Private Workshops & Mentoring

I love teaching and have taught hundreds of students over the past twenty-five years. With increasing frequency, I am approached by readers about teaching private and group writing workshops. While I continue to do a lot of free and informal mentoring for former students and friends, I’ve decided to formalize the terms of some of the other mentoring work I do for those that are interested.

I have two decades of teaching experience (fiction, nonfiction, TV/screenwriting) and my approach to teaching is encouraging, rigorous, and usually pretty fun. Many of my students learn a lot about themselves and their motivations for writing a particular project as much as they learn about craft. (Lots of references available.)

I would encourage my clients to think of these experiences the way they would approach piano lessons, a vacation to a museum, a golf tournament, or a cooking class. I can help you discover your inherent gifts as a writer, offer lessons in craft and structure, and provide critiques specific to your manuscript that will be fun and enriching. I cannot guarantee that you’ll find representation or publication, but I can guarantee that you’ll become a stronger writer, more in tune with the gifts specific to you and your project, and that you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. However, I wouldn’t consider any art class to be an economic investment and you shouldn’t study with me if your main wish is that I can get you closer to fame and fortune. I can’t.

Unlike a lot of private writing teachers and coaches, in the interest of transparency, I’ve decided to post my terms and rates online, for those of you who are considering such an endeavor in 2021. I take on a very small number of private students each year; if you’re interested, I will ask you for a brief paragraph about your intended project and work and a 5-10 page writing sample, just to be sure we’re a good fit.

  • Personal monthly mentoring: Students send me a monthly packet of work, 30-40 pages, and receive a 5-10 single-spaced page letter back, as well as margin notes with specific revision comments and some sample line edits to help you learn how to revise your own sentences. $800/packet. Similar to the exchanges in a low-residency MFA program. Monthly or bi-monthly. You don’t have to commit to a regular exchange until after the first packet.
  • Group workshops: Get together a group of 3-15 writers and build your own virtual workshop. We set up a weekly time to meet until each student has a chance to have a piece workshopped. Each three-hour class session includes three 45-minute workshops and a craft discussion of a text of the week. Available for fiction, nonfiction, or TV/screenplays. $200 per student. Course length depends on number of students, workshopping three a week. Could be one week or five; workshops can choose to renew and do a second round.
  • Weekend or evening seminars: Via Zoom. Get together a group of your writer friends and I’ll lead a three-hour workshop on a craft topic of your choice. The course will close with a series of writing prompts. From structure to dialogue to memoir and from memoir to the television pilot, I will draw on my extensive teaching experience to give your group a crash course on a topic of interest to you. $600. (The student who initiates the class will collect money and pay me the total cost. Can be done as a fundraiser; i.e. if you collect $1200, you can donate the extra $600 to a nonprofit of your choice or the literary center you work for, etc.)
  • One-time manuscript critique: Book-length projects (novels, nonfiction, screenplays) $2,500. Short stories, essays or TV episodes: $500.

Payment is done on Venmo or Apple Pay. I usually ask for fifty percent up front; you pay the second half of fee once I complete the work and you’re satisfied with the experience.

If you’re interested in scheduling a workshop, please contact me.