Writing is a terribly solitary craft, yet authors don’t create most effectively in a vacuum. Traditionally, they have turned to teachers, editors, fellow writers and other trusted readers for insight and inspiration. In my own life as a working writer and long-time teacher-editor, I have seen the power of skillful, constructive mentoring to move a writer toward her/his goals. I provide such professional feedback and guidance to aspiring and accomplished writers at all stages of their development.
The aim of my mentoring and editorial consultation is to help bring each original manuscript to its fullest realization, while supporting the artistic growth and literary ambitions of the individual writer. My work with manuscripts begins with a close, respectful reading, during which I annotate the pages to provide careful line-editing, as well as to highlight broader issues—thematic, structural, technical, stylistic, and character-related. I then compose a detailed response to the author, brainstorming about the work and its possibilities, offering observations, reflections and concrete suggestions for revision. In lieu of, or in addition to, this letter, the author may choose to speak with me on the phone or to meet with me in person, if this is geographically feasible.
I encourage writers to fulfill the potential of a given project through thoughtful rewriting, and invite submissions of revised manuscripts for follow-up consultation. I also offer feedback on successive projects for clients who desire an ongoing editorial relationship.
Here are some observations about narrative prose, gathered over twenty years of freelance editing and working with writers in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Thoughts on Writing about an Extreme Experience
And now for some comic relief