that we could both be honest and open about trying ideas and discarding what didn’t work. Her skill and generous insights helped me nip, tuck and polish my poems so that they became sharper and more fresh and I really appreciated the boost it gave my work and my confidence as a writer.’ – Liz Hall, mentee, 2015.

Rebecca Goss was delightful to work with and I very much appreciated her professional, encouraging, intuitive and thorough editorial comments which helped shape the final form of my fourth collection, Vision on Platform 2.” – Nancy Mattson

Teaching/workshops:

‘I recently attended an eight week evening course run by Rebecca – this was intensive and very good value. Rebecca had meticulously prepared written materials and had put a lot of thought into each session. She provided great encouragement and supportive critical feedback throughout. The group was very sorry to disband!’ – participant on Writing Poetry Course, Suffolk, Jan-March 2017. 

‘Rebecca provided a wonderful variety of resources, topics and ideas for writing our own poems, which created a really rich journey over eight weeks. When it came to sharing our own poems she was a good listener and helped us to be likewise, attentive to the details that had gone into the poem but also keen, once we talked about the inspiration for the work, to maximise that inspiration within the poem. She made us all believe we are poets and that the world of poetry is ours to be part of.’ – participant on Writing Poetry Course, Suffolk, Jan-March 2017.

‘Rebecca provided hugely useful insights into my writing. She was generous and encouraging, yet keen to identify improvements and suggest solutions. Her careful scrutiny was invaluable in that I am now beginning to hear my own ‘inner editor’ and subject my poems to greater evaluative reading and redrafting. I cannot thank her enough because she took me through a process that could so easily feel uncomfortable with care, kindness and an unerring sense that my work had worth, and for that I will always be grateful.’ – participant on Writing Poetry Course, Suffolk, Jan-March 2017. 

‘Rebecca was one of the most successful writer’s visits we have had over the years. Both teachers and students got a lot out of her visit. Students were completely engaged and feedback was very enthusiastic.  Rebecca completely understood the nature of her audience, trusting their maturity and interest and this was reflected  in their attentiveness.  All sessions were clearly carefully prepared and structured.  In fact the visit was so successful, we aim to invite her back in on a regular basis.’  – Alison Shelley, English teacher, Colchester Sixth Form College, Essex.

‘We were kept busy all the time, had the break when we needed it, and ‘things’ were kept moving but at a pace that we could keep up with. A very industrious atmosphere was established from the beginning and the momentum was maintained. Really enjoyable.’

 ‘Well planned; a variety of activities; well-led; supportive, engaging manner; structured activities.’

‘Enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher who gave very positive feedback to the participants. First exercise and the poems we looked at were very well presented and interesting.’

                 – participant feedback from a workshop for Writers’ Centre Norwich

‘I think you can gauge by people’s enthusiastic response to the workshop – and the 100% concentration – that our group loved every minute of Saturday morning’.  – Pam Job, participant in workshop for Poetry Wivenhoe

My teaching also crosses over into medical humanities.  In 2015 I ran poetry workshops with students studying medicine at The University of Manchester. I am interested in using poetry as a tool to explore issues of empathy and communication between patients and medical staff. The day was very successful and I wrote about it here.

If you think I would be suitable for a tutoring opportunity, do get in touch: gosspoems@hotmail.co.uk

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4 thoughts on “Teaching/mentoring

  1. Pingback: Writing Poetry – a new course taught by Rebecca Goss | Rebecca Goss

  2. I live in a tower, built by Abbott Samson in 1296. It’s in the great churchyard, Bury St. Edmunds. The tower has foundations laid by King Canute in 1021. For ten years I have run a creative writing course for bereaved parents at the annual gathering of The Compassionate Friends and now have a collection of 48 poems, which I would like to see if I could get them published. I’d be most grateful if you could suggest a publisher who might be interested. Can I send you a couple of the poems so that you can assess their potential for publishing?

    You can check Samson’s Tower, Bury St. Edmunds out on the internet. Also my wife Barbara Ann, whose own mother was learning disabled . Barbara has an OBE, has published 26 books and hundreds of scientific papers. She has four International Lifetime Achievement Awards amongst other things! She can be checked out on the internet, Barbara Ann Wilson, Neuropsychologist. We lost our daughter in a white water rafting accident. She was never found. I’m eighty three and not good with computers. Love your poems and they inspired many bereaved mothers and fathers on the workshops I ran for TCF. I’m Suffolk born and bred!

    Mick Wilson

  3. Pingback: The mentoring life – Rebecca Goss

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