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"Joe excels at being able to identify the two or three issues that most need to be addressed in a piece of writing, and he can articulate clearly how the writer might improve the work. More significantly, Joe knows how to make the piece under discussion serve as an occasion for considering general principles of good writing. That is, he’s able to help other writers learn from both the examples of strong writing and the missed opportunities of weak writing. In Joe, I see an accomplished writer, yes, but also a writer who can think abstractly about writing, explain how good writing works, and show other writers how to be more effective on the page. I recommend him without reservations." — From Bruce Holland Rogers, winner of the Pushcart Prize, two Nebula Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, and two World Fantasy Awards See All

Joe Ponepinto $95/hr

Services Offered

  • One-on-One coaching sessions
  • Read Complete Manuscript
  • Read first 25 pages of manuscript and provide feedback

Available For

  • Genre
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult

"Joe excels at being able to identify the two or three issues that most need to be addressed in a piece of writing, and he can articulate clearly how the writer might improve the work. More significantly, Joe knows how to make the piece under discussion serve as an occasion for considering general principles of good writing. That is, he’s able to help other writers learn from both the examples of strong writing and the missed opportunities of weak writing. In Joe, I see an accomplished writer, yes, but also a writer who can think abstractly about writing, explain how good writing works, and show other writers how to be more effective on the page. I recommend him without reservations." — From Bruce Holland Rogers, winner of the Pushcart Prize, two Nebula Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, and two World Fantasy Awards

"Joe’s love of language infuses his work, and he is careful and meticulous in his writing. He is patient, thoughtful, and plans ahead. I think he possesses a balance of empathy and discipline that make him an excellent instructor." — From Kathleen J. Alcalá, author of The Deepest Roots, The Desert Remembers My Name, Essays on Family and Writing, and three novels

Joe Ponepinto’s second novel, Mr. Neutron, was published by 7.13 Books in 2018. He is the winner of several fiction contests, and has been published in more than 40 literary journals in the U.S. and abroad. Joe was the founding publisher and fiction editor of the award-winning Tahoma Literary Review, and is an adjunct writing instructor at Hugo House and Tacoma Community College.

Working Style

I appreciate the trust you show in me by submitting your work, and I consequently make every attempt to fully justify that trust. I always provide a detailed, written evaluation, which often runs to many pages. The evaluation will address structure (plot, organization), tone (style, consistency), and development (character, story, theme), according to your genre. I also spend a significant amount of time examining the writer’s intent and how well it has been executed. The critique will discuss what’s good about your work, as well as what needs additional attention and development.

My criticism is not only my own, but is based on the advice of some of the greatest writers of fiction from the early 20th century to today. Just to name a few: Zadie Smith, Robert Olen Butler, James Wood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kurt Vonnegut, Francine Prose, Anton Chekhov, Ron Carlson, Gordon Lish, Mary Ruefle, Robert McKee, and many others.

Availability

Available to meet on almost any schedule, year-round. Weekly, monthly, etc. Feedback is available in person, by email, and via online chat.

I will speak or meet with students for 20 minutes for free to assess their project. I may ask to see a sample from a larger project before accepting the job.

Interests

Literary, Speculative, Historical, Science Fiction