What clients say

"I have been collaborating with Katri for five years whilst working on a piece of autobiographical writing. Throughout this period, I have never once felt there was an idea, memory or experiment that I could not bring to the table. I have found Katri’s mentoring to be unfailingly constructive and elegant, her insights laser sharp, and her overall approach, quietly compassionate."
writer, travel memoir

"Katri has supported me on writing two historical novels. Initially, she helped me find and then develop my writing style. Having taught me basic rules of thumb, her focus evolved to help me develop characters, scene-setting and plot points. She gently questioned the paths I’d taken, often helping me work through ideas that weren’t fully formed. She was comfortable pushing back on ideas that didn’t work, or that could be executed better. She has a good grasp of historical themes and often prompted me to expand the fictional world by suggesting research elements that I’d ignored. Her approach is to be really encouraging and on the occasions when I’ve felt disillusioned with my projects, her practical tips have got me back on track. The discipline of meeting with her to review my output was a really good part of my process and always left me excited and motivated to do more. We’ve met in person and on zoom, and I’ve found that either works well. I’m looking forward to her helping me with my next one." 

writer, historical fiction

"It’s a joy to work with Katri and I find our sessions very rewarding and productive. I am constantly impressed by her ability to analyse a story and drill down to its heart. She is extremely good at analysing characters and their motivations, and identifying themes. It’s very useful to have our regular sessions as a milestone to work towards. She is extremely supportive and sympathetic, and always understands my work in exactly the way I intended it -- often she understands the stories better than I do myself. Her knowledge of craft and literature is also very impressive, and it goes without saying that she’s professional in every respect. I would recommend Katri without hesitation to any writer looking for a coach or mentor."

writer, short stories and novels

"I remain very pleased I found Katri Skala. I am now in the fifth year of working on a novel, and her highly astute, empathetic mentoring is an important part of my writing process. Advice is rich and generously offered. Katri’s response to my work at the outset of our sessions enabled the breakthrough I had been waiting for. This was at a stage of having little more than an idea and a first few thousand words. Her patience and encouragement have been integral as the text has grown. In fine-grain terms, Katri’s instinct for the development of a passage, and shape of the overall work, helps shed light on the ‘white paper battle.’ She has enriched my understanding of novelistic elements of characterisation, plot mechanics and dialogue. In the more abstract, ‘blue sky’ ways, Katri has recognised both the theme of the novel, and my personal investment in writing in ways that always encourage. As much as anything, her kindly consideration for a novel in progress, even in its very formative stages, has inspired me to go on experimenting with more confidence." 

writer, fiction 

"Katri's help was invaluable and unique in that it was so light-handed. There wasn't any sense of being directed by her or told what to do. What she does instead is listen with an unusual intelligence that comes in at exactly the right moment to free you from the knot you've been tying yourself that prevents you from writing."

writer, poetry and non-fiction

"Katri offers a place in which I feel safe to think about my writing and myself as a writer. Whether I arrive at a session with lots of words or the turmoil of a blank page, the space that Katri offers, which is both gentle and charged with creative energy, invariably helps me find a way forward. I value enormously her intelligent and thoughtful observations, practical solutions, her wholehearted presence and her care towards me as a writer. She is a mentor in the true sense of the word - a trusted and experienced guide - and, through our work together, we have discovered the whispers of my authentic voice and honed my writing so that it reaches the page in its clearest form. The sessions with Katri have been one of the best investments I have made - I feel as though I have had a university-course worth of teaching for a fraction of the price! But, for all that Katri offers, she somehow makes me feel as though the ideas and possibility are within me. I turned up to my first session with the draft of a novel. I have learned since then just how much of a draft that was but, rather than looking back with embarrassment, I look back with a smile and a sense of pride at how far I have come. That is, without doubt, thanks to Katri. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with her and look forward to the writing adventures still to come! " 

writer, young adult fiction

"Katri is the first person I've worked with who has been able to explain my writing to me in terms of structural choices. It was something I knew I needed to improve but didn't know where to start.  Katri has helped me to break down my writing style and better understand my instincts, to improve where messy and build on what works.  My writing feels more efficient as a result and I have a greater sense of confidence over the choices I'm making. I look forward to our sessions hugely.  I have been fortunate enough to have Skype sessions every fortnight for six months which has given me something to aim for and means Katri really knows my work so that we can talk in depth. I've come away full of creative energy and direction for the future.  Katri has a rare ability to give feedback in a way that immediately makes me start thinking of ways to improve, she's never negative or critical so that it always feels like a shared process."
writer, fiction

"I contacted Katri when I found myself stuck during the writing of my novella.  During our monthly sessions, Katri's thoughtful and perceptive comments were invaluable in helping me to progress, and I was always extremely impressed by her knowledge and uplifted by our conversations. Thanks to her encouragement and goal-setting, I am now a whisker away from completing my book." 

writer, novella and short stories

"Initially I sought Katri’s advice when writing a biographical short story of about 5,000 words. She was immediately helpful in showing me the way to balance fact against fiction and in saving me from the pitfalls of too much historical research. This first story led to another, then another; Katri showed remarkable patience during this process, mentoring me in the ways of editing and developing the rough drafts of each one. Eight stories later and with a coherent collection in hand, I’m now looking for a publisher. Katri enabled this to happen and I can’t thank her enough. "

writer, biographical fiction

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