Manuscript Consultants

Hugo House’s Manuscript 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.

Schedule a Meeting

Select a consultant below and click the Contact button. Then, complete the form and a consultant will be in touch with you about services within 48 hours. Once services have been agreed upon between you and your consultant, the consultant 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 confirmed session, no refund is available.

Reschedules

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

Alma García $90/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Alma García or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Children's
  • Essay
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

My short fiction has won numerous awards and has appeared most recently in Kweli Journal, Bluestem, Duende, Enizagam, Narrative Magazine (past winner of Narrative Prize for Fiction), Passages North, Boulevard, and the anthology, Roadside Curiosities: Stories About American Pop Culture (University of Leipzig). I have also received grants from 4Culture and Artist Trust, as well as a fellowship from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. I recently completed a novel which is under consideration at several publishing houses. I have taught at Hugo House since 2007 and was a graduate assistant teacher (in both composition and fiction writing) at the University of Arizona, where I received my MFA in 1999. I also hold a degree in journalism and was a staff writer for the Santa Fe Reporter as well as editor-in-chief of the Weekly Alibi (a weekly newspaper in Albuquerque, NM). I now offer my services as a freelance editor, serving mostly as a developmental editor for full-length fiction and non-fiction manuscripts, though I do offer line-editing and copyediting services as well as ongoing, one-on-one mentoring sessions in fiction writing.

Working Style

Developmental editing at $90/hour; copy-editing or other services determined on case by case basis for $75/hour. For developmental editing, I offer an initial consultation (in person, by phone, or via Skype) two complete read-throughs of the manuscript, detailed endnotes that discuss what is working and what could be strengthened (typically six to ten single-spaced typed pages for a full-length manuscript; proportionally less for shorter works), notes on the manuscript as appropriate, and a final consultation. The format for line and copyediting is essentially the same, though the endnote response will be considerably shorter. I do provide up to two email follow-ups if clients have additional questions after the final consultation.

Availability

Available by appointment. Willing to provide a free, brief assessment of a five-page excerpt. Can meet monthly if ongoing consultation is needed.

Interests

Literary fiction and nonfiction or memoir with a literary bent. 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 or psychological material in a fresh way.

Former clients have been published widely. See All

Anastacia Tolbert $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Anastacia Tolbert or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Essay
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Poetry
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Short Fiction

Former clients have been published widely.

A former client was accepted into the Graduate school in NYC they wanted based on our manuscript
consultation.

Anastacia-Renee, is a writer, performance artist and creative writing workshop facilitator. She is a member of Seattle7, Distinguished Visiting Writer at Seattle University, 2017-2018 and has received poetry fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust and Jack Straw, as well as a writing residency from Ragdale.  Her theatrical mixed-media project, 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show is a multivalent social justice play unapologetically downward dogging its way through class, race, culture, oppression, depression, survival and epiphany. She is the Author of 26, (Dancing Girl Press) and her cross-genre work has been published widely. Three books, Forget It (Black Radish Books), Answer(Me), (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press) and (v.), (Gramma Press) are forthcoming in 2017.

indigoa.wix.com/2015

Working Style

Provide typed feedback and conversation.

Availability

I am available during the whole year
and I like to give online feedback and also in person is fine too.

Interests

Poetry, Prose, and Fiction

"You always have great insights . . . I plan to be a long-term customer." - Annie Laurie Sanchez, Fiction writer, client and former student See All

Cara Diaconoff $90/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Cara Diaconoff or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

"You always have great insights . . . I plan to be a long-term customer." - Annie Laurie Sanchez, Fiction writer, client and former student

"Your feedback has been awesome . . . . So smart and thorough. I really appreciate your close reading, systematic analysis and insightful suggestions. You have been a dream of a freelance editor with this project." - Aya de Leon, Poet and novelist

"It was refreshing to take a class where the instructor was genuinely interested in their students’ work and fostering intellectual growth. Your class was one of the most rewarding experiences . . . I'm grateful I had the opportunity to be taught by you." - A student in Introduction to Creative Writing, U. of Utah

"I have never been able to express myself as I was able to in your class. It’s almost as if a whole new light was shed on a part of me that had been kept in the dark. . . . You took the extra time to write and let us know how to make improvements which forced me to challenge myself in ways I never had before." - A creative-writing student, Texas Christian U.

Edited work includes Aya de Leon’s novel Uptown Thief (Kensington, 2016) and Wendy Breuer’s story “The Museum of Analog Antiquities” (Calyx, Winter 2012).

I hold an MA in English literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, where I was chief editor of Indiana Review. I am the author of two book-length works of fiction (Unmarriageable Daughters: Stories, Lewis-Clark Press, and I’ll be a Stranger to You, Outpost19 e-books) as well as stories in magazines such as The Adirondack Review, descant, and others. I have been awarded state arts council grants (Indiana, Utah) and residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Norman Mailer Colony. In addition, I have taught creative writing, mostly on the college level, for 15+ years; I’ve been a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, and a lecturer at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. For many years I have also taught online tutorials and workshops for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Finally, since 2009 I’ve provided developmental and copy editing services for creative writers through my editorial business.

Working Style

For critiquing and developmental editing, I provide embedded comments in the manuscript or manuscript excerpt and an end letter of at least 2 double-spaced pages for a short story and 5-10 pages for a novel. For coaching sessions or tutorials, I can meet for 1-2 hours at a time in person or carry on the conversation via email exchange during a mutually agreed-upon timeframe.

Availability

I could meet in person on either a weekly or a monthly basis. I am also happy to give consultations by email.

I am willing to meet potential clients or students in person for a free 15-minute session to assess their project; similarly, for a book-length project, I can provide a free sample edit of the first 5 pages of the project to make sure that I’m the best editor or coach for the project.

Interests

Fiction of all genres and for readers both teenage and adult: both short-form and novel-length. Literary nonfiction of all genres, both short-form and long-.

As an editor and a teacher, I have worked happily and successfully on many different kinds of works, from the literary to the commercial, from narrative realism to more experimental or hybrid work. As both writer and editor, I gravitate especially to historical and political themes and enjoy work that has an element of social consciousness. This can be and has been broadly defined!

"This Book is tight, intelligent, and important, and sure to secure Woods a seat in the pantheon of critical twenty-first-century voices." —  Booklist See All

Chavisa Woods $95/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Chavisa Woods or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Query Letter
  • Read Complete Book Proposal
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback
  • Read first 2-3 stories/essay in collection (up to 15,000 words)
  • Read first 50 pages of manuscript
  • Read individual pieces of short fiction or nonfiction up to 10,000 words
  • Synopsis

Available For

  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • LGBTQ
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Novel
  • Short Fiction

"This Book is tight, intelligent, and important, and sure to secure Woods a seat in the pantheon of critical twenty-first-century voices." —  Booklist

"[Things To Do When You're Goth in the Country is a] collection of eight uncompromising stories set in rural Illinois. In visceral descriptions of decay, boredom, and limited opportunities, Woods’s characters struggle to eke out an identity, as they confront the bleak difficulties of their lives and persist in surviving." - Publisher's Weekly

"Think of Woods as a literary exorcist, calling out certain entities that possess rural America: isolation, working-class poverty, drugs, incarceration, military dogma, and evangelical religion." — The Rumpus

"I can’t think of any other book that captures the essence of America the way this collection does—it is nuanced and provocative, heartfelt and funny and wise."  
—Lambda Literary Review

“The characters in Woods’ collection speak to us from the edges (…) You can say that these stories seem like they were ready made for a post 2017 election but they were written during the Obama presidency; the experience of America that many people have woken up to in the last six months is the America that has been happening since the beginning of this country. Chavisa Woods writes with vision and experience from “this moment between” delivering us into the world that’s always been here.” – Electric Lit

Chavisa Woods is the author of three works of full-length, literary fiction: Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country (short fiction collection, 225 pages) Seven Stories Press (Distributed by Random House) May, 2017; The Albino Album (novel, 600 pages) Seven Stories Press, March, 2013; and Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind (short fiction collection, 200 pages) second edition release from Autonomedia/Umbearables, 2013, original publication by Fly by Night Press 2009.

Woods was the recipient of the Cobalt Fiction Prize (2014), and the Jerome Foundation Award for Emerging Writers (2010). She is a current finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award in fiction, her third nomination.

Her work has received praise from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, the Lambda Literary Review, The Riverfront Times, Pop Matters, and others.

Her fiction, poetry and essays have been featured in such publications as Tin House, Lit Hub, Electric Lit, The Brooklyn RailThe Evergreen Review, New York Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, Jadaliyya, and others.

Woods has appeared as a featured author at such notable venues as The Whitney Museum of American Art, City Lights Bookstore, Town Hall Seattle, The Brecht Forum, The Cervantes Institute, and St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and has presented lectures and conducted workshops on fiction and poetry at a number of academic institutions, including: New York University (NYU), Penn State, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard College, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Tech and the New School.

 

Working Style

I believe writing can be taught, and, as writing is a craft, can continuously be improved upon. When I look at your work, I’m going to focus on what is unique to your style and content in order to help you build upon the assets you already possess as a writer, but may not be completely aware of.

As an editor and teacher, I am interested in honing in on what matters most in the work and cutting out the excess, which can be related to both form and content. I want the writers I work with to manifest the strongest version of their individual voices. For emerging and newer writers, I can help you move away from stylistic leanings that might be imitating other writers who have influenced you, allowing you to develop your own voice more poignantly and concisely. I pay attention to detail as well as the bigger picture, understanding that every word and every sentence matters immensely. For newer as well as more seasoned writers, I will provide my impressions as a reader, and notes around potential feedback from publishers, regarding overall themes of the novel or collection. I love to read, and I very much enjoy being part of creating new, meaningful and compelling literature. Creative writing is an art, and I see books as art objects. My goal is to help you create a literary art object that is well constructed and can pass the test of time, creating an emotional, aesthetically unique experience for the reader; a book that will stay with a reader long after they have finished it, leaving your audience with something exacting and meaningful.

I provide feedback imbedded in the text of the manuscript as line-edits and comments. I also provide a and a 2-3 page assessment of the work overall. Where appropriate, I will also provide suggestions around which publishers (presses and magazines) might be most interested in the piece. I am also available for 1-2 hour in-person consultations in both Seattle and New York City.

“I just read through the ‘macro edits,’ and Corbin—I love them!! You are so right on about everything you have said and I can’t wait to get started making these changes!! You bring up amazing points. I am so excited to dive deep into the book again and look through all your detailed edits. I think you are so right on about these edits, and I am so excited to make this book shine!! Thank you! Thank you!”—Saralynne Davis, Author of Making Kid Time Count See All

Corbin Lewars $95/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Corbin Lewars or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Preparation for Pitching
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Developmental Editing
  • Essay
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Memoir
  • Non-Fiction
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Short Fiction

“I just read through the ‘macro edits,’ and Corbin—I love them!! You are so right on about everything you have said and I can’t wait to get started making these changes!! You bring up amazing points. I am so excited to dive deep into the book again and look through all your detailed edits. I think you are so right on about these edits, and I am so excited to make this book shine!! Thank you! Thank you!”—Saralynne Davis, Author of Making Kid Time Count

"Thanks for your excellent editing Corbin. You've only edited two of my articles, but I've learned much from you already. I struggled with organization in this article and couldn't figure out how to improve the flow. You did that brilliantly."—Sandra M. Christensen, MSN, ARNP, FOMA

"I am learning so much through this process and can't thank you enough. Spun quickly through your edits on the first part and once again congratulating myself on my brilliant choice of editor. Your suggestion that perhaps her parents' 'storybook' meeting and engagement might set the bar too high and that's part of why she's reticent in romance - brilliant! Lemme see what I can do with that." —Michael McDermott, Author of the Patent Desk

"Thank God for talented editors. Your version is MUCH better! Please make the changes you've suggested. They are perfect. Whoever said writing was re-writing was dead on. Thank you so very much
With gratitude and admiration,"—Emilie Winthrop, executive editor of SD Decor and Style magazine

"Corbin—I just want to say THANK YOU for all your excellent work and guidance on Tara’s book. You truly transformed it and brought it to a whole new level. I love working with you!! I totally agree with everything you have said and wanted to express my deep appreciation and gratitude! Keep up the amazing work!"— Beth Kaufman, Managing Editor of Lesson Ladder

"Thank you, Corbin, for all your help with my writing over the years. I crafted my ML 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”

"I've only scanned the first few chapters, but your suggestions are DEAD ON! Love, love, LOVE your ideas/suggestions!! I'm so excited!! Thank you so much, Corbin! You have been so fabulous to work with and I appreciate your feedback, comments, and honesty so much. I'm making lots of progress on the manuscript and I'm LOVING your suggestions. Thank you again for everything you've done for me. This manuscript is a million times better because of you, and I'm so grateful!"—Marni Mann, Author of Seductive Shadows

"You're totally spot-on with the edits. The notes are great! I'm thinking I get the gist of what's missing and how I need to “tell the reader more.” You've done a fantastic job with thorough, thoughtful, critical yet supportive feedback. It didn't hurt one bit. I know it’s got a ways to go, but that’s what this is about—growing as a writer and giving the stories the weight they deserve."—Michael Blankenburg, Author of A Long Haired Handsome Jesus

"Thank You Corbin. I went through your notes and am happy with all of your suggestions. I’m glad that you are excited about the project, I am also getting there. It was a wonderful journey working with you on this book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I look forward to my next book with you ..."—Raj Persaud, author of Living with Purpose: Pt Sirju's Spirited Journey

"As usual, meeting with you is exactly what I needed. I'm starting to realize that yes, I am a decent writer and yes, I am a decent line editor. What I don't know about is structuring a novel. You, thank God, do know how to structure a novel and for that I am unspeakably grateful. I'm starting to understand what is necessary to get my manuscript where I want it to be. Boy, it's hard, though, twisting my brain into places it hasn't been before. It's strangely exciting and I'm starting to feel more like a writer (and less like a career journalist) for the first time in my life." —George Kingson, journalist, novelist

“It is without hesitation, that I can tell you that your early response and support of this book was instrumental to my ability to finish it. I appreciate all your kind words and your support of this project.”—Marianne Lile, author of Stepmother

"Thank you for meeting with me it was really helpful. I needed someone else to look at all these jumbled pages and sort it out for me. THANK YOU. I feel good about my book now and you helped me get on the right track. Thanks again for getting my through my own road blocks!"—Bonnie Froman, owner of Oakwilde Records and writer

Corbin Lewars, M.Ed., began writing books when she was five years old. If you count the ones that are glued and stapled together, she is the author of twenty-nine books. If you don’t, she is the author of three including Washington State Book Award and PNBA nominee Creating a Life. Her personal essays have been featured in over twenty-five publications including Mothering, Hip Mama, and the Seattle PI as well as in several writing anthologies.

She was the editor of Verve, a Seattle women’s magazine, for two years and for two decades has worked as a developmental editor and writing consultant for publishers and emerging writers. Her clients include Lesson Ladder Publishing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, UW School of Law and many published authors. She has been teaching writing for over twenty years in a variety of settings including universities, writing conferences, homeless shelters, CEO boardrooms, prisons, Seattle Cancer Institute, tribal schools and Hugo House. For more information, visit www.corbinlewars.com.

Working Style

My developmental edits include evaluating and assessing the consistency and development of the characters; the effectiveness and flow of dialog; assessing the plot arc, flow, twists, pace, and use of suspense; enhancing the theme, and evaluating and improving the overall impact and effectiveness of the book. I make suggestions on where these areas need improvements and suggest how to do so as well as point out strengths in the manuscript.

I line edit the manuscript and make comments, changes, and suggestions tracked in Word. I also write an overall assessment (usually two pages long) of what worked well in the manuscript, what I changed and why, suggestions on how to move forward, and what I see as your next steps for revising.

My consultations will help you gain clarity and confidence in your writing. Writing is hard, but during our hour session I will remind you of the benefits of writing and what your intrinsic motivators are to do so. My specialty is helping writers gain clarity on what their book is about and why they are writing it. I help them through the entire writing process, which often entails not writing, but rather thinking about their manuscript.

I have extensive knowledge and experience helping clients reach their goals whether that be to enter a literary contest, research publications for their essays, pitch their manuscript at a conference, or gain clarity on their project. My clients vary from lawyers, to students, to published writers and their genres include memoir, spiritual books, commercial and literary fiction, coming out and coming of age stories, books for higher education, parenting books, and a variety of how-to books. Some clients are refining their manuscripts in hopes of finding an agent or editor, others are looking to build their writer platform, and others are writing for themselves or family members.

The main criteria I use when determining if I will work with an individual is making sure I support the story they are trying to tell and their values around writing. I believe writing is a process that is best supported when the motivation is intrinsic and believe when we only seek outside accolades for our writing, the process is less rewarding, if not frustrating, and we lose sight of the benefits of writing.

I have an office in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle where I meet with clients. I also work over the phone, Skype, email. Most of my clients do not reside in Seattle, so it is not necessary to meet face-to-face, but I do find it is helpful.

Availability

This is what I do full time for a living, so have evening, day and weekend hours available. After our initial meeting (or talk on the phone) I usually take a month for a full manuscript edit. During that time, writers are free to call me or email me, and then I suggest we meet again after they have had a chance to look over my edits and feedback.

Interests

Essay, novels, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir.

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 See All

Gail Folkins $75/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Gail Folkins or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read and critique individual essays
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Blog
  • Book Proposals
  • Book Reviews
  • Developmental Editing
  • Environmental Writing
  • Essay
  • Freelance & Magazine Writing
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Memoir
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Travel Narrative

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

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, I have worked throughout the West as a journalist, a writer in corporate and nonprofit settings, an instructor, and as a creative writer.  My two creative nonfiction books include a nature-themed memoir titled Light in the Trees (Texas Tech University Press 2016) and a work of literary journalism titled Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit (Texas Tech University Press 2007). As a freelance writer, my essays have most recently appeared in The Common – Dispatches and Assay along with magazines such as Texas Highways and Wildflower Magazine. I have a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University in creative writing (nonfiction emphasis) and have taught writing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Edward’s University in Austin, Austin Community College, and Hugo House in Seattle. My publications background includes directing a small press, working as a managing editor for Iron Horse Literary Review, and leading a visiting writer series. I have served as a consultant and adviser on a variety of writing projects, from essay collections, to theses in creative nonfiction and poetry, to manuscripts on marketing and self-help.

Working Style

I provide detailed written feedback paired with a conversation in person, through Skype, or through email. Overall, I strive to highlight the writer’s voice while sharing feedback that brings the project closer to its fullest potential.

Availability

I can work in-person, through Skype, by phone, or through email. After an initial meeting in person or online, we can discuss your project needs and a schedule that works best.

Interests

Creative nonfiction of all types – memoir, travel, flash nonfiction, personal essays, nature writing, literary journalism, young adult narrative nonfiction.

“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.” See All

Jaimee Garbacik $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Jaimee Garbacik or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Query Letter
  • Read Complete Book Proposal
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback
  • Read first 2-3 stories/essay in collection (up to 15,000 words)

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Essay
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • LGBTQ
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

“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

Jaimee Garbacik is a developmental book editor with an agency background and a decade of experience helping authors turn early manuscript drafts into award-winning books.

Over a ten-year career in publishing, 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.

She is 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 graduated cumme laude from Boston University, where she studied with renowned editor and literary critic, Sir Christopher Ricks. She holds a certificate in editing from the University of Washington, and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, the Northwest Independent Editors Guild, and former programming chair of The Vera Project.

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 her editorial site here.

Working Style

My editorial letters are notoriously detailed, often falling in the 15-35pg range, depending on the length and complexity of a given manuscript. For a full manuscript read, I offer broad feedback and strategies for overcoming issues with character development, pacing, plot development, tone and voice, dialogue, narrative arc, continuity, and world-building. This service can be expanded to include extensive margin notes on the line, paragraph, or page level, along the lines of a developmental edit. For nonfiction manuscripts, 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 tend to be fiercely prescriptive. That said, I also strive to be kind, and I always have the author’s best interest in mind, regarding both craft and salability.

One-on-one coaching sessions are typically conducted over the phone or Skype. I am also happy to answer lengthy questions or offer advice over email, charging the same hourly rate for my time. This sort of coaching can be motivational in nature; we can address specific ongoing issues you are having with your writing or writing habits. Alternatively, I can offer oral feedback and suggestions on shorter works read on the spot or in advance (e.g. 15 pgs. of a novel, individual essays or stories).

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 notes on the line level, and can be catered toward an academic or trade audience as needed.

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

Prefer email or phone/Skype meetings. Flexible schedule. 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.

Interests

My specialties are literary fiction, short story collections, YA, long-form and/or literary journalism, and essay collections. I also have considerable experience with LGBTQ writing, gender studies, women’s issues, and ethnographic cultural studies. I read broadly and voraciously, from Italo Calvino to Joan Didion, Adam Johnson to Kazuo Ishiguro; I devour interviews and youth advocacy zines, folk histories and magical realism, Russian classics and graphic novels. I am a huge fangirl of books that amplify underrepresented voices, such as the Voice of Witness series.

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

"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 See All

Jarret Middleton $120/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Jarret Middleton or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Screenwriting
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

"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

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 is represented by the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency in New York, NY and the Intellectual Property Group (IPG) in Los Angeles, CA. He lives in Seattle, WA.

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

Interests

Literary fiction tending toward the dramatic, gothic, dark, surreal, fabulist, and magical-realist. Full-length works of fiction, novels, short stories, collaborative projects, experimental work.

"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 See All

Karen Finneyfrock $120/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Karen Finneyfrock or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Query Letter
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback
  • Synopsis

Available For

  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Novel
  • Poetry
  • Young Adult

"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

“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

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

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 and both selected for the Junior Library Guild Award. She is one of the editors of the poetry anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press.  She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. She currently teaches the Yearlong Class in Young Adult Fiction at Hugo House and has taught the Certificate Program in Young Adult Fiction at University of Washington. Karen has received residencies at Hedgebrook, Bloedel Reserve, and Helen R. Whiteley Center. She has received grants from The City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture and Artist Trust.

Working Style

When consulting on manuscripts, I’ll read pages and provide margin comments as well as a detailed editorial letter. My skills are strongest in story structure and language. On meeting, I will ask questions that drive to the work’s purpose, driving concepts and structural integrity.

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

I try to be positive and supportive and embrace the joy and the individual at the heart of creative work.

As a general rule, I can read and comment on 15 pages in one hour.

Availability

I am available to meet twice a month and prefer giving feedback in person, but willing to do so over email.

Interests

Young Adult Fiction, Poetry, Spoken Word, Novel

"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

Matthew Bennett $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Matthew Bennett or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Query Letter
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read partial manuscript

Available For

  • Academic Monographs
  • Book Proposals
  • Developmental Editing
  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Graphic Novels/Comics
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

"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

Matthew Bennett began editing in 2008 at Ronsdale Press, where he shepherded documents from submission to final print, and served as editor for publications such as Sheila James’s In the Wake of Loss (2009). He was later copy and line editor of academic monographs, such as Nicholas Hudson’s A Political Biography of Samuel Johnson (Pickering & Chatto, 2013). His current editing work includes novels and short stories, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, and more. As a language professional, Matthew has an exceptional record of teaching everything from English and Spanish grammar to modern philosophy of language. He has an English PhD from the University of British Columbia and has been writing, publishing, and editing academic, journalistic, and fictional prose for over a decade.

Working Style

For short personal encounters, I’m able to meet with writers and hear their pitch, read a five-page section of the manuscript, and then provide them rough editorial advice. 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.

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 Skype.

Feedback can be given in written form or 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.

Interests

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 voracious 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.

“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.” See All

Megan Snyder-Camp $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Megan Snyder-Camp or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript

Available For

  • Essay
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Poetry

“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.”

“Megan's feedback is thorough and insightful. She is an amazingly talented and generous manuscript consultant!”

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.

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.

Interests

Poetry

“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. Her podcast, Writing & Money, is the first thing I direct people to when they ask me how to get into freelancing.” —Meryl Williams See All

Nicole Dieker $90/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Nicole Dieker or have a question?

Services Offered

  • Discuss Freelance Strategy / Growing Client Base
  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Career Development
  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Literary Journalism
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

“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. Her podcast, Writing & Money, is the first thing I direct people to when they ask me how to get into freelancing.” —Meryl Williams

“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

Nicole Dieker is a Senior Editor at The Billfold, the host of the Writing & Money podcast, a former Hugo House teacher (before moving away from Seattle), and the author of The Biographies of Ordinary People. Her freelance work has been published in Lifehacker, Popular Science, The Write Life, and more. As a Billfold editor, she works with ten writers each week to develop personal essays for publication before doing the final copyedit/proof on each piece to make it publication-ready.

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.

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.

Interests

I love stories, no matter how they’re told. I work with Billfold writers on personal essays, and have written a literary fiction novel—but I also read genre fiction and YA regularly, so I’m familiar with how those stories work (i.e. what readers expect from a portal fantasy or a cozy mystery).

"He has been a wonderful mentor and friend." See All

Peter Mountford $140/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Peter Mountford or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 50 pages of manuscript
  • Synopsis

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Literary Journalism
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Screenwriting
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

"He has been a wonderful mentor and friend."

“When I was stuck with my writing, not knowing how to move forward, Peter Montfound gave me the personal coaching I needed. He took me from being an aspiring fiction writer with a lot of ideas, to a focused and skilled writer who could get them clearly on paper and into the world. I particularly benefited from his approach of reading my work aloud and commenting as he went. It allowed me to directly observe his reaction to my writing and ask clarifying questions in the moment. Peter’s in depth knowledge of literary arts and the publishing industry are a gift to anyone who works with him. Peter tells it like it is. Working with Peter is an incredibly efficient and direct way to grow as writer. He has been a wonderful mentor and friend.” -Maggie Orth

“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

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It’s an old saying suited to the talented instruction and consultation of Peter Mountford. As a writer, he knows the process and pushes you to develop your own. As a reader, he devours your material giving insightful feedback and suggestions of books or articles to inform your own work. I’ve taken several classes from Peter because his knowledge, spontaneity and intellect are exactly what I need. If you are ready, the teacher has appeared.” -Mary Anne Moorman, Public Radio Storyteller

“When I first started working with Peter, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I couldn't have told you anything about structure, voice, or story tension. I repeatedly came back to Peter as a teacher and later as an editor not only because I love his work, but because he isn't scared to say the hard truths about what a story needs. He is always on the side of the reader, as every writer should be, and my work is better for it. As a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, I consider Peter a mentor and a favorite editor.”

-Paulette Perhach, pauletteperhach.com

Some authors who studied with Peter (in class or in mentorships) before their books were published include:
• Tara Conklin
• Shannon Huffman Polson
• Elissa Washuta
• Nicole Hardy
• Therese Huston
• Gail Hudson

Peter Mountford has taught creative writing—fiction and nonfiction, primarily—to thousands of writers at all phases of their careers. An accomplished and widely published author in his own right, Peter teaches from a place of practical application, and from personal experience.

Peter’s first novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) won the 2012 Washington State Book Award, was a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novel Award, and is currently being developed as a television show by Campanario Entertainment. His second novel The Dismal Science (Tin House Books) was a finalist for the 2015 WSBA, and was a New York Times editor’s choice.

Peter’s short work has appeared in the New York Times (the ‘Modern Love’ column), the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic magazine, Granta, Boston Review, Southern Review, Best New American Voices 2008, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, and dozens of other magazines and newspapers. In 2012-14 Peter was the prose writer-in-residence at Hugo House, where he has been teaching since 2008. Since earning his MFA from the University of Washington in 2006, Peter’s work has won awards and grants from 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle Magazine, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Peter has received the Bread Loaf’s 2015 Bakeless Fellowship in Fiction, the he’s also won two fellowships to Yaddo, including the Wallace Fellowship for a distinguished writer. He is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.

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. This is often enough for a book that has significant problems, or if it is very close to being ready for submission. In the event that your writing is just perfect, you won’t get charged, and you won’t get notes . . . I’ll just wish you well, and we can talk about agents.

2. If the book has multiple POVs, or if it is structurally complex, I’ll probably need to read the whole book, which can take as much as 20 hours. The amount of notes you get with this varies. The most I’ve given was about 15 pages single spaced. The least is probably 8 pages single spaced. There will be a lot of notes.

3. If you have a rough draft (or not) and are eager to dig in more deeply, work on process, rather than just the book—basically if you want to become a better writer—my favorite method of working is through weekly coaching (or every other week). We’ll meet for an hour a week, and at each meeting you bring 10-15 pages of your book (the first time we meet, you bring the first 10-15 pages, second time the next 10-15 pages, etc.). I read the manuscript aloud and pause to talk about what I’m seeing as I read. This is a very unfiltered and direct form of feedback, so it can be a little intense, but it’s extremely effective. At the end of each session I’ll give you a plan/assignment for the coming week.

4. One of my specialties is giving advice to people who are seeking a literary agent, or need advice on the professional aspect of the writing life. I have advised many authors through this experience, and people often seem woefully unaware of how best to proceed.

Availability

Prefer email or in-person meetings. Flexible schedule. Clients who met with Peter in 2017 or earlier will be charged the earlier rate.

Interests

I’ve found that my ability to be a good mentor has almost nothing to do with what I find interesting as a writer. I want to help you do what <i>you’re</i> trying to do (I’m not trying to get you to do what I do). That said, I tend to encourage my students toward work that has urgency and is very engaging to the reader. There needs to be an internal propulsion mechanism of some sort. Usually story is really important, but I’ve read books that get away with having almost no story (Nicholson Baker’s books, for example). For nonfiction, the internal propulsion mechanism often relates to voice, and tone, but also to old fashioned suspense and plot (in some way).

Truthfully, I get bored pretty easily, and you’ll know when I get bored. I’m not rude or mean; I am definitely on your side, and I want to encourage you, but I know what is required for a piece to be publishable, and I want you to write it at that level.

As a mentor or writing coach, I am at my best when I understand what an author is attempting to achieve. So if your favorite writer is W.G. Sebald, and you’d like to emulate him, I’m probably not going to be much use to you (no worries if you don’t know Sebald’s work: it’s intensely dry). Basically, whatever you bring me, I will try to make it more interesting, more energetic, more emotionally resonant, and more authentic. But I’ll also try to help you make it more you, or the best of you.

“Stephanie is an inspired teacher with a gift for bringing out the best in her students. She is always well prepared to discuss every angle of the writing process and brings a tremendous amount of energy to each class. Stephanie is extremely supportive and engages with her students’ work, always finding positive ways to help. I was constantly amazed at how meticulously she read each student’s work and gave constructive feedback. Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft of writing is contagious.”

Stephanie Kuehnert $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Stephanie Kuehnert or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Genre
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Young Adult

“Stephanie is an inspired teacher with a gift for bringing out the best in her students. She is always well prepared to discuss every angle of the writing process and brings a tremendous amount of energy to each class. Stephanie is extremely supportive and engages with her students’ work, always finding positive ways to help. I was constantly amazed at how meticulously she read each student’s work and gave constructive feedback. Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft of writing is contagious.”

Stephanie Kuehnert is the author of two Young Adult novels, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, both published by MTV Books. Her Young Adult memoir is forthcoming from Dutton Young Readers. She is contributing writer for ROOKIE, an online magazine for teenage girls. She has been teaching Young Adult Fiction since 2009 online, at colleges and universities, and writing organizations. She’s been teaching at Hugo House since 2013 including the Yearlong Young Adult class.

Working Style

In most cases, I provide comments via track-changes in Word along with typed notes. However, schedule permitting, I am open to providing feedback via conversation and happy to meet with clients either in-person or via Skype depending on where they are based--my services are open to writers all over, not just in Seattle.Coaching sessions are available online or in person as well.

Availability

Meetings are dependent upon current availability. Most meetings or Skype conversations would be weekday evenings or Saturdays.

Before accepting a client, I will need a short synopsis of work and we will speak via email to get an understanding of what you are looking for and what I can provide.

Interests

Young Adult—all genres; memoir—both YA and adult.

“Susan is an excellent, thoughtful, and skilled mentor. She encourages writers with constructive comments and establishes a safe environment where creativity flourishes. Working with her is a joy.”—Paula Selis, J.D. See All

Susan Meyers $100/hr

Contact

Ready to get started with Susan Meyers or have a question?

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 50 pages of manuscript
  • Read individual pieces of short fiction or nonfiction up to 10,000 words
  • Synopsis

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Essay
  • Genre
  • Guidance in applying for awards/residencies
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Line-Editing/Copyediting
  • Novel
  • Preparing applications for College/MFA/etc.
  • Research
  • Short Fiction

“Susan is an excellent, thoughtful, and skilled mentor. She encourages writers with constructive comments and establishes a safe environment where creativity flourishes. Working with her is a joy.”—Paula Selis, J.D.

“I was grateful to Susan Meyers for taking on my project and even more grateful when I reviewed her work on my novel draft. In addition to advising me on conventions in publishing, Susan captured and corrected errors in grammar and offered wonderfully helpful advice on contextual issues in the narrative. Perhaps of greatest importance were the abundant evidence that she ‘got’ the story I was trying to tell and her enhancing of my ability to tell it.”—Roger Roffman, author of Marijuana Nation: From Vietnam to Legalization

“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, Microsoft

“I highly recommend working with Susan Meyers for her focus on story development and structure and her guidance with developing conflict and characters in novels. Susan taught me how to critically evaluate story structure and to develop character-centric narratives that were both mysterious and exciting. My writing has improved tremendously.”—AJ Reiman, Microsoft

With 20+ 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 seven different arts centers around the country. Both her nonfiction book on immigration and her novel, Failing the Trapeze, have won major awards, including the Nilsen Award for a First Novel and grants from the Fulbright foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Other work has recently appeared in Per Contra, Calyx, Dogwood, The Portland Review, The MacGuffin and The Minnesota Review, and it has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Working Style

My background makes me well suited to coaching writers through both creative and strategic projects, and I am available for a free 15-minute phone consult if you’d like to learn more.

For Manuscripts: I prefer to meet you in person (or Skype) at the beginning of a project to get a sense of your goals and questions—and for us to develop a rapport together. Thereafter, I will provide you with comprehensive editorial support throughout the various stages of your writing process, including thorough feedback (both margin comments and end notes) for developmental editing and detailed “track changes” responses for line editing and proofreading. (Generally, my pace is 20 pages/hour.)

For Publishing Proposals & Applications: I have helped dozens of people submit books proposals and get accepted into graduate schools—often with full funding packages. Because I have sat on a university MFA selection committee, I know how to best advise applicants. Similarly, as someone who has published both fiction and nonfiction, I can coach you through the process of writing query letters for novels/collections or book proposals for nonfiction projects. I am equally comfortable with the creative and research-driven publishing processes; and, in either case, I will blend in-person planning sessions with email-delivered line edits and ongoing feedback. (Time varies by project.)

For One-on-One Coaching (ongoing): I blend monthly in-person sessions with feedback delivered via email as you submit samples/projects to me between our ongoing sessions. Having worked with thousands of writing students over 20 years, I am quite versatile in terms of subject area, and I love in-person planning/brainstorming sessions, as well as watching writers develop and grow into themselves over time. 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. (Average 2-3 hours per month.)

Availability

Flexible scheduling includes daytime/evening/weekend options for in-person and Skype/phone sessions. Feedback between live sessions is delivered via email. I am generally available year-round.

Interests

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.