“Shelley was a wonderful mentor. I can honestly say that, without her encouragement and guidance, I do not believe I would have ever completed a first draft of my novel. It was such a difficult story to write, and sometimes felt too dark and confronting. But Shelley’s belief in me and the value of my story kept me going. She helped me to see the light in the story and taught me a lot. I could not have done it without her.” Cynthia, Faber Academy mentoring programme

“Shelley has been a kind and generous mentor. Having started with just the germ of an idea as a short story I now have an almost finished novel draft. I would not have been able to achieve this without her astute insights and firm encouragement. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Shelley whose quiet intelligence and deep knowledge of the written word and literary form have been the highlight of my time with her on this programme.” Erika Banerji, Gold Dust

“Shelley has taught me invaluable lessons in causality, identifying characters’ primary wants, and not overwriting. Her insight is sharp and always precise. I’ve still got a way to go with my novel, but the first draft has so much better direction now, and there’s no way I would’ve come this far without Shelley’s guidance. My confidence and writing have improved immeasurably since I set out on this journey with her.” Stephen Daultrey, Faber Academy and Gold Dust

“I know I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for Shelley. I was lucky to have her as my tutor during the Faber ‘Writing A Novel’ course . She encouraged me to be true to my voice and follow my heart rather than trends for which I am very grateful. When I signed up to the Gold Dust mentorship programme, I wanted Shelley to be my mentor. Over the course of the year, she challenged me and my characters to do better. I could not have wished for more support, guidance or advice. What makes her an exceptional mentor is her impeccable insight, ability to draw out potential and her generosity. I feel privileged to have had her as my mentor and hope to make her proud one day.” Lola May Coker, Faber Academy and Gold Dust

“I can’t speak too highly of my experience being mentored by Shelley Weiner. She is an exceptionally thoughtful and incisive reader, with a grasp for the underlying dynamics of character and story that manages to be at once quick and deep. Our sessions together were instrumental in encouraging me to propel myself past inertia and perfectionism and to focus on the real absorption in craft that is needed to (as she puts it) write a story from the inside.” Marybeth Hamilton, Faber Academy and Gold Dust

“Working with Shelley at Gold Dust was an enormously rewarding experience for me. Shelley was motivating and encouraging at all stages and brought my novel to life from its origin as a short story. Her review notes were always comprehensive and illuminative; she knew the detail and themes of the story more intimately than I did myself. Moreover, she could tell when I was veering off-piste and provided direction for safe return to the heart of the novel. Aside from the work, I found it deeply rewarding to converse with Shelley and can recommend her as a masterful literary guide in the formative phases of one’s writing career.”  Carmel Boyhan Irvine, Gold Dust 

“Shelley is one of the most encouraging and most demanding of mentors I have encountered along the writer’s path.  She is an amazingly astute reader, with a long view of what can happen to a writer along the way.  She hears a story-line as well as its style, and has helped me make important decisions about what matters in my own writing.  Her experience as a writer as well as a tutor is vast.  I carry her on my shoulder when I sit down to work, in the best possible of ways.” Bethanie Alhadeff, Faber Academy and Gold Dust

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have had Shelley as a mentor. The sessions with her gave me a deadline to work towards which in turn brought discipline to my writing. Before each session, Shelley would send a discussion note in addition to her detailed feedback on the writing itself. This gave structure to the sessions making them highly focused and productive. I valued this immensely, given that our sessions were conducted via Skype as I live in India. Before I signed up for Gold Dust, I had doubts about the effectiveness of Skype sessions, but I’m happy to say that it worked perfectly well. To writers around the world looking for high quality mentoring, don’t let the fact that it’s long distance stand in the way. The Gold Dust format works.” Anjali Patil, Gold Dust

“From day one I was impressed by Shelley’s professionalism, insight and sincere desire to help.  Each Gold Dust session was  tremendously useful. I learned more about plot, characterisation, dialogue, editing, telling a story, etc., in the year of working with Shelley than I had learned in all my previous years of struggling to write. Part of Shelley’s talent is the ability to nudge you in new directions and getting you to think in ways that help you learn to ask the right questions about your writing so that you can fix the problems yourself. I had found someone who cared about me as a writer and had the skills, the patience and the ability to make me a better writer.” RH Leadholm, Gold Dust

“Working with Shelley on the Gold Dust Mentoring scheme has been an absolute privilege. Shelley is so wise and insightful, not only about the craft of writing great fiction, but also about what a reader expects from a novel … [she] is truly inspirational.” Catherine Taylor Burden, Gold Dust

“Shelley’s feedback was a perfect combination of encouragement and keen-eyed remarks when my work did not live up to its potential. Her consideration and flexibility made it possible for me to manage this high-quality creative writing programme alongside my working life. I am proud to have had Shelley as my mentor and to have been part of the Gold Dust scheme.”  Gabor Holch, Gold Dust (based in Shanghai, mentored by Skype)

“I feel as if I have been at university, with my own private tutor to guide, encourage, and inform me. In Shelley I found a friend, a tutor, a guide – everything I was looking for in a mentor.” Nina Davies, Gold Dust

“I feel truly privileged to have had my life-changing writing mentorship with Shelley Weiner. What makes her exceptional mentor is her sensitive yet thought-provoking style, and her generous and empowering ability to unleash potential.”
Julieta Timane, Gold Dust

“Under Shelley’s perceptive, sharp eye I wrote, dismantled and rebuilt my story. As a mentor she instilled confidence in myself and in my abilities. She was a quiet, calm force and her constructive criticism allowed the creative process to develop. Now the mentoring has ended, I want to start with Shelley all over again. She is amazing — a star.”
Sarah Jhirad, Gold Dust

“I am hugely grateful to Shelley for believing in me and in my story.  Her mentoring of me helped me shape my memoir. When I faltered and lost confidence she helped me get back on track.  As a result I have a way forward, a theme, a structure and can now write dialogue which I had never done before!  I highly recommend Shelley as a mentor to guide, challenge and support you in your writing.”
Anni Townend, Gold Dust

” Shelley turned on so many light bulbs for me over the year we worked together that I’ve finally been able to make my way to those two magical words… The End. With her help I feel like I might be getting closer to a work of fiction I can be proud of. I’ve come out of our conversations richer, more confident, and most importantly, a better writer.”
Vanessa Blackledge, Gold Dust

“My year  with Shelley as my mentor has been an amazing journey. She has shown me how to produce an engaging novel by considering the whole structure, both of plot and characters. Shelley expects her students to work as hard as she herself works. I would recommend others to take this marvellous chance to realise their potential with her as their mentor.”
Mary Major, Gold Dust

“I marvel at how much I have received from Shelley Weiner’s mentoring and how my confidence has grown. Her sensitive guidance has transformed my ability to write – both on a technical level and in the mysterious way she has elicited my voice and given me confidence in it. I feel as though I have been on an MA in creative writing.  She has been an exciting and uplifting teacher because she has drawn out of me what is heartfelt and alive, and encouraged me to trust it. What she has taught me has changed me for ever.”
Helena Partridge, Gold Dust

“Each session with Shelley left me with much to consider. She was patient and encouraging and her comments and suggestions have been revealing and instructive.  I am grateful for all the time and energy she spent constructively critiquing my work and assisting me.”
Jocelyn Watson, Gold Dust

“Shelley was lovely – helpful, focused and very encouraging, lots of useful tips and tools. … A truly fantastic course providing me with precisely the tools I was after to help get my idea out of my mind and onto the page. … Shelley was perceptive and helpful as well as being an excellent teacher….Loved the writing course – really thoroughly enjoyable.”
Skyros Writers’ Lab participants.

“I have just had my last mentoring session with Shelley, and I want you to know how delighted I am with the whole experience. I had an idea for a story but no experience of writing a novel. Because of her patience and expertise, I will now actually finish my novel, and she has given me enough confidence in my writing to submit it, when finished, to professional scrutiny. I would happily recommend her to any other wannabe novelist.”
Laurence Myers

“Our Skype sessions worked extremely well because they allowed me to remain highly focused. I had considered trying for an MA in Creative Writing but went for mentoring instead – and from the start I knew I had made the right choice. Shelley helped me to find and fully explore my protagonist’s voice, and my own voice as a writer. Her mentoring has enabled me to build my confidence as a writer. I now feel competent to tackle that magical final draft, though I’ll really miss our sessions.”
Mya Roberts