All my tutoring is tailored to a student's individual needs. I will work closely with you to identify which areas you are aiming to improve in and which areas you are weakest in. Together we will formulate a programme to address whatever issues have been raised.
For example, if you are writing a novel I will provide detailed feedback on such matters as style, structure, pacing, character development and plot – as well as more mundane matters such as grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting – in order to bring your novel to a publishable form. If you are writing a dissertation or thesis I will work with you to make your your writing as clear, concise and well-structured as possible. Or perhaps you're a non-native speaker writing a dissertation or thesis in English. Again, with my experience as an EFL teacher and dictionary editor, I can help. For every hour of online tutoring I guarantee to spend at least an hour in preparation, reading your work and making detailed feedback notes.
I have a PhD on Vladimir Nabokov and lecturing experience in the American Studies department at the University of Keele.
I worked for 5 years as an EFL teacher at the British Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
I worked for many years as a dictionary editor/senior editor at HarperCollins Publishers in Glasgow. I have also published scholarly articles in academic journals.
I have published two novels – most recently in 2020 -- and numerous short stories as well as poems and book reviews.
For what it's worth, I also speak passable Swedish and back in the 1980s translated my Swedish partner's doctoral dissertation on children's outdoor play from Swedish into English. If you Google me, you will find my fiction-writing credits and scholarly articles under the name “Robert Grossmith” and my dictionary-editing and book reviewing under “Bob Grossmith”. Informally, with students, I prefer “Bob”.
I'm particularly interested in tutoring budding novelists and aspiring writers of all stripes but I'm available for any kind of English language-based tuition. Put simply, the English language in one of its many delightful disciplines or another – studying it, teaching it, writing it, editing it – is how I have spent my life.
1972-1976, BA, Philosophy & Psychology, University of Keele, UK
1976-1977 member of 'Word & Action: community theatre and writing service,' Weymouth, UK
1977-1983 Teacher, English as a Foreign Language, British Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
1984-1987 PhD on Vladimir Nabokov, Dept of American Studies, Univ of Keele, UK
1987-1989 part-time lecturer, Dept of American Studies, Univ of Keele, meanwhile writing a novel, published as The Empire of Lights (Hamish Hamilton, 1990)
1990-2005 Editor/Senior Editor, Bilingual Dictionaries, HarperCollins, Glasgow, UK
2006-2020 Freelance writer/editor, Norwich, UK
I have published two novels (most recently in 2020) and numerous short stories, including stories in the Penguin Book of First World War Stories, the Time Out Book of London Short Stories, Best Short Stories 1989, Best Short Stories 1990 and the Best of Best Short Stories. I have also published poems, scholarly articles and book reviews, both in print and online. An audio podcast of one of my stories is free to listen to on YouTube. A full list of my publications is available on my website: (concealed information)
Contemporary reviews of The Empire of Lights:
‘…an accomplished and enthralling debut… This book is as subtle as the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave that seem to be our real life.’ (Andrew Sinclair, Times)
‘Complex, powerfully written and fascinatingly conceived.’ (Paul Golding, Sunday Times)
‘…a story finely hung between stock comedy and original thought… Robert Grossmith’s first novel proves with considerable wit that we know little of dreams and ignore their potency at our peril.’ (David Hughes, Mail on Sunday)
‘Literary and psychological patterns diverge and converge fascinatingly.’ (Adam Mars-Jones, Times Literary Supplement)
‘Grossmith approaches his subject with great integrity. Often in fiction the character influences the dream, but here the dreams influence, and come to dominate, the character. The inversion is subtle and effective… recommended reading.’ (Richard Burns, Independent)
‘Grossmith plays clever games with creativity and criticism, both literary and psychoanalytical. He gets full marks for presentation, for the inventive plot and handling of narrative viewpoint.’ (Robert Yates, Time Out)
I worked with Robert at HarperCollins in Glasgow and after he moved to Norwich we kept in touch. As Robert is a talented author and an experienced editor, I asked him to provide feedback on a novel I had written. I knew he would be impartial and I could trust his judgement.
His report showed me that my novel lacked focus, had too many characters and too many points of view. He advised me to write a synopsis that would force me to identify the essential story line. This made me realise that I had been writing for myself rather than for my readers.
While it might not have been what I wanted to hear, I found Robert's feedback invaluable and constructive. It means that I can decide whether to proceed with my novel.
Robert provides honest, helpful advice that ensures that your writing is the best it can be. If it is not up to scratch, he tells you how to improve it. I would recommend Robert to anyone who wants to write well.
I've known Bob for nearly 50 years and can vouch for both his talent as a writer and communicator and his integrity and approachability as a human being. Creative writing online tutoring and Bob are a match made in heaven.
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|at his home||at your home||By webcam|
|1 hour||£35||Not available||£35|
|5 hours||£150||Not available||£175|
|10 hours||£275||Not available||£350|