One to one tuition/ Kitchen Table Arse Kicking

Private Writing Tuition

I have no formal qualification in teaching. Instead I have a gift for it. I have a talent and it has taken me a long time to admit it. Thanks to HI-Arts and Emergents, I benefitted from a fifteen year apprenticeship in novel writing and self publishing. Because of Creative Scotland’s funding for emerging authors, and Scottish Book Trust’s dedication to the book, I managed to attend workshops with Scotland’s finest poet teachers, academics and visionaries. I update and enhance my skills regularly with retreats at Moniack Mhor. I am completing my first draft of novel three and I regularly enter short stories in literary journals, often published. My first novel is called The January Flower and it is available on Amazon (please leave a review).

My attitude to writing novels is that the words and stories should flow from the heart, then be shaped by some learnt techniques. The exercises I teach are not based on deconstruction of famous wordsmiths. I don’t demand clever insightful prose from my students. There is no vast reading list of highly acclaimed geniuses.

I teach you how to pull stories out of the nonsense in your head and then shape them into poems or stories or novels. I teach you how to start writing creatively, with highly creative techniques, exercises and homework.

  • This is a kitchen table/ coffee table service.
  • Payment must be made in advance for this service.
  • Once payment has cleared, I will read your work and offer to meet with you to discuss your needs.
  • Initial appointment lasts one hour, with in depth critique of your work.
  • Cost: £40 per session, for reading your work, plus initial meeting, with tutoring tailored to your own individual needs. Thereafter £30 per individual kitchen table workshops, which last a minimum of two hours.
  • Accommodation is available, for those travelling from afar, at £25 per night.

Here are some of the reactions from former students;

“One session with Orla and I haven’t stopped writing since” – Laura.

“Thank you Orla, you really listened to what I needed and gave me the confidence to get published and enter competitions” – Amanda Gilmour.

“Your classes were the highlight of my week” – Viv.

“Thank you for taking the time to read everything I ever wrote and show me ways to put it together” – Christine.

“You are so insightful and patient” – Jake.

“Orla is a sublime and gifted creative writing tutor” – Napier Marten.

I am dedicated to all things writerly. I am interested in your stories and how you wish to tell them and I have years of experience nurturing the curious potential author or poet.

If you have a novel tucked away in a drawer, or the back of your head, please get in touch. If you have a dream of writing the stuff of your lived experience but have no idea how to start, then I may be able to help.

Please use the contact form below for details on how to make payments.





From September I will be offering the kick up the arse sessions required for those undisciplined, lazy writers who refuse to finish their manuscripts. They will be two hours, in depth critique services with writing exercises and homework.
I will travel to your home, or you can come to mine OR we can meet in a nice country pub in Brodie and I will read your work, offer any and all advice, help, insight etc.
Each two hour session costs £35.
I will not be cross, but I will expect you to work. Working means write loads, re-write loads, print loads, re-write loads, bin it all, write more. Kitchen tables are the best places for this type of masochism. I have a kitchen table where many writers have already cried, kicked, shouted, stomped and eventually had their stories published.
Come on if you think you are hard enough!
These sessions must be booked and paid for in advance. You need to send me your poems, stories and prose. It takes time for me to read your stuff and to suggest ideas and directions for you. If you don’t pay me, I don’t show up.