How I Help Writers: My First Year of Writing Coaching

I have been working as an independent teacher and writing coach for about a year. I completed my MFA in the first months of the pandemic, and my plan was to continue teaching college classes on an adjunct basis throughout the year in addition to a few non-creative writing part-time gigs I’ve held for a while.

But in light of moving across the country to a new city to follow my partner to a new job and facing the reality of fewer adjunct offerings in general due to the pandemic, I instead expanded my writing coaching business.

This has been a really fruitful year! I’ve been surprised at the possibilities that have unfolded. There’s also been a really cool interplay between the work I’ve done as an educator and my own writing projects.

Here are some of the projects I’ve taken on this year as a writing coach and independent teacher:

  • Taught one-on-one courses on political poetry, poetry fundamentals, poetic forms, and more
  • Helped a writer compile and organize two chapbooks and one full-length collection of poetry
  • Helped a writer send out more than one-hundred submissions to literary journals
  • Supported a writer working on an experimental hybrid project
  • Supported a writer compiling an anthology
  • Edited a memoir and provided advice on the submissions process
  • Formatted books manuscript files for publication
  • Provided advice on various aspects of the publishing world
  • Advised a first-time novelist on how to manage and speed up plot
  • Provided feedback on individual poems, including suggestions for clarity, form, and tone
  • Organized and hosted several literary readings on Zoom
  • Provided editing for a writer working on PhD coursework
  • Facilitated an online high school writing group
  • Helped an artist edit poetry to accompany an exhibit
  • Helped an artist draft an artist statement
  • Taught several online micro-memoir classes to more than 70 students including Writing Your Pandemic Story, Micro-Memoirists Repair, and Culinary Micro-Memoir
  • Taught an epistolary poetry class through the Loft Literary Center
  • Facilitated several online workshops through community organizations on topics such as the poetic line and zuihitsu

And more! Being able to connect with so many new writers this year has been a silver lining for me of this strange time. And one of the very coolest outcomes of this work is that a few of my former students created their own online writing group.

Here’s to Year Two!

Interested in having me come to your organization? Want to connect with me about writing coaching? Contact me.

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