Coaching & Consultation

Get professional guidance on your work.

Hugo House’s Coaching & Consultation Program gives writers one-on-one guidance for their works-in-progress. We value writers at every level of their writing career and want to provide them with the best resources to continue and improve their work and career.

Find the consultant that best suits your needs and contact them to schedule a meeting.

How it Works

Select a consultant below and complete the contact form. The consultant will be in touch with you about services within 48 hours. Once services have been agreed upon, they will send you a link that will allow you to pay for the consultation services. No consultation is confirmed until payment is received.

Refunds

  • 5-business days or more before the confirmed session, you are eligible for a full refund.
  • 4-business days before the confirmed session, you are eligible for a 50% refund.
  • 3-business days or less prior to a confirmed session, no refund is available.

Rescheduling

Hugo House will not honor reschedule requests received 4-business days or less before the confirmed session.

Background Consultants
  • Gail Folkins Headshot

    Gail Folkins

  • Alma García Headshot

    Alma García

  • Jenny Bartoy Headshot

    Jenny Bartoy

  • Anca L. Szilágyi Headshot

    Anca L. Szilágyi

  • Becky Mandelbaum Headshot

    Becky Mandelbaum

  • Corbin Lewars Headshot

    Corbin Lewars

  • Gabriela Denise Frank Headshot

    Gabriela Denise Frank

  • Joyce Chen Headshot

    Joyce Chen

  • Mary Lane Potter Headshot

    Mary Lane Potter

  • Matthew Bennet Headshot

    Matthew Bennet

  • Megan Snyder-Camp Headshot

    Megan Snyder-Camp

  • Tess Taylor Headshot

    Tess Taylor

  • Nicole Dieker Headshot

    Nicole Dieker

  • Peter Mountford Headshot

    Peter Mountford

  • Ray Stoeve Headshot

    Ray Stoeve

  • Jarret Middleton Headshot

    Jarret Middleton

  • Jaimee Garbacik Headshot

    Jaimee Garbacik

  • Rebecca Morris Headshot

    Rebecca Morris

  • Shin Yu Pai Headshot

    Shin Yu Pai

  • Susan V. Meyers Headshot

    Susan V. Meyers

  • Kary Wayson Headshot

    Kary Wayson

  • Darien Hsu Gee Headshot

    Darien Hsu Gee

  • Ingrid Ricks Headshot

    Ingrid Ricks

  • Sara Freeman Headshot

    Sara Freeman

  • Karen Finneyfrock Headshot

    Karen Finneyfrock

Gail Folkins Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Gail Folkins

Rate: 85

Contact Gail Folkins with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Gail Folkins often writes about her deep roots in the American West. She has worked as a journalist, a writer and editor for companies and nonprofits, and as a college instructor. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has also lived in the Southwest and the Midwest. Folkins is the author of two creative nonfiction books from Texas Tech University Press: a nature memoir titled Light in the Trees (2016) and Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (2007). Folkins has a Ph.D. in English and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University (Austin), Austin Community College, and most recently at Hugo House in Seattle. She volunteers for Green Snoqualmie, an organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining forested parks and open spaces.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions

Working Style

I provide detailed written feedback paired with a conversation through Zoom or email. Comments include in-text feedback along with big-picture commentary highlighting what works well along with suggestions for revision based on the writers’ goals. Overall, I strive to highlight the writer’s voice and vision while sharing ideas that bring the project closer to its fullest potential. 

Availability

I can meet for one or two sessions, weekly, or monthly as the project requires. Correspondence through Zoom or email preferred. 

I offer a 15-minute free consultation to assess the project. I also prefer to look at a writing sample of anywhere from 2-10 pages.  

I was a student of Gail’s during the time she taught at the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point. She is a great resource for anyone who is looking to start a writing or editing career. Gail taught me freelance writing in an independent study from which I learned numerous resources and techniques on how to start a writing career and submit my work to different publications.

Hope Hahn

Dr. Folkins was extremely helpful and inspiring in helping me get started on my book project. Her suggestions and insights have been invaluable and I am very proud of the work we have done together.

Student in Advanced Literary Journalism – Independent Study

Alma García Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Alma García

Rate: 100

Contact Alma García with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

My roots lie in more than one discipline. I hold an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona (1999) and have taught fiction writing at the Hugo House since 2007. I also have a journalism degree and spent seven years as a staff writer and editor for weekly newspapers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I’ve been a freelance editorial consultant since 2014 and joined the Hugo House’s manuscript consultation roster in 2016. My own short fiction has won numerous awards, including the Narrative Prize in Fiction, and appears most recently in phoebe, Kweli Journal, and the anthology, Puro Chicanx Literature of the 21st Century. My first novel is forthcoming from Camino del Sol in 2023.

My specialty is literary fiction and nonfiction/memoir with a literary bent. I’m also happy to review genre fiction that aspires to literary sensibilities. I love writers who love language, who aren’t afraid either to be funny or to go somewhere dark (or sometimes both), who are exploring what might be familiar cultural and psychological material in a fresh way. A notable percentage of my clientele are writers of color, and in particular, Latinx writers, though my services are whole-heartedly available to all.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)
  • Young Adult
  • Middle Grade
  • Children’s Literature
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications

Working Style

For developmental editing/manuscript consultation, clients receive two complete read-throughs of the manuscript, annotations on the manuscript (via Track Changes), detailed endnotes that discuss what is working well and what elements of the work could be strengthened, and a final one-hour meeting either via Zoom or in person, depending on both parties’ availability and as public health recommendations allow. Always, I strive to be encouraging and supportive while being clear and honest, and I try to honor the writer’s vision of the project.

 

The format for line and copyediting is essentially the same, though the endnotes will be considerably shorter. (*Note: Less experienced writers are strongly encouraged to seek developmental editing or a thorough review of their manuscript by knowledgeable peers before requesting line- or copyediting.) Some clients, after working with me for more than one round of developmental editing, subsequently consult with me for line and/or copyediting.

Availability

I generally take on four to eight projects per seasonal quarter, depending on length. I’m available to meet monthly if ongoing consultation is needed, though the majority of the manuscripts I work on are self-contained projects (e.g. a short story or essay, or a novel or book length memoir or other work of literary nonfiction). I do often work with writers more than once, within no set time frame, either on new short pieces or on revisions of a book length work. Feedback is written and is reviewed and supplemented by the final meeting (in-person or Zoom). I offer up to two email follow-ups if the writer needs any clarifications about the review.

For developmental editing, I offer an optional, initial, complementary 15-minute consultation (phone or Zoom), or I am happy to book a one-hour Zoom initial consultation if a longer discussion is needed (hourly fee applies). I can also provide a brief, free, general assessment of a five-page excerpt as part of the meet-and-greet process. I normally request to see a five-page excerpt and a synopsis before accepting a book-length project. Please note that I do have a two-hour minimum for all projects accepted.

"I hired Alma as a manuscript consultant and writing advisor after taking her amazing Hugo House course on creating scenes. Alma read my writing and met with me one-on-one to discuss the work, both of which were vital to improving my craft. Alma was not only an enthusiastic reader and editor, but she provided specific, actionable feedback based on my goals and the needs of the project. She remains my favorite writing instructor for her immense knowledge and her innate ability to diagnose a story's problem. I have a publication credit to Pleiades Magazine and a Pushcart nomination to thank her for." – Drew McCutchen, 2018 PEN/Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

 

Stay tuned for upcoming book-length publication info from former clients.

Jenny Bartoy Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback

Jenny Bartoy

Rate: 90

Contact Jenny Bartoy with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

I am a professionally trained editor with two decades of experience in literary editing, magazine publishing, digital content creation, and marketing. I specialize in developmental and line editing of fiction and creative nonfiction manuscripts.

An avid reader of memoir, mystery/thriller, and literary fiction, I tend to favor these genres in editing, but I’ve edited a wide range of projects and would be happy to discuss yours. The best part of my work is the variety of stories I help bring to life!

Along with editing manuscripts, I’m managing editor for Literary Mama magazine, teach writing workshops, and serve on the editorial committee for the local literary nonprofit Creative Colloquy. My writing has been published in literary publications as well as in sewing anthologies.

I’m a graduate of the rigorous editing program at the University of Washington and hold a master’s degree in sociocultural anthropology from Columbia University. I grew up in the north of France and now live with my husband, three kids, and one overwhelmed kitty in Tacoma, Washington. You can often find me gardening, stitching, or strolling rocky beaches with my family.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions

Working Style

My editorial approach is rooted in honesty and compassion. In my feedback, I celebrate the gems but don’t shy away from pointing out what elements in your manuscript need work. You can trust in both my enthusiasm for your writing and my candid assessment of it. I offer suggestions and solution-focused questions to help your story shine. I want you to feel empowered by the editing process: to have both a plan of action for revision and the motivation to move forward with your story on your terms.

For a manuscript critique, I assess the whole of your project with an eye toward publication and compile a thorough editorial report (15-20 pages). I examine structure, plot, narrative arcs, character development, dialogue, point of view, voice, genre conventions, emotional truth, marketability, and more.

For a developmental edit, I focus on similar big-picture elements but edit the manuscript itself, with margin comments and occasional text changes. I return the edited manuscript to you with a letter explaining my feedback and recommendations.

For a line edit, I go through your manuscript at the line and paragraph level and provide text edits that refine language (dialogue, descriptions, clarity) while respecting voice and vision.

Availability

I am typically booked 2-3 months in advance for book-length manuscript edits and critiques. For shorter projects, I have ongoing availability year-round. If you prefer to parse editorial work over time, I am happy to schedule recurring meetings or monthly chapter check-ins.

Most projects begin with an email exchange and optional 30-minute consultation to discuss your editorial needs and determine if we’re a good writer-editor fit. I ask for a writing sample and a synopsis.

My editorial consultations take place on Zoom or by phone. I deliver my work via email, with edits in Microsoft Word with Track Changes and critiques by PDF. I can also work in Google Docs with the Suggesting Edits function if that’s your preference.

My turnaround tends to be 3-4 weeks for a manuscript critique and 4-6 weeks for a full edit, depending on word count and schedule. Depending on specifics, shorter projects can be turned around in under a week.

After I return my manuscript critique or edits to you, I offer an optional 60-minute consultation to discuss my feedback.

“I've worked with dozens of editors in a long journalism career that includes 17 years on staff at the Wall Street Journal, and I would say Jenny Bartoy is among the best editors I've encountered. She is savvy, serious, and thorough, but also has a sense of humor.” — Meg Cox

“Jenny Bartoy is an exceptionally talented editor. She has provided insightful and detailed notes on my manuscripts that helped bring them to the next level. I would recommend Jenny as an editor to any writer at any stage of their career." — Phil Van de Carr

“Jenny Bartoy transforms my writing. She clearly explained how my book could improve and helped me revise content to better support my goals. I work with her every chance I get.” — Rod Wallace, PhD

Anca L. Szilágyi Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Anca L. Szilágyi

Rate: 100

Contact Anca L. Szilágyi with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Anca L. Szilágyi is the author of Daughters of the Air (Lanternfish Press, 2017), which Shelf Awareness called “a striking debut from a writer to watch.” Dreams Under Glass, her second novel, is forthcoming from Lanternfish Press in September 2022. Her short fiction appears in Lilith Magazine, Confrontation, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction appears in Orion Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Electric Literature, among other publications. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Artist Trust, Vermont Studio Center, 4Culture, Lilith Magazine, Hugo House, and Jack Straw Cultural Center. Originally from Brooklyn, she has lived in Montreal, Seattle, and now Chicago.

 

She enjoys literary fiction, fabulism, magical realism, fairy tales, historic fiction, literature that looks outward to global issues (including in translation), literature that engages in other arts, food writing, lyric essays, and book reviews. Some favorite authors include Angela Carter, Mavis Gallant, Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Anton Chekhov, Laurie Colwin, Shirley Jackson, Jeannette Winterson, Elena Ferrante, Yoko Tawada, and Anne Carson.

I Consult On

  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications

Working Style

For general manuscript feedback of any length, I include ample marginal comments. For developmental editing, I like to ask a lot of open-ended questions to help writers uncover narrative possibilities. Manuscript excerpts or short stories will get a one-page end comment and book-length manuscripts two to three. Each can be followed up with a conversation over Zoom or on the phone. For line edits, I will include an end comment that summarizes how to improve writing at the sentence level. For coaching sessions, I can discuss the writing process and setting manageable goals, suggest exercises and give feedback on them, suggest reading material and opportunities that might be of interest to the student, how to apply for grants, residencies, and MFA programs, and how to give engaging public readings.

Availability

I'm available year-round over email, Zoom, or phone. I can provide written feedback over email, and a 10-minute follow up phone conversation (or equivalent over email) is always included in my fee if requested. Writers are also welcome to book a Zoom meeting to discuss my feedback in more depth and brainstorm revision ideas. Some writers have enjoyed reading their work to me over Zoom and I can provide feedback in that format as well.

I'm happy to chat with students for free for 10 minutes to assess their needs. A sample of the first few pages of a manuscript can help me gauge the editing required if a writer is unsure. A paragraph-long summary of a book-length project is also helpful.

After learning so much in Ancas fiction class, I knew she would be a great mentor for my novel manuscript. Her detailed comments were excellent and designed to help me help myself, rather than just proposing edits or off-the-shelf craft solutions. She took the time to really understand the world of the novel and what I am trying to achieve, and proposed ways of thinking about problems that have empowered and energized me to take the draft to the next level. Wonderful experience!” -David Roberts

 

"Anca is a careful, perceptive reader. Her comments on my story helped me move to the next draft and have influenced my other work." -Bernard Grant, writer, editor, and client

“Anca is incredibly knowledgeable and kind in her critiques. I learned a lot just reviewing stories with her and the class. This has directly affected my own writing.” -Writing with Visual Art student

Becky Mandelbaum Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Becky Mandelbaum

Rate: 120

Contact Becky Mandelbaum with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Becky Mandelbaum is the author of The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals (Simon & Schuster, 2020) and Bad Kansas, which received the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the 2018 High Plains Book Award for First Book, and was a Kansas Notable Book. Her work has appeared in One Story, The Sun, The Georgia Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Writing by Writers and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and was a finalist for the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Short Story Award, the Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Prize in Fiction, and the DISQUIET Prize for Fiction. She has taught creative writing at the University of California Davis, Hugo House, and through Whatcom Community College’s Chuckanut Writers Series. Originally from Kansas, she currently lives in Bellingham, Washington.

I Consult On

  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • Award/Residency Applications

Working Style

We will begin with a free 15-minute initial consultation so I can learn more about your project and determine what you’re looking for in terms of feedback. I can then provide line edits and typed comments in the manuscript, along with a video or phone conversation about my thoughts and suggestions for revision and publication. 

Availability

I can meet monthly, twice a month, or weekly depending on the scope of the project. I’m happy to meet over phone or Zoom, or in-person for those who live in the Bellingham area.

It was in Becky Mandelbaum's class where I wrote the short story that got me into a Tin House summer workshop, and which served as the seed story for the novel I'm working on. In subsequent classes, I got to know Becky as a fiercely intelligent, heart-smart teacher with a deep knowledge of craft and unerring, intuitive sense of story. Her careful attention to my work helped me understand the nuances of dialogue and inspired me to aim for an elegant economy with my words. Becky responds to her students from a deep place of empathy and reverence for the tales they bring to the page, yet always with a discerning eye for how to deliver the most rewarding experience for the reader. In one of my submissions, her astute grasp of narrative structure—suggesting that I move an element in my story further toward the ending, for maximum impact—made the story infinitely better. And here's the thing. Although I've taken a slew of writing classes, rarely have I fallen head over heels in love with the writing of a particular instructor. This happened with Becky. When I read her short stories, I knew I was in the hands of a truly gifted writer and master storyteller. If you’re looking for an exceptionally generous manuscript coach—one who will create a sacred space for your work to be the best it can be on its own terms—I highly recommend Becky Mandelbaum.

—Reni Roxas, children's book publisher and editor

 

In whatever form I submit my writing, Becky always, with delicate precision, offers sage advice in adapting what’s on the page toward something spectacular. She gently directs me toward what is working and, along the way, makes it easier to let go of the attachment to my “darlings”. Her expertise in editing, story structure, and flow has streamlined my process so that my initial submissions need less and less refinement. Her writing and teaching prowess is unparalleled and deeply valued. However painful, shameful, and challenging the content, Becky guides me into ascertaining the “aboutness” of the story, making her just as much a writing coach as a she is a mentor and friend.

—Kevin Sikes

Corbin Lewars Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Sensitivity Reading
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Corbin Lewars

Rate: 120

Contact Corbin Lewars with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Corbin Lewars, M.Ed. has been mentoring writers and teaching writing at conferences, universities, homeless shelters, etc. for twenty years. Her clients are best selling authors who have earned PEN Awards, Nancy Pearl Awards, PNBA nominations, been finalist for the Washington State (and other state) Book Awards, USA Best Book Award and have been published in NY Times, LA Times, The Sun and countless of other literary journals. She works with writers every step of the way including fleshing out the original concept, structure and theme; developmentally editing the work; coaching on where to submit; co-writing the query letters, pitch and book proposals; converting manuscripts to screenplays and vice versa; navigating contracts; and setting up speaking engagements, book launches and other venues to support their work. Many of her clients’ work focuses on a larger goal of giving back or serving underserved voices and she helps guide them in forming nonprofits, outreach, etc.

She is the Executive Director of Hold Your Crown and VoiceCatcher and was the managing editor of Verve, Detour Ahead, Little More Time and several other magazines and anthologies. She is the author of four books, including a PNBA and WA State nominee and her essays are widely published. www.corbinlewars.com 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Young Adult
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • Screenwriting

Working Style

I usually begin with a brief phone call to discern if I am a good fit for the work and goals stated by the client. If I am, we discuss the scope of work, timelines, goals (far reaching and immediate) and then set a plan to achieve them. I am available for full manuscript developmental edits, where the entire manuscript is marked up and line edited with guidance on what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be changed (I often change that for you or show you how) and what you need to do to get it in the best form as possible as well as a meta document outlining all of what I did and what you need to do. I utilize my teaching skills in my edits to show you what your strengths and weaknesses are and give you clear steps on how to improve. I ask for a month for this type of work. I am also available for quick read-throughs and meta feedback, help with queries and proposals and individual sessions to help work out plot points, help improve your writing, re-inspire your motivation, flesh out themes, become unstuck and otherwise help your writing in any way I can. 

Availability

This is my full time job and I meet with clients at my office on Lake Union (Fremont), over the phone or on line as often as they need. I limit the amount of clients I work with every month so I can fully be there for each of them. 

I also have a team of designers I work with to offer self publishing options to clients. Self publishing packages start at $2000

I cannot thank you enough for your deep and thorough review of the manuscript. I am really impressed. You have great comments, suggestions and questions. They make the manuscript clearer, more streamlined and more cohesive. I am really enjoying this.

—JJ Juhaeri, Juhaeri, author of Statistics of Dreams and VP and Head, Epidemiology and Benefit-Risk at Sanofi 

 

 

In addition to being a wickedly skilled editor, Corbin taught me how to organize and structure my manuscript so that it flowed from beginning to end. She spent time up front getting to know my story and why I was passionate about writing it and used this knowledge to help explain why she made the changes she made. She was a delight to work with.

—Kristin Jarvis Adams, author of Washington Book Award Finalist THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US: The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful.

Thank you, Corbin, for all your help with my writing over the years. I crafted my Modern Love essay in your class, and you’ve helped me with every step since then — submitting essays for publication, planning and writing a memoir, and navigating the crazy world of publishing. I can’t thank you enough for your gentle, intuitive, talented, practical guidance.

—Betsy Macwhinney, Author of The Perfect Rock And Modern Love Essay “Bringing A Daughter Back From The Brink With Poems”

Gabriela Denise Frank Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Gabriela Denise Frank

Rate: 105

Contact Gabriela Denise Frank with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Gabriela Denise Frank is a transdisciplinary literary artist whose work expands from the page into the sonic, the visual, and the experimental. Her writing has been nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and deemed notable by Best American Essays. A Jack Straw Writer and alumna of Artist Trust's EDGE Development Program, her work has appeared in True Story, Tahoma Literary Review, Poetry Northwest, Hunger Mountain, Bayou, Baltimore Review, The Normal School, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is the author of Pity She Didn’t Stay ’Til the End (Bottlecap Press).

 

Off the page, her installations and performances transform storytelling into experience. In Seattle’s Central Library, she staged a monthlong performance in which she wrote a novel as the public watched—live. In Jack Straw’s New Media Gallery, she installed a multimedia spoken word exhibition that explored beauty and self-worth through the selfie. Gabriela serves as an arts commissioner for the City of Burien, on 4Culture’s arts advisory committee, and as the creative nonfiction editor of Crab Creek Review. Her work is supported by 4Culture, Centrum, the Civita Institute, Invoking the Pause, Jack Straw, Mineral School, Vermont Studio Center, and Willapa Bay AIR. www.gabrieladenisefrank.com

I Consult On

  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • Award/Residency Applications

Working Style

For developmental feedback, I highlight strengths as well as areas where writers can go deeper. I offer questions that help clients uncover untapped potential in their work. For developmental feedback, general feedback, and line edits, I include margin comments and a summary letter. Feedback via email can be paired with a video chat or phone conversation, depending on each client’s preference.

 

As a coach, I help writers tailor their writing lives with both inspiration and organizational tools that foster planning and goal setting, submitting work, and applying for grants and residencies. I especially love working with writers on creative practices that nurture imagination, self-knowledge, and exploration.

Availability

Available by appointment year-round via video chat, phone, and email. Available to meet monthly or bi-weekly for writers interested in recurring consultation.

“As a new novelist, I was nervous to have a professional writer critique my work. But Gabriela’s open-hearted communication style, combined with her thoughtful, insightful, and practical feedback, made me so happy I took the chance! She helped me uncover themes, expand my world-building, weave in character development and see the book as a whole. Above all, she inspired me to believe, “I can really do this!” 

—Heather Triplett, Writer

 

“Gabriela celebrates your strengths and your writing. She's great at giving specific support to your questions and in identifying areas of opportunity. I will take every class with her I can!”

—Eleanor Carboneau, Writer

Joyce Chen Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Sensitivity Reading
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Joyce Chen

Rate: 120

Contact Joyce Chen with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder who draws inspiration from many coastal cities. She has covered entertainment and human interest stories for Rolling Stone, Refinery29, the New York Daily News, Architectural Digest, and People, among others, and her creative writing credits include Poets & Writers, Lit Hub, Narratively, and Slantd, among others. She frequently contributes op-eds to Paste magazine, and writes book reviews for Orion and Hyphen magazines. She is a proud VONA alum and was a 2019-2020 Hugo House fellow. She is also the executive director of The Seventh Wave, an arts and literary nonprofit that champions art in the space of social issues.

 

Joyce is currently working on a collection of essays that examine the friction that arises from living with two sets of values that are often at odds with one another — the American ideals of independence and self-fulfillment and the Taiwanese values of family, community, and sacrifice — as experienced through different modes of time perception. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • College Essays

Working Style

I am a big believer that the relationship between a writer and an editor is a sacred one that neither party should take lightly, which is why I invest a substantial amount of time and energy into getting to know YOU first before we even start to dive into whats on the page. As the Executive Director for The Seventh Wave, Ive had the privilege of working closely with dozens of incredible writers and artists each year for the past five years, and our working relationships often extend far beyond the point of publish.

 

To kick off our time together, regardless of what service youre looking for, I offer a free 15-minute consultation, during which we can learn a little more about each other: your preferred working style, your hopes for your piece or manuscript, and any road blocks youre hitting as you try to finesse your draft. I can fill you in on my editing style (which is admittedly very hands-on!), and we can determine whether or not this feels like a good fit. From there, we can set up a game plan for a timeline and meeting frequency that feels right for your project or piece.

 

In general, you can expect plenty of in-line notes and marginalia on your pieces, as well as a substantial summary at the end that points out patterns and areas of improvement, with suggestions for how to dig in to strengthen the work. (For manuscript-length work, I will provide at minimum 6 typed pages; for individual one-off essays or stories, I will provide at minimum 1 typed page.) I view my role as a creative coach who is helping you to identify the core of your work and how to strengthen it, versus as an instructor who will give you easy answers. If youre looking for someone who will lovingly push you to be your most honest, vulnerable, risk-taking self on the page, Im your gal.

For me, any sort of writing or creative pursuit is an extension of the person who is at the helm, and so I care less about the classification of a piece or manuscript and more about the human behind the work. My professional background is in journalism and creative nonfiction, so work that speaks from personal experience or deep research/inquiry into a specific subject is my forte, but I also enjoy diving into short stories, hybrid works, and especially work that cannot be easily classified by genre. My goal as your manuscript consultant is to get to the heart of the story you want to tell, together, and then guide you gently to bring that into being on the page. I enjoy helping folks develop as writers at all stages of their writing career, so am happy to offer guidance on everything from applications for MFA programs to submitting to literary journals to drafting up the perfect agent query letter. Also, as a Taiwanese-American writer, I am particular keen to help marginalized writers (BIPOC, LGBTQ+) find and then amplify their voices through their work.

Availability

Im available year-round, for either bi-weekly or monthly meetings. As a full-time freelance journalist, my schedule is often full but flexible. I prefer to meet in-person (or at very least, over Zoom) for our initial consultation, and am happy to communicate via email or over the phone from there.

 

Feedback for larger projects (full manuscript) may require an in-person chat or over the phone, but feedback for shorter projects/pieces (one-off stories or essays) can take place via email, dependent on what we agree upon.

 

Im happy to hop on a free 15-minute consultation call, and only require that you let me know if there are any hard deadlines you're up again before we dive into the project, so I can be mindful of how to structure our time together.

 I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the time, effort and energy you put into making my piece shine. … You made my work feel seen and gave it the space and weight and attention it deserved, and in doing that you gave me value as an artist.” — Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream

Mary Lane Potter Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback

Mary Lane Potter

Rate: 115

Contact Mary Lane Potter with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Mary Lane Potter (PhD, University of Chicago; MFA, Warren Wilson) has deep experience writing, editing, and teaching fiction and creative nonfiction. She’s the author of the novel A Woman of Salt (Counterpoint), Strangers and Sojourners: Stories from the Lowcountry (Counterpoint), and the memoir Seeking God and Losing the Way. Her essays and stories have appeared in in Parabola, Witness, River Teeth, Still Point Arts Quarterly, The Ekphrastic Review, Minerva Rising, Women Studies Quarterly, Beloit Fiction Journal, North American Review, Tampa Review, Tiferet, SUFI Journal, Spiritus, Leaping Clear, and others. She’s received a Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowship and enjoyed writing residencies at MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Caldera, and the Collegeville Institute of Cultural and Ecumenical Studies. A dedicated and experienced teacher, she’s taught writing for years, most recently at Hugo House, The Loft Literary Center, and The Collegeville Institute. Website: http://members.authorsguild.net/marylapotter/.

Passionate about all aspects of writing, Potter is especially tuned in to voice, character development, and narrative structure—and to the challenges of writing women’s experiences, the body, and spirituality.

 

Favorite writers; John Keene, Audré Lorde, Clarice Lispector, Merce Rodoreda, Kazuo Ishiguro, Isaac Babel, James Welch, M. Scott Momaday, George Saunders, Leslie Marmon Silko, Barry Lopez. Octavia Butler, George Eliot.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)

Working Style

I invest deeply in the work writers share with me. Using intuition as well as my experience and skills, I work as a midwife to help writers give birth to the work they’ve conceived. The passage from imaginations to page is difficult. I enjoy helping writers push through the pain of revising to the beauty of what the work wants to be.

Developmental edits: I offer a brief initial consultation, two complete read-throughs of the manuscript, detailed endnotes that discuss what is working and what is not (typically 6-10 single-spaced typed pages for a full-length manuscript; proportionally less for shorter works), notes on the manuscript as appropriate, and a final one-hour consultation. Book-length dev edits take 15-30 hours, depending on length and complexity. Dev edits of individual stories or essays can take 2-4 hours.

Feedback on completed manuscript not ready for a full dev edit: I can read the first 50 pages and a synopsis, provide margin comments and 3-5 pages of notes, and meet to discuss my analysis. This takes 5-6 hours and is often enough to spur one on to a complete revision.

Coaching: I can diagnose writing and suggest exercises and readings to hone appropriate skills. 

Availability

Available to meet online, by email, by phone, and in person for single, weekly, or monthly sessions.

I ask to look at the first 10-20 pages of a project to determine if the writer and I are a good working match. Writing is a work of passion. Both writer and consultant should be deeply invested in making the work the best it can be. 

“You have a talent for this. So many essential insights.” (email from recent client in response to dev edit of novel).

 

“I enjoyed reading the advice you included after the review. There were lots of good examples and things to consider to make my writing stronger.”  (email from recent client in response to dev edit of novel).

Matthew Bennet Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance

Matthew Bennet

Rate: 120

Contact Matthew Bennet with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Matthew Bennett began editing in 2008 at Ronsdale Press, where he shepherded documents from submission to final print, serving as editor for publications such as Sheila James’s In the Wake of Loss (2009). As both writer and editor, he contributed to Nicholas Hudson’s A Cultural History of Race: From Reformation to the Enlightenment (Bloomsbury, 2021). Matthew also has what he (jokingly) refers to as the literary triple crown, which is the publication of fiction, journalism, and academic writing. His current editing work includes memoirs and journalism, master’s and doctoral theses, short stories and novels, and more.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)
  • Graphic Novels/Comics
  • Young Adult
  • Query Letters
  • MFA Applications

Working Style

For consultations, online or in person, I’m happy to meet a writer and learn their pitch, reading up to seven pages (double-spaced) from their manuscript before. From there our work together can incorporate all levels of advice and revision, from developmental editing to line and copy editing. For extensive involvement, I can read complete or partial manuscripts and develop a detailed readers report, the length of which is determined by the writer’s budget. Most of my consultations follow this format: emailing with client to establish the project’s parameters, agreeing on the size of the project, reading the manuscript and making editorial notes, and meeting with the client to discuss recommendations.

My reading and writing interests range from high literary fiction to pulp sci-fi and horror, from nuts-and-bolts histories to cutting-edge philosophy. Writers I’ve mentored in the past have been similarly diverse—short story mavens, novelist aces, and scholar hedgehogs—and they typically find my bizarre reading recommendations spot-on. I tell my writing friends my ideal author would have the philosophical speculation of Borges and the emotional depth of Carver. Because of my training and literary diet, I’m qualified to advise writers of literary fiction, genre fiction (sci-fi, horror, Western, romance), young adult fiction, graphic novels, memoir, and even academic monographs.

 

Availability

I’m available to meet the writer once for conversation, or multiple times for a more extensive consultation. If you live in Seattle, we can speak in person; otherwise on the phone or through Zoom/Skype.

Feedback is given in written form and in conversation. Either way should be guided by the writer’s specific concerns for the project, which may be helpfully provided in a list of questions to the editor.

 

1 hour includes the reading of seven pages double spaced and one hour of consultation

"Matthew Bennett has a sharp eye for the hackneyed phrase. My short stories were fresher and more powerful from his editing." Jean Rae Baxter, author of The Way Lies North

Megan Snyder-Camp Headshot

Services Offered

  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Megan Snyder-Camp

Rate: 100

Contact Megan Snyder-Camp with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Megan Snyder-Camp is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Wintering (Tupelo) and The Gunnywolf (Bear Star), both of which were published in September 2016. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Djerassi, the 4Culture Foundation, and elsewhere.

I Consult On

  • Essay
  • Poetry
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • Award/Residency Applications

Working Style

Read Complete Manuscript: This is a one-time service that usually takes about 5-7 hours. I will read the manuscript twice, offering two layers of feedback. During the first reading I will aim to narrate my reading experience as it unfolds, recording what draws me in, what confuses me, what bigger thematic questions arise and (how) are those resolved as well as how does the current order and sectioning (if used) of poems in the manuscript support or obstruct my passage as a reader. On my second read I typically make line-edit notes on about a third of the poems, focusing my attention on the manuscript’s overall structure, offering a proposal for what is often a significant re-ordering/structuring of the manuscript, as well as noting any poems that might be missing from the manuscript and/or any poems currently in the manuscript that may no longer need to be there. This second reading is also where I will engage with all titles (of poems/sections/mss as a whole). I record my feedback old school: I write in two pen colors on a printout of the manuscript, one color ink per reading. I make a LOT of notes, both detailed positive feedback and ideas/questions for next steps. To tie it all together, I type up a 1-2 page overall response that engages the manuscript’s formal, thematic and structural arcs.

One-on-One coaching sessions: This can be ongoing or one-time support and can be scaled up or down. My one-on-one coaching is best anchored by in-person meetings. I offer accountability, support and focus, often in the shape of reading suggestions, prompts, and/or new approaches to revision. Like a personal trainer, but for poetry! Examples of what this might look like:

• Do you have a few raw poem-drafts you want to revise, but are unsure where to start? I love talking about revision possibilities, and can help you re-enter your poems from a range of directions.

• Have you resolved to submit more poems to journals? I can offer cover letter advice, any small line-edit tweaks, and help you select and order the poems for your submission.

• Are you starting to amass a stack of poems, wondering if you might have the seeds of a book and beginning to think about how to organize the pile into a manuscript, what to leave in and what to leave out? I am happy to help you find the cornerstones for a manuscript, brainstorming a larger structure for the book and talking through what poems might stay in/come out/not be written yet. This is a personal favorite of mine, kind of like barn-raising: laying everything out on the floor and trying new arrangements, helping to discern the shape a book might take.

Availability

Flexible availability, in person or via email.

Though not required, I prefer to first meet potential clients in person. I offer a free 15-minute initial consultation, during which I will get a clearer sense of where you are in your work and what you’re looking for, and what support I can offer.

"Megan is the consummate editor. She quickly discerns the core of a poem in progress and then offers detailed suggestions about what my draft may not need, what it may be missing, and what may be keeping the poem from its purpose—always spot-on (darn it!) and all for me to use as I decide. She is kind, wise, funny, generous, and endlessly encouraging. And she is a teacher: she’s shared with me a trove of information about poetry beyond my own. Thanks to Megan’s guidance, I’ve had several poems published and, with enthusiasm, continue to work on more. She makes writing better."

“Through Megan's sharp eyes, I could finally see my manuscript's narrative arc, which had evaded my myopic vision for years. She is an organizational wizard.”

"Megan has a talent for honing in on the emotional heart of a poem or a sequence. Her insights were invaluable in helping to give shape and sharpness to my work.”

Tess Taylor Headshot

Services Offered

  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance

Tess Taylor

Rate: 150

Contact Tess Taylor with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Tess Taylor is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, as “stunning.” Critic Stephanie Burt called Work & Days, her second book “our moment’s Georgic” and it was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, at the MoMA. Rift Zone, from Red Hen Press, was named one of the best books of 2020 by The Boston Globe. Taylor’s poetry and nonfiction appear widely. She has served as the Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence at Randolph College. Taylor has also been the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. Taylor is currently on the faculty of Ashland University’s Low-Res MFA Creative Writing Program. She grew up and lives in El Cerrito, California.

I Consult On

  • Essay
  • Poetry
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions

Working Style

As well as writing poetry, I love to help shape books and book projects. Helping champion new work is part of my mission and career, from years spent interning at literary magazines including the Paris Review and The Atlantic to years helping shape manuscripts for a literary agent, to my current work as an arts critic. I care deeply about shepherding excellent new work into the world and helping writers clarify, sharpen and articulate their projects while honing subterranean connections and form. To work most productively with me, have a well-developed project that you can describe to in a short cover letter, and enclose three to four poems or pages of prose. I’m very eager to help my clients cross the finish line!

Availability

Feedback by Zoom, able to meet as needed.

“Tess came prepared as hell, and extremely knowledgeable.” (Randolph College evaluation)

“Tess was wonderful, very prepared and clear.” (Randolph College evaluation)

“I cannot help but think about how much my writing ability has grown since taking this class.” (Whittier College evaluation)

“The best course I took this quarter! It was very interesting and informative, my writing has

improved a lot!” (UC Davis evaluation)

Nicole Dieker Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Nicole Dieker

Rate: 115

Contact Nicole Dieker with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Nicole Dieker teaches writing, freelancing, and publishing classes (including Hugo House online classes) and works one-on-one with authors as a developmental editor and copyeditor. She’s been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, and spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money.

Nicole’s debut novel, The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000, published in May 2017; The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 2: 2004–2016 followed in May 2018. The two books are a Millennial-era Little Women that follow three sisters from childhood to adulthood.

Visit NicoleDieker.com to learn more — including Nicole’s thoughts on writing, money, teaching and the process of taking your work from good to excellent

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)

Working Style

As an editor, I focus on whether the writer is effectively communicating their story to their audience. Sometimes there are narrative gaps that need to be filled so that a reader can link one section of text to another; sometimes the text is unbalanced, with too much time spent on a certain story element (most commonly exposition).

I read very quickly and can complete a 90,000-word manuscript in 2–3 hours, though you’ll want to add in another hour for me to write up my feedback. I’ll send the first round of feedback via email, and we can have a follow-up conversation over the phone or online (via text or video chat)—whichever is most comfortable for the writer. If you just want my initial feedback on a draft, that’s great; we can also continue the conversation and I can provide additional written feedback on subsequent drafts.

If you’d like copyediting/line-editing/proofreading services, estimate 30 minutes for every 600 words.

If you’re a freelancer who is looking to build your career, we can set up an hour-long consultation. We could look at your pitching strategy, discuss how to expand your client base, or address any questions/concerns you have about freelancing.

I love stories, no matter how they’re told. I regularly work with freelance writers to develop pitches, reported articles and personal essays, and have helped numerous fiction writers take their first drafts to the next level. I’ve written and self-published a literary fiction novel, and can help you do the same; I’ve also worked one-on-one with genre writers who are interested in turning a story into a series.

Availability

I am a freelancer with a flexible schedule, and I’m happy to do a 10-minute consultation over the phone or online to determine whether we’re a good fit. In some cases, I may be able to start working on your project right away; otherwise, I’ll propose some times over the next few months.

“Nicole is an invaluable developmental editor. During the first pass she looked at big picture stuff. Is this scene interesting? Is it easy to understand? Is everyone acting true to their character? Did they leave the house in the underwear they were wearing a moment ago, or did I put some clothes on them and just forget to mention it? (No really, that was one of Nicole’s notes.) She’s a great second pair of eyes on my work and I can’t thank her enough.” — Alan Lastufka, multimedia content creator and entrepreneur

“Nicole’s industry knowledge was a huge resource to me when I started working as a freelance writer. As an editor, she asks the right questions to get the best results from writers and always makes a final piece better.” — Meryl Williams, writer and social media strategist

“I took Nicole’s freelancing class. By the end of the class, I had submitted my first pitch, had it accepted and the article published. She guided us through the process of building a freelance career, with concrete steps to get started, ongoing resources for growth and answers to wide-ranging questions. She taught one of the most informative classes I’ve taken and she did it while providing individualized information for each member of the class.” — Beth Swanson, freelance writer and journalist

Peter Mountford Headshot

Services Offered

  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Peter Mountford

Rate: 130

Contact Peter Mountford with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

A popular developmental editor and writing coach who has helped hundreds of clients finalize and publish their work, Peter Mountford is the author of the novels A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism (2012 Washington State Book Award in fiction), and The Dismal Science (NYT editor’s choice). His work has appeared in Paris Review, the New York Times (Modern Love), NYT Magazine, The Atlantic, The Sun, Guernica, and elsewhere. Currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada University’s MFA program, he teaches a popular yearlong course at Hugo House. His former clients and students have published widely and include two recent New York Times bestsellers. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)
  • Young Adult
  • Middle Grade
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • Screenwriting
  • TV writing

Working Style

The best approach is for me to first get a sense of where you are with your work, and what you’re looking for. Based on that initial assessment, we can have a conversation about the best approach. There are three basic models that usually apply:

1. If you want feedback on a completed book, it’s often enough for me to read the first 50 pages and a synopsis of the rest. This usually takes me about 5-6 hours. At the end you will get 4-5 (or more) single spaced pages.

2. Finished book and you want help finding an agent and writing a query. This usually takes about 3-4 hours of my time total (though you’ll have a lot of homework, so it’ll take more than that for you).

3. “Coaching.” For this model we “meet” via Zoom as often as needed (I see some clients weekly, some monthly, and some even less frequently). During each session I give deadlines and review about 10-15 pages of your work during the call, offering suggestions about what’s working well, and what might need clarification or improvement. 

Availability

Varies, but usually I can get you notes within 3-4 business days of you sending me a piece. Longer manuscripts take 2-3 weeks. 

Please reach out if you’re curious—I’m happy to have a fifteen minute call, and look over your writing briefly to see if I think I’d be the right fit for you. 

My former client Rachel Griffin’s debut novel The Nature of Witches was a New York Times bestseller. My students have included two time NYT bestseller Tara Conklin, renowned nonfiction writer Elissa Washuta, Kevin Bailey, and Therese Huston, and Shannon Huffman Polson, and Gail Hudson, among many others. In recent months, I have helped clients successfully place their work in HuffPost, Seattle Times, Slate, Missouri Review, and elsewhere.

 

“I took Peter’s yearlong course at Hugo House in 2019-2020, and I found him to be an invaluable instructor. His instincts for how good prose works, from craft elements to the realm of publishing, were instrumental in my writing career. He is an honest critic but an encouraging mentor, and I saw him provide acute feedback to short fiction, novels, essays, and memoirs alike. He helped me figure out how to risk sentimentality in my work, to push toward intensity when possible, and how to think about readership when it comes to where I want to publish. I cannot recommend him enough to anyone looking to get more serious about their writing.”

— Chad Petrie (MFA candidate at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, class of 2023)

 

“I approached Peter because I was tired of getting uninformative rejections from agents—sometimes even after partial and full requests. My first 1-hour session with Peter did more good for my manuscript than a year of revisions with beta readers and critique groups. He zeroed in on specific phrases that could be red flags to agents, and then he gave me concrete advice for moving forward. In addition to his own talent and knowledge of craft, Peter has two qualities that make him an excellent writing coach. He doesn't tell you things you could read online or in a book on writing—he responds very specifically to your manuscript. Secondly, he is ferociously efficient in his reading and feedback, making sure that you get great value for the time he invests. (And he doesn't blow smoke up your ass.) I regularly recommend him for writers who are struggling to take the next step in genre or literary fiction.”

— Jessica Hardesty Norris

 

Ray Stoeve Headshot

Services Offered

  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Sensitivity Reading

Ray Stoeve

Rate: 130

Contact Ray Stoeve with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Ray Stoeve is the author of the young adult novel Between Perfect and Real, which was a 2021 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Their second YA novel, Arden Grey, is forthcoming in April 2022, and they also contributed to the young adult anthology Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship and created the YA/MG Trans and Nonbinary Voices Masterlist, a database that tracks all books in those age categories written by trans authors about trans characters. When they’re not writing, they can be found gardening, making art in other mediums, or hiking their beloved Pacific Northwest.

 

They enjoy fiction of all age categories and genres, especially historical and contemporary realist works about queer and trans characters. They are best-equipped to provide sensitivity reads and consult on young adult novels. In addition to being a full-time writer, they also work with authors and publishers seeking sensitivity reads for queer and trans characters.

I Consult On

  • Young Adult
  • Middle Grade
  • Query Letters

Working Style

In all services, my approach as an editor or reader is to highlight what is working well alongside areas I feel could be strengthened. I like to ask questions and offer options, rather than prescribe what I think a writer should do. I work with you, not as an authority, but as a collaborator in service of your voice and what you want for the story, sharing my knowledge and experience to support what you already know and can do. I also believe craft is cultural, as well as learned, so I try to remain aware of my own bias and sensitive to different methods of storytelling. I am passionate about making space for historically marginalized voices in publishing, and strive to hold a safer space for those of us who encounter institutional barriers to entering the writing world and seeing our art as worthy.

 

For manuscripts, I provide feedback letters of at least 2 pages, as well as in-line comments, and one email for any followup questions you may have. For query letters, I provide in-line comments and at least one paragraph feedback.

WHEN REQUESTING SERVICES: For all projects, please send the following information:

-A little about you as a writer, and a one paragraph description of your manuscript or project

-The general service you are requesting, your hopes and goals for working with me, and particular areas you’d like attention to

-For sensitivity reads, please include the names and identities of all characters for which you would like a read.

 

SENSITIVITY READS: I offer these reads for trans men and trans masculine characters, and nonbinary characters who are assigned female at birth, of all orientations; as well as queer and/or bisexual cis women, trans men/trans masc and AFAB nonbinary characters. I read for these identities because I have held all of them at one time or another. I may also choose to give feedback on the representation of other identities based on my knowledge, but do not provide formal reads for identities outside those which I hold or have held. I am most familiar with reading for these characters in novels, but have also read for other mediums such as podcast scripts and am open to such works on a case by case basis. Some of the (many!) things I can help you with include: nuts and bolts of gender transition, normative gender assumptions and harmful stereotypes that may be in your work, language, and worldbuilding related to gender in your novel.

GENRE WORKS: I love them, but my assistance may be limited depending on what you are looking for. While I read genre work, I don’t currently write it, so I cannot provide the craft expertise of someone dedicated to writing romance, science fiction, fantasy, etc. However, this could be a strength if you want the perspective of someone who is a writer but can also approach tropes and worldbuilding with a layperson’s eyes and questions. For example, previous clients in sensitivity reading have appreciated my feedback on how gender fits into their worldbuilding. Contact me and let’s chat!

WHAT I WON'T READ: I am not available to read projects that include the following subjects as major or minor plot points, whether off-screen or described: child abuse of any kind, rape and sexual assault, and abusive relationships of any kind (platonic, romantic, familial etc). If they are mentioned but are not described in detail and have no long-term role in or bearing on the story, I will consider on a case-by-case basis, but require a content warning and an example scene that includes the subject to read so I can assess whether I can move forward.

Availability

I am available to take on new clients as my schedule allows, on a first-come, first-served basis. I work via email but am open to discussing this based on my clients' needs.

For writers who belong to groups historically marginalized and shut out of publishing, I offer a sliding scale price of your choice between $65-$130/hr, and the opportunity to customize your service, based on what I offer, to fit what you can afford. For example: I could read the first 10 pages of your manuscript and a synopsis, and provide feedback on that instead of the entire novel. Let’s discuss! The groups I reference above include: Black, Indigenous and other people of color; LGBTQIA+; disabled (including mentally ill and neurodivergent) people; and low income/poor/working-class people. This is based on the honor system; you do not need to identify yourself to me, but please do respect who this is for and why it exists if you are not part of one of these groups.

“Ray approached my work with thoughtfulness and empathy, digging deep into the characters and delivering feedback that was invaluable to the editing process. I felt Ray understood my characters and was able to consider them as individuals. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive, thoughtful collaborator, and my book was so much better after Ray's input.”—Wendy Heard, author of She’s Too Pretty To Burn, The Kill Club, and more

 

“Ray Stoeve was an absolute dream to work with. They consulted on my novel, Cemetery Boys, and gave feedback that was critical to the story's success. Ray's observations were thorough, specific and well explained. Not only did they catch things I had missed, but they gave suggestions for how to correct it and even offered to talk it through if I needed help. I recommend Ray Stoeve any time someone asks me for a consult referral and I, myself, plan on using them again in the future.” —Aiden Thomas, two-time New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys and Lost in the Never Woods

 

“Ray Stoeve was an absolute pleasure to work with. Their incisive feedback on matters of plotting, dialogue, and characterization were both specific and constructive. They established and committed to a clear, prompt timeline for delivery and were invaluable to the successful completion of our book. I will continue to recommend them as an excellent resource to my colleagues seeking sensitivity readership in their areas of expertise.”—Jessica Anderson, Editor of juvenile and YA fiction and nonfiction, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Jarret Middleton Headshot

Services Offered

  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance

Jarret Middleton

Rate: 110

Contact Jarret Middleton with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Jarret Middleton is not taking new clients at this time.

Jarret Middleton is the author of Darkansas and the novella, An Dantomine Eerly. He was the founding editor of Dark Coast Press and the classics library Pharos Editions, an imprint of Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Shelf Awareness, The Quarterly Conversation, The Weeklings, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Collagist, SmokeLong Quarterly, and HTMLGIANT, as well as appearing in the print anthologies The Breadline Anthology; Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices; and In Heaven, Everything is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch.

He lives in Seattle, WA.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Genre (Mystery, Horror, Romance, etc.)
  • Young Adult
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • Screenwriting

Working Style

Rate is flexible, and discount rates are available on a per project basis.

When consulting with client writers, I like to take the time to meet and discuss the project in its current state so that I can better understand the project before putting pen to page. Projects and desired results vary widely, but I am happy however the client is most comfortable and productive. In my career, I have approached consultations and freelance editing in almost every conceivable way. I have been editor of a publishing house, started my own imprint, served as a copywriter, ghostwriter, a freelance developmental editor for publishers and private consulting clients alike. Whether the client is interested in tightening up an outline or query letter, or a single pass on copy, line, or developmental editing, or an agreed upon schedule of in-person consultations where we continually check in on the writer’s progress on their project, I am ready to get started helping writers achieve their vision for the work they were meant to create.

Availability

I am available monthly and weekly, year-round. Flexible communication with client writers between scheduled in-person meetings, always available for an email or phone call.

Available for 10 minute free project assessment

"Jarret Middleton’s skills as a writer and editor are outstanding. His many years of writing, editing, publishing, and critiquing ensure that your project is in practiced hands. Jarret's questions are insightful and probing, his suggestions constructive and supportive, and his technical skills are exceptional. Clients can expect complete professionalism, courtesy, and honesty as his ongoing business philosophy.” —Larry Olson, Vice President of Marketing and Community Engagement, John Wiley & Sons

 “Jarret is that rare writer who is as good in the role of editor as he is in that of creator. He's able to work with writers on their own terms, giving them the tools and advice necessary to fine tune their work. He can help make any piece of writing better but more importantly he can help make a good piece great.” —Harry Kirchner, publisher of Pharos Editions, an imprint of Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press

Jaimee Garbacik Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Jaimee Garbacik

Rate: 125

Contact Jaimee Garbacik with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Jaimee Garbacik (she/they) is a NYC-based developmental book editor with an agency background and fifteen years of experience helping authors turn early manuscript drafts into award-winning books. Jaimee has been privileged to edit for New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Honor and Emmy Award recipients, and some of the world’s foremost scientists. Before freelancing, she handled editorial development for a major New York literary agency, serving more than 200 clients worldwide.

 

They are also the author of Gender and Sexuality For Beginners (For Beginners), a widely taught critical examination of the sex-gender system and the evolution of gender roles, as well as the curator/editor of the celebrated Ghosts of Seattle Past anthology (Chin Music Press) and its traveling art exhibit.

 

Jaimee’s editorial mission is to enhance authors’ innate voices while never pummeling sentences for sport. For a partial list of authors Jaimee has worked with, visit their editorial site here. She specializes in literary fiction and YA, with considerable experience in LGBTQ writing, gender studies, and ethnography. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Young Adult
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters

Working Style

My editorial letters are notoriously detailed, often falling in the 20-35-pg. range. For a full manuscript read, I offer broad feedback and strategies for overcoming issues with character development, pacing, plotting, tone and voice, dialogue, narrative arc, continuity, and world-building. This service can be expanded to a full developmental edit, including extensive margin notes on the paragraph-, or page-level. For nonfiction projects, I also address the cogency of arguments and/or structure, while placing additional emphasis on audience.

 

Having edited and pitched dozens of book proposals that sold to major publishers, my book proposal margin notes are fiercely prescriptive in nature. That said, I also strive to be kind, while helping authors balance craft and artistic intent with salability.

 

After years of reading query letters in an agency, I am in a very strong position to offer constructive feedback on how to craft an effective pitch. Query letter reviews involve margin notes on the line level, and can be catered toward an agent, editor, or academic press.

 

Overall: As a published author with agency experience and broad editorial expertise, I can deliver both the empathy writers want and the critical eye they need.

Availability

I work primarily over email and am available for monthly phone/Zoom coaching sessions on a selective basis. All full-manuscript consults or developmental edits include a 1-hour follow-up call or Zoom to discuss strategies for revision. I am typically booked out 3-4 months in advance for developmental editing. 

When querying, please include the genre and word count of your manuscript, as well as any known concerns you want to address in your writing. I ask to see a work sample before booking any service to ensure a strong fit. I am always open to new editorial clients. New coaching clients are considered on a rolling basis, schedule permitting.

 

I’m interested in literature as both covert and blatant advocacy. I seek out fiction that emphasizes place, memory, family drama, multicultural identity and intersectional issues. I love dark realistic YA, and I prefer essays that keep generating new questions rather than looking for concrete answers. Above all else, I want to work with authors who are unapologetic about their experiences and whose stories jar readers out of complacency.

A flat project fee may also be discussed as determined by the scope of work.

“Jaimee has impressed me with the depth and precision of her insights. She knows what publishers want, and knows how to communicate those expectations to writers. If you’re looking for an excellent editor, look no further.”

–Damon DiMarco, New York Times bestselling author

 

“Working with Jaimee Garbacik has been inspirational. More than just an editor, she has become a treasured confidant who made me rethink both my storytelling skills and writing style. Her criticisms are always insightful, constructive, and right on the money. She’s helped me sharpen my characters and plotline and rework the core meaning of my first novel to better reflect my true inner voice. Her style is strong, straightforward, and clearly conveyed in both her written notes and telephone conversations. I value her suggestions and know her editing skills will make any book oh so much better!”

–Jeffrey L. Diamond, six-time Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, journalist and creator of Dateline NBC

 

"I sure am grateful for Jaimee. She took my words out for a spin, and when she came back, my book had received the wax, oil change, and tune-up I didn’t even realize it needed. There are very few editors out there that really take the time to empathize with the emotional connection authors have to their writing, but when she edits, Jaimee seems to live with the words, almost inside of them. She heard my voice pulsing in there, snagged it, and yanked out the best version possible. She rocks. Period.”

–Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion

Rebecca Morris Headshot

Services Offered

  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Rebecca Morris

Rate: 100

Contact Rebecca Morris with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Rebecca Morris is a New York Times bestselling non-fiction (true crime) author. Her works include: ‘BOY MISSING: The Search for Kyron Horman’ (2020), 'A Killing in Amish Country – Sex, Betrayal and a Cold-Blooded Murder' (2016), 'If I Can’t Have You – Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance and the Murder of Her Children' (2014), ‘Ted and Ann – The Mystery of a Missing Child and Her Neighbor Ted Bundy’ (2011), and other books.

Two of her books have been optioned for movies.

She lives in Seattle and speaks at schools, libraries, bookstores and writing conferences, and teaches book writing and journalism. Her specialty is the process of writing, from idea to execution, including organization, research, and conducting interviews. 

A veteran broadcast and print journalist, she worked in New York City, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Her journalism has appeared in People, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Post, New York Magazine, New York Newsday, The New York Daily News, The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, and many other publications.

She has a BA in Journalism from Seattle University, and an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University. She appears frequently on network and cable television as a crime expert. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • College Essays

Working Style

Rebecca likes to have an initial conversation with a writer, read the work, then provide feedback in person. She is available for follow-up questions via e-mail, phone, in-person or on Zoom. 

Rebecca believes that writers must READ, so her coaching encourages that plus the importance of following news of the publishing industry. She continues to mentor writers (at no cost) who she has taught or coached. They often say her best skill is her ability to motivate them. 

Rebecca consults on:

 

Organizing the Writing Process

The Importance of Deadlines

How to conduct research and interviews

Book proposals and query letters

Preparing a timeline and outline

Freelance writing

Journalism

Guidance in employment in print and broadcast journalism

Non-fiction books and magazine articles

True crime writing

Marketing and promotion

Memoir and essay 

Availability

Rebecca is available for in-person, phone or Zoom meetings on weekdays (late afternoon or evening) and often on weekends. 

“I now have concrete tools. I’ve fleshed out an outline, have a to-do list, and have confidence. It was extremely practical.”

“The best thing about the class? Having someone who has done it, teach it.”

“Rebecca was unusually available after hours, always willing to read our work and answer questions. Her background in investigative journalism and as a local author was interesting. The class was a bargain in so many ways.” 

Shin Yu Pai Headshot

Services Offered

  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Shin Yu Pai

Rate: 130

Contact Shin Yu Pai with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Shin Yu Pai is an award-winning poet and essayist. Her books include Aux Arcs (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), Sightings (1913 Press, 2007) and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). In 2020, Entre Rios Books published ENSO, a 20-year mid-career survey of her work across creative disciplines. Her most recent poetry collection, Virga (Empty Bowl, 2021), was covered in MS. Magazine, Georgia Review, Poets & Writers, Shelf Awareness, and elsewhere. In 2022, Shin Yu was awarded an artist fellowship from Artist Trust. From 2015 to 2017, Shin Yu served as poet laureate for The City of Redmond where she created large-scale public art installations using poetry.

 

Over the years, Shin Yu has taught creative writing at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Dallas, Hugo House, Gemini Ink, Grub Street, Northwest Film Forum, The Henry Art Gallery, and The Write on the Sound Conference, in addition to serving as a BA poetry thesis reader at Hendrix College. She has taught seminars in professional practice for artists at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Tualatin Valley Creates’ Arts Incubator Program. In her work as an independent publicist, she has created publicity campaigns and supported titles from Chin Music Press and Pleasure Boat Studio.

I Consult On

  • Essay
  • Poetry
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • Podcasting

Working Style

I can offer a 15-minute free consultation to assess a client’s project. I may look at 5-10 pages of a manuscript before accepting a job.

I provide written feedback and discuss the work in a conversation with the client. I can also give customized and specific assignments related to reading, writing, and how to approach steps to publishing.

As a woman of color with 20 years of experience reading and critiquing the work of others, I bring deep professional expertise as well as a perspective that is deeply informed by the belief that cultural difference provides the most powerful foundation for creative expression. I am excited to work with artists from all backgrounds.

I am willing to do phone or video consults. I am not meeting in person at this time.

Availability

My preference it to meet every 2-3 weeks. 

“Shin Yu Pai is my first reader, the person I trust most to look at one of my manuscripts and provide me with feedback (whether editorial, content-based or structural) that will bring it closer to finished book. She is rigorous, astute in her observations, and always respectful of the arc or trajectory she sees moving through a collection, preserving a vision while uncannily both shaping and sharpening it along the way. I rely on her always to see more clearly the direction toward which I am already heading. In this way, I think, she is an ideal and incisive reader; that has always been my (most fortunate) experience.” — Rick Benjamin, Poet Laureate of Rhode Island (2013-2017)

 

Shin Yu Pai has the imagination, wit, and poetic dexterity of a resting samurai. I believe this sentiment to be germane to her essence. This is why I asked her to edit my first book of poetry Brackish Water, which was published in 2014 by Lawrence & Crane Press.

— Austin James, Faculty, Houston Community College

Susan V. Meyers Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Susan V. Meyers

Rate: 125

Contact Susan V. Meyers with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

With 25+ years of experience coaching authors and teaching at four top-ranked universities, Susan V. Meyers currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Seattle University. She holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD from the University of Arizona, and has been a writer in residence at more than a dozen different arts centers nationally and internationally. Both her nonfiction book on immigration and her circus-centered historical novel, Failing the Trapeze, have won major awards, including the Nilsen Award and grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her essays and stories have likewise been nominated for The Best American Series and several Pushcart Prizes and have recently appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Rumpus, Calyx, Hippocampus, and The Minnesota Review. You can find her at susanvmeyers.com.  

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Poetry
  • Nonfiction Book Proposals
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • College Essays

Working Style

My background makes me well suited to coaching writers through both creative and strategic projects; and, having mentored thousands of writing students over 25 years, I am quite versatile in terms of subject area.

For Manuscripts: Following a conversation to review your goals and questions, I provide comprehensive editorial support throughout the various stages of your writing process, including thorough feedback for developmental editing and detailed “track changes” responses for line editing and proofreading.

For Publishing Proposals & Applications: I have helped dozens of writers submit books proposals and gain admission to graduate school—often with full funding packages. As a published author and a university professor, I can coach you through the process of writing applications, query letters and/or book proposals, and I am equally comfortable with the creative and research-based publishing.

For One-on-One Coaching (ongoing): I blend biweekly or monthly Zoom-based coaching sessions with emailed written feedback. Depending on your needs, I can coach you through process planning (i.e. how to approach, plan, and follow through on a project); idea development and organization; revision strategies; and/or any gaps you need to fill related to grammar, mechanics, or citations and style. 

I love working on creative manuscripts just as much as I enjoy helping you get your book proposal launched, your MFA applications mailed off, or your submissions sent out to magazines or residencies. I’m really more focused on you and your development than I am on a specific literary niche. I love working on longer projects, especially narratives that take interesting approaches to structure/form and nonfiction/memoir projects that have unique stories to tell. I find it particularly satisfying to work with authors over time, engaging in early brainstorming stages with them, providing editorial support, and helping them launch their work out into the world. I am well connected nationally and enjoy using my networks to help writers advance their careers, and I am available for a free 20-minute phone consult if you’d like to learn more. 

Availability

Flexible scheduling includes daytime/evening/weekend options for Zoom-based coaching sessions. Feedback between live sessions is delivered via email. I am generally available year-round. 

·        “Susan transformed my relationship with writing. I had always loved it, but she helped me understand that it was ok to ask for help—especially on long-term research projects. Her insights on my PhD dissertation are the only reason why I finished it in record time. Moreover, the tools she taught me about my writing process have been foundational to my current success. Now, I have an academic book releasing this year with Palgrave, a thriving freelance writing business, and a signed contract with a book agent for trade publications. Don't hesitate to work with Susan, she is a gifted coach and editor!” — Dr. Nafeesah Allen, Content Strategist & Foreign Services Officer

·        “In my late sixties, with no formal training in creative writing, I embarked on writing about my life. With Susan’s gentle encouragement, I felt excited—seen and heard for the first time. When the moment was right, she introduced me to craft concepts such as scene building, dialogue, and structure in a safe and non-critical way. Her guidance was critical in giving me a good start on the road to publication. I was lucky to have encountered Susan early on or my memoir might never have been written.”  —Patricia Sparks (Grayhall), author of Making the Rounds, Defying Norms in Love and Medicine

·        “Working with Susan was just what I needed to resurrect my novel. She provided concrete theory on how to construct chapters and an overall novel structure, as well as general coaching about the actual sitting-your-butt-down-and-writing bit. Working with her was inspirational, helpful, and fun!”—Jason Gerend, author & Microsoft technical writer

Kary Wayson Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback

Kary Wayson

Rate: 90

Contact Kary Wayson with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

I’m a poet and poetry teacher with two books and twenty-plus years of experience editing creative nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid forms. I'm particularly interested in work that pushes against traditions of usage and syntax, though at heart I'm as happy to edit a grant application as I am an essay or poem. I find great pleasure in the process of diving deep into the possibilities of a given text, and I enjoy working with authors at any/all stages of their endeavors and careers. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Poetry
  • MFA Applications
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • College Essays

Working Style

My process as an editor typically involves several passes through the text. I give suggestions for specific line edits as well as more general observations about the work as a whole and recommendations for how it might be improved. I maintain close contact with authors, giving regular progress updates, and do my best to answer questions quickly. I endeavor, too, to build and sustain friendly, respectful relationships with authors. In every instance, I'm motivated by sincere curiosity about the work at hand, whatever its form or stage of development. 

Availability

I’m available to meet in person, over the phone, via email, or Zoom year-round; I am happy to schedule a free 15-minute initial meeting to assess the author’s needs (a work sample can help me evaluate the type of editing best suited to the work), and I include 30-minute follow-up meetings as part of my fee.

$900 for full manuscript (50+ pages) of poems; fees for various types

— Not to be dramatic, but I I've been looking for this sort of editor my whole life. If you need a manuscript consultation, I *highly* recommend Kary Wayson.—Gabrielle Bates, author (Judas Goat, Tin House, forthcoming in 2023)

—Kary is a kind and talented editor. She’s knowledgeable, attentive, detail-oriented, and attuned to the unexplored possibilities in each text. She’s also fearless about telling you what your best work requires. Every time I’ve followed her advice on a piece, the result has been a text that felt more like—I don’t know another way to say this—itself. How delightful is that? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does better work. —E. Briskin, author, (Orange, Entre Rios, 2020)

—Kary Wayson has helped me shape and fine-tune several essays, stories, and two manuscripts over the last fifteen years. One of the manuscripts she reviewed was an academic book, and the other, a memoir. Kary’s adept at finding the heart of the narrative, the intent and aspiration of the work. She offers clear, direct suggestions about what might need to be reshaped, reconsidered, rewritten and/or sometimes cut. She’s thorough and reflective, attentive to small details; Kary considers each word. I never doubt that a piece of writing she’s edited is on its way to becoming its best self. I can’t recommend Kary highly enough. —Trisha Ready, author, (Music in Therapeutic Practice, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)

Darien Hsu Gee Headshot

Services Offered

  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Developmental Editing
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Publication Guidance
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Darien Hsu Gee

Rate: 170

Contact Darien Hsu Gee with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

An award-winning author and writing mentor, Darien Hsu Gee has worked with writers for over 25 years, helping them get their work into the world.

She is the author of five novels published by Penguin Random House that have been translated into eleven languages. Her collection of micro essays, Allegiance, received the Bronze IPPY award (Essays) in 2021. In 2019, she received a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship award for her collection of matrilineal prose poems, Other Small Histories, chosen by Patricia Smith. Her nonfiction how-to book, Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir, won the Hawai‘i Book Publishers’ Ka Palapala Poʻokela Award of Excellence in 2015.

Darien is the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant and a Vermont Studio Center fellowship; she holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. A full-time working writer, Darien serves as co-founder and series editor for Haliʻa Aloha, a micro memoir writing and hybrid publishing program. She has served on the boards of the Friends and Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library and the literary journal, ZYZZYVA. In 2021, she sold a food blog, Friendship Bread Kitchen, which emerged from one of her novels. 

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Poetry
  • Query Letters
  • Magazine/Journal Submissions

Working Style

I'm an efficient writer and editor with a lot of experience in the publishing industry. One of my superpowers is helping writers take their work and careers to the next level, and helping them get out of their own way.

The first step is to request a consultation with me. Let me know where you are in your writing life, the project you are working on or hope to work on, and what you'd like from our time together. If your project is time-sensitive, please make that clear.

The next step is to schedule a complimentary 15-minute appointment and submit a sample of your work so we can ensure we're a good fit.

  • For projects needing immediate editing or feedback, I'll offer a straight quote for the work.
  • For marketing/publication consults and mentoring, I offer single sessions as needed or we can work together to find an ongoing structure that will work for you.

Feedback is given via Track Changes in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and includes an editorial letter. For longer editorial projects, a follow-up Zoom meeting is included to review the suggestions and clarify any next steps. Coaching sessions are tailored specifically to you and your needs.

Availability

I always welcome inquiries and will let you know if I have any timing conflicts.

All sessions are held over Zoom with responses via email. I am available to meet in the evenings and on weekends as well. 

"If you are serious about moving your work forward, Darien is your woman.” Andrea Dean, author and activist

"Darien Gee is a masterful teacher and coach." Catherine Kalama Becker, UH Hilo Associate Professor of Communication

"Darien Gee instills the confidence every new author needs to let the words fly." Pamela Young, KITV Anchor

Ingrid Ricks Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability

Ingrid Ricks

Rate: 145

Contact Ingrid Ricks with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Ingrid Ricks is an NYT-bestselling author, memoir coach, and inspirational speaker who is passionate about leveraging personal storytelling to foster healing, awareness, empathy, and change. Over the past decade, she has helped thousands of students of every age find healing and empowerment by writing the deeply personal stories they needed to tell, and has produced eight anthologies in partnership with high schools and non-profits. Ingrid, who views personal storytelling as the key to healing and unity in today’s divided world, regularly presents her Unleashing the Power of Personal Storytelling workshops in partnership with organizations throughout the region and has delivered keynote talks on the subject to educators and social workers nationwide. She also uses her story and struggles with breast cancer and blindness to help audiences rethink their views regarding the word disability and reverse their own limiting stories and beliefs.

Ingrid’s books include the coming-of-age memoir, Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story, and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. She has also ghostwritten several books and has shared stories from her childhood on Salon and NPR.

For more information, visit www.ingridricks.com

I Consult On

  • Memoir

Working Style

I’m a memoir coach with a focus on helping writers develop their books from the ground up. Below is an overview of the coaching services I offer, which are customized to meet your needs:

       Tackling fear and mental roadblocks

       Developing an action plan

       Story identification and story structure

       Developing a detailed book outline

       Teach key narrative writing techniques to bring story to life

       Chapter-by-chapter developmental editing

       Accountability coaching/mentoring and support

 

I review materials sent by writers prior to consultation and then provide comprehensive coaching sessions via phone

Availability

Weekly Availability

Feedback via phone coaching sessions and email follow up. 

$1,500 for a 12-hour coaching package

*Note: Rate also applies to time spent reviewing materials prior to phone call 

If you have a personal story you need to tell, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email and we can schedule a complimentary 20-minute phone call. 

Ingrid Ricks has changed my writing life. For more than ten years, I’d been trying to pull together my memoir. I had early drafts, research notes on scraps of paper, outlines, but it just wasn’t coming together. Then I attended one of Ingrid’s workshops. In it, she presented a step-by-step toolkit, and by the end of the workshop I believed, for the first time, that I really could transform my story into a compelling narrative. Now, with Ingrid as my writing coach, I’m close to completing my manuscript, and it couldn’t have happened without her unfailing belief in me and my story.

Susan Frederick, award-winning writer

 

What a journey we've taken together! You coaxed out my story and made me realize I had one to tell. You are part writing coach, part healer–a shaman disguised as a writer. What a blessing you are.

Steve Knipp, Executive Director, GenPRIDE

 

I feel honored to have the privilege of working with Ingrid Ricks. First of all, she is an incredibly kind, approachable, bestselling author who knows how to guide amateurs like me. Second, she has given me the confidence and energy I need to be excited about writing. Third, Ingrid goes above and beyond to help me develop, organize, and focus my story. Without her by my side, I’m sure I would have spent hundreds of hours struggling to write something that no one would want to read.

Eileen Kollmeyer

Sara Freeman Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting/Proofreading
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability
  • Youth Tutoring

Sara Freeman

Rate: 115

Contact Sara Freeman with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

I am a Montreal-born, US-based fiction writer. My debut novel Tides was published in January 2022 with Grove Press. My writing has appeared in The Sewanee Review, Literary Hub, Granta, Joyland, and Maisonneuve, among others. I bring to my consulting work over a decade’s worth of teaching: I have taught writing at Grubstreet, Emerson College, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and Columbia University.

As a writer, consultant, and coach, I am particularly interested in work that explores character at a psychological, interior, or subjective level. I also enjoy fiction, memoir, and essays that tackle themes of exile, sexuality, mental health, living between languages and cultures, domestic and family life. As a French and Spanish speaker who has lived in Quebec, Europe, Latin America, as well as the US, I am also keen to consult on work written by writers for whom English is not their mother tongue or on stories that are set abroad. Formally inventive or risk-taking projects also welcome!   

Find out more about me and my work at sara-freeman.com.

I Consult On

  • Memoir
  • Essay
  • Short Fiction
  • Novel
  • Query Letters
  • MFA Applications

Working Style

I love working with writers at all stages of the drafting process. My consulting approach varies from project to project, based on the needs of each individual writer, but my goal is always to help make each project the most itself it can be, to find what is already there and help intensify or deepen this unique quality. As a reader of your work, I pay close attention to the sentence-level, give feedback at the scale of scene and description, as well as tackling broader narrative or formal concerns. Depending on your needs, and the stage of the draft, I can provide a combination of line-edits, a detailed typed-up endnote, or feedback delivered more conversationally over the phone or on zoom. In all instances, I try to make my feedback constructive rather than prescriptive and hope to leave you feeling excited about the next draft, with concrete avenues for revision. I am always available to answer follow-up questions via email or over the phone, and often work with clients over many drafts. For writers who are in the generative stages of their work, I am also available for coaching and accountability sessions and am happy to set up a schedule that works best for you. 

Availability

I am available to meet virtually on a weekly or monthly basis, using zoom, telephone, or email. 

For developmental editing, I would ask that you send me a brief description of your project as well as the first 10-20 pages to see whether I am the right reader for your work. If it seems like we may be a good fit, I offer a 15-minute free session over the phone to discuss my impressions of those pages and the next steps of our work together. If you’d prefer more time together during this initial session, we can set up a one-hour call (fees will apply) to discuss the pages I have read so far in more detail. 

Tutoring is available for teens in grades 9-12. Coaching & Consulting is available multilingually: French, mother tongue, & Spanish, fluent in reading..

“Working with Sara has been such a positive experience. My writing has improved on both a macro and micro level – I've gotten more out of our one-on-one work than some of the 8-week classes I've taken. As an editor, she works hard to understand artistic intent, and she frames her (always incisive) notes accordingly, always delivering them with empathy and kindness. I have never felt more motivated to keep writing.”

– Natalie Lemle, Writer and Founder of art_works,

Boston, MA

“Sara is a sensitive and skillful reader. I was referred to her by a friend when I was stuck on a project that was difficult for me both as a piece of writing and emotionally. I knew it could easily be squashed or derailed if I showed it to the wrong person, so I was very careful. I'm so glad I showed it to Sara. She helped me decide beforehand what kind of feedback I needed (for instance, I was not looking for line-editing). The editorial letter she sent after reading my work was very thorough and made me feel that my project was worth completing and within my capacity. She gave me specific suggestions for how to proceed, pointed to the strengths of the manuscript, and showed me what wasn't working, and why. Bolstered by her response, I was able to write a new draft that I'm proud of.”

– Rose Gowen, Writer and Copy Editor,

Montréal, Canada

“Sara worked closely with me on my memoir manuscript. She gave me the big picture view of things – the time frame of episodes in my book, structure, and alternative ways to organize my material. She also took the time to wade through my work page by page, line by line to edit and give suggestions. I gained a lot from her insights and her painstaking attention to detail. She was honest and frank in her assessment of my book and I am grateful to her for her help”

– Butch Meily, Writer and President of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, Manila, Philippines

Karen Finneyfrock Headshot

Services Offered

  • Developmental Editing
  • Complete Manuscript Read with Feedback
  • Career Advice/Motivation/Accountability
  • Youth Tutoring

Karen Finneyfrock

Rate: 120

Contact Karen Finneyfrock with questions or a request for a consultation.

Bio

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is the author of the poetry collection Ceremony for the Choking Ghost and co-editor of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (Write Bloody Publishing).

Karen is a former Hugo House Writer-in-Residence, an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Bloedel Reserve, and Mineral School, and a recipient of grants from The City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and Artist Trust. As a spoken word artist, Karen competed on numerous National Slam Teams, toured nationally and internationally, and acted as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State.

I Consult On

  • Novel
  • Young Adult
  • Poetry
  • Query Letters
  • Award/Residency Applications
  • Tutoring for School-age Children & Teens (writing, reading) K-5/6-8/9-12

Working Style

As a consultant, I strive to provide my clients with the clear, usable, and encouraging feedback that allows them to return to their creative projects emboldened.

I will read pages and provide a detailed editorial letter focused on issues including: genre, voice, POV, pacing, scene, character development, story structure, and language. During our meeting, I will ask questions that speak to the work’s purpose, driving concepts, and structural integrity. I’ll help you hone in on your purpose as a storyteller as you bring that story to agents, editors, and readers.

When consulting on synopsis, query letter, or residency/grant applications, I will focus on detailed margin notes and provide feedback on industry standards. 

Availability

Available for online meetings and email correspondence throughout the year.

“I strongly recommend Karen Finneyfrock’s editorial services. With expertise in both poetry and novel writing, she offers incisive, constructive critiques of style, technique, and large-scale character, scene, and plot development.  An admirer of her fiction and poetry, I ultimately came to her classes on recommendation from a fellow writer who described her as “the best teacher I’ve ever had in my life.” She is truly an excellent teacher. Through her instruction and critiques, I was able to diagnose problems in my work and completely revamp a book that, despite the advice of other writers and teachers, wasn’t working. I’ve found her critiques of my own and other writers’ work to be honest, accurate, enlightening, and highly sensitive to the writer’s intentions and to what the book wants to be.”

-Ruth Schemmel, Hugo House student

"I'll take anything Karen Finneyfrock teaches, and I'm never disappointed. The one-on-one care and knowledge she generously offers in class is constrained only by time and the number of students. I can't begin to imagine what I could accomplish during an independent manuscript consultation. I guess I'll be signing up to find out!" 

-Allison Augustyn, former music critic, Chicago Sun-Times

 

"As an instructor, Karen helped catalyze my bud of a story into a full-length manuscript and provided the guidance I needed to avoid many pitfalls of novel creation along the way. Once I began the revision process, her belief in my work and ability to see what was strong about my writing buoyed me through uncertainty. Karen has the ability to pinpoint specifically what is special, naturally successful, and uniquely genius about any writer’s work, regardless of their experience level or genre. Her encouragement helped me to pinpoint my own strengths, and her critique was always delivered with curiosity and care that allowed me to think deeply about less successful aspects of my work without feeling discouraged. Karen is careful to make distinctions between her personal likes as a reader from more objective advice on craft, and her questions and observations are thorough and thoughtful. Karen is not only a brilliantly talented writer, but also a present, engaged, and caring instructor. Her attention to my work has strengthened not only my manuscript, but my confidence as a writer and my ability to guide my own growth."

-Molly Thornton