Coaching and Manuscript Consulting
I bring twelve years of experience as a Faculty Mentor reading the manuscripts of MFA candidates at the University of Nebraska’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program, as well as five years of similar work with private clients. I love working one on one with writers. I enjoy hearing about other writers’ processes and helping people move their own manuscripts closer to completion and eventual publication. My approach varies, depending on the needs of the individual writer, but I always try to:
- Meet the writer where he or she is on the page.
- Read without preconceived ideas of what a particular story should be about.
- Seek out the strengths in a writers’ work and reflect these back to the writer. Writers need to hear what is working in a particular manuscript as much as they need to hear what isn’t, yet.
- Try to determine the “heart” of a particular story. What is it trying to be? How can I help push it closer to that particular thing?
I work with writers at all stages of the process. Here are some of the services I offer:
Goal- and Deadline-Setting
- collaborative identification of goals and/or deadlines
- regular conferences to discuss progress toward goals
- reassessment of goals at intervals
Manuscript Reading and Response (for manuscripts both in-progress or completed)
- regular conferences, either in person or via phone, Skype, Google Chat, or Zoom, to discuss progress, problems, and solutions
- reading of manuscript with attention to big-picture choices, such as
- character development
- language use and voice
- image and motif development
- point of view
- narrative distance
- empathic questioning
- written big-picture editorial response
- close line editing (recommended primarily for finished manuscripts)
Research and/or Fact-Checking Help
- online research
- library research
- archival research (travel and/or usage fees may incur)
Advice on How and Where to Submit Finished Work
I offer a free initial consultation, either in person (if you’re local) or via phone, Skype, Google Chat, or Zoom.
If you’re interested in working with me or have further questions, including about rates, please contact me: