Writing Services

I provide a number of services for emerging writers and community groups. On this page I outline my services in regards to the three  most common requests I receive:

Mentorship and Manuscript Consultation
Classroom Workshops and Readings
Public Readings

I will do my best to find a way to work with anyone who is interested, so please don't hesitate to contact me, even if what you're looking for falls outside these three categories.

Mentorship and Manuscript Consultation

My Qualifications

I have been editing online and print poetry publications for the past decade, including a term as poetry editor at PRISM international, while I was at the University of British Columbia completing my MFA in Creative Writing. I have taught, and edited manuscripts, both at UBC and the University of the Fraser Valley.

I have judged a number of local and international poetry contests, including the Ghana Poetry Prize (Poetry Foundation Ghana) and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes). I have also served a year as an editor with the Booming Ground manuscript consultation program.

Personally, I've had continued success in publishing my work in journals, magazines and anthologies, and in winning contests and awards for my poems and manuscripts. You can get more details on this from by bio page.

What you can't learn from my bio page is that I've had over 400 different poems, stories and essays rejected a total of 1200 times. In other words, I understand how daunting a task it is for a new writer to get their work out there, and am eager to pass on what I've learned.

What I Offer

I offer two distinct types of editorial support:

1. An in-depth mentorship program, designed for emerging writers, in which participants submit 10 pages of poetry per month over a 3, 6 or 12 month period. I give feedback in monthly one-hour meetings, which happen in person (if residing in Vancouver) or by phone or Skype. In-line edits on a physical or e-copy of the poems are provided at that time. I also provide ongoing tips and information on submitting to journals and publishers (including which publishers and magazines to focus on), and on managing your submissions. And I offer lots of love and encouragement, to boot!

2. A one-time manuscript consultation, designed for writers preparing a book for publication. This includes general feedback, in-line edits, ideas for how to sequence the poems, and suggestions of possible publishers. Feedback is provided both in a paper (or e-) copy and in an in-person or phone/Skype consultation.

What Others Have Said

"I really appreciate the time Rob took with my poems - I carry his advice into places outside of the poetic craft. When I write, I plan on using his generous critical approach to my work."

- Alex Carey, 6-Month Mentorship

"I was impressed by Rob's professional patience and thoroughness, knowledge of the genre and willingness to be generous in his praise and honest and straightforward in his criticism. His eyes combed out many a burr and opened up many a possibility. Having done this kind of consultative work in the field of history manuscripts, I can say that Rob went beyond the call of contractual duty, for which I am deeply grateful."

- Michael Power, Manuscript Consultation

"Working with Rob was an invaluable experience that focused my poetry and helped give me a greater sense of purpose in my writing. His generous feedback gave me direction in my rewrites, and pushed me to approach the poems in a different way. His responses always pinpointed both the specific weaknesses in the poems as well as the broader and more common problems in my writing, and gave me suggestions on how to work with them. Overall, the experience was incredibly positive and Rob’s encouragement has greatly increased my own confidence in my writing."

- Alison Braid, 6-Month Mentorship


3-Month Mentorship: $300
6-Month Mentorship: $550
12-Month Mentorship: $1000
Manuscript Consultation: $5 per page for first 20 pages, $3 per page after that (i.e. a 60 page MS = $220)

If you are interested in working we me, don't hesitate to contact me with a query letter and a few sample poems. 

Classroom Workshops and Readings

I give both poetry readings and poetry workshops with high school and university students. The poetry readings are best aimed to Grade 11 and 12 and undergraduate students, while the workshops go well with Grades 9 and up. I would also be open to running my poetry workshops with adult writing groups.

Here's what some students have had to say about my visits:

“Unique experience, enjoyed the presentation, as I learned about many types of poetry.”

“It was inspiring. He talked about how he succeeded through his determination and love for poetry. I find it really hard to make one poem and the fact that he made a book inspired me to follow what I want to do.”

“Yesterday was different than I expected because my idea of a poet is someone a bit older and more either artsy or depressedish, someone who wears a lot of scarves or something.”

My rates for visits are negotiable, and vary depending on how many classes and students are involved, travel costs, etc. Contact me if you'd like more information.

Public Readings

I have given poetry readings and presentations across Canada (ok, I've only made it as far as Quebec - c'mon Maritimes!). You can apply for funding to have me attend your event through The Writers Union of Canada's National Public Readings Program. If that isn't possible for you, contact me and we can negotiate a rate. I will often read for free if I'm in the neigbourhood.