I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and have taught Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, non-fiction) at Simon Fraser University, the University of the Fraser Valley, Douglas College, Algoma University and other post-secondary institutions. I have also mentored students as Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and UFV in Abbotsford.
I have edited online and print poetry publications for almost twenty years. I am a past poetry editor at PRISM international, editor of What the Poets are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation, and guest-editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2019. I have served on the juries of numerous poetry competitions, including the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the Archibald Lampman Award, and BC’s Poetry in Transit program.
I’ve also had my own poems and stories rejected over 1500 times! I know how hard it can be to get published, and I am happy to share what I’ve learned with you.
My Online Course
I currently teach “Poetry 1“, an online course offered by SFU Continuing Studies here in Vancouver. The course is text-based and asynchronous, involving weekly lectures, readings, writing exercises, discussions and workshops. “Poetry 1” is offered twice a year, starting in January and September, each time running for ten weeks (upon completion, you’re able to sign up for the follow-up courses, Poetry 2 + 3). As my ability to take on one-on-one mentorships fluctuates wildly from semester to semester, the course is the best and most reliable way to work with me. It’s open to writers of all skill levels anywhere in the world, and it’s a lot of fun!
You can learn more about the course and register here.
One-on-One Editing (CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE)
I will consider anything from ten pages of poems up to full book-length manuscripts. My feedback consists of hand-written line edits as well as broader feedback provided either in person, via Zoom, or in writing.
Depending on my availability, multiple “mentoring” sessions can be arranged over a 3, 6 or 12 month period.
If you are interested in working with me, email me at roblucastaylor(at)gmail.com with a short overview of your project (number of poems/pages), your timeline, and a few sample poems. Note that I am often unable to take on new editing work (two kids at home!), but please do query.
10-50 pages: $150 for first 10 pages, $7 per page after that (line edits + 1-2 pages of broader notes)
50+ pages: $400 for the first 50 pages, $7 per page after that (line edits + 2-3 pages of broader notes)
Rates for extended mentoring sessions vary. Email me to discuss.
What Others Have Said
“I have taken more than a dozen online courses in the past few years – some for work, some for school, and some for pleasure. This is by far the best online learning experience I have had. The quality and responsiveness of Rob’s instruction is an example of what online learning can and should be.”
– Nicole Drake, SFU Creative Writing Student
“Rob’s enthusiasm is contagious and it makes me excited to reboot and dig in again after almost a year of not writing much of anything. I have received more input and direction in these past few weeks than I ever have. Rob’s deep affection for poetry and sense of humour throughout have been welcome gifts. It can all be heavy lifting but he brought an uncanny level of insight, along with levity and pleasure, to every step of our course.”
– Catherine Malvern, SFU Creative Writing Student
“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