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author guidance programs

Paula Coomer has been a teacher of writing at both the university and community level for more than 25 years. Her classes and workshops are at once challenging, humorous, serious, informative, and nurturing, and her approach is deeply intuitive. Ms. Coomer’s teaching and book coaching philosophy are best depicted by this quote from author Marilynne Robinson: “I try to make writers actually see . . . where the strength is. Usually . . .  there’s something that leaps out—an image or a moment that is strong enough to center the story.” That same process applies to examining a life. Finding a central image for the choices we’ve made in life is a place to begin understanding ourselves, which is also the perfect place to begin mapping a new journey, in life or in writing.



Are you thinking about writing a book but don’t know how to get started? Leaving your career for the creative life? Are you in the middle of a book draft but are stuck and looking for a path forward? Do you just need intuitive insight? Permission to make a change?

In 1995, Paula Coomer began to experience stress-related health problems that would not go away. She took a gigantic leap of faith, leaving behind a career as a public health director in favor of work to which she felt born. She completed a 3-year MFA in Creative Writing and began to teach university writing classes, which she continued to do for the next 20 years, at which point she went to work in publishing and began creating writing programs at the community level. In other words, Ms. Coomer knows what it feels like to transform, to use creative muscle to build a new road in life, and she believes wisdom gained along the way is meant to be shared.

Creative Brainstorm Sessions with Ms. Coomer can be exactly what you need to help you organize your thoughts, make some decisions, and start out on a new trail.

    • Creative Brainstorm Sessions are 90-minute one-to-one Zoom meetings based on Caroline Allen’s Book Breakthrough sessions. From Ms. Coomer: “We sit down over tea or coffee and you talk, I ask questions, I listen to your answers, then I tell you what is coming through the wires. You tell me what my ideas bring to mind, ask questions, and we talk about next steps for you.” Sessions might include a variety of exercises designed to stimulate thought, creativity, and to help in getting in touch with the essential self–the person you were when you came into this world.

    • Ms. Coomer has advised many hundreds of poets, writers, and creative people.

    • Initial 15-minute Zoom tryout sessions are free.

    • After the tryout session, you may schedule a 90-minute Zoom session. Price for the session is $200, payable in advance. Subsequent sessions are $200. Participants will receive the most benefit from 2-4 sessions over a maximum of 6 months.


If you are a first-time author, you have a long road of surprise, joy, dismay, and possibly disappointment in front of you. 

What many first-time authors do not know is that having a book accepted for publication is merely the first step. Especially if you are working with a small independent or university press, much will be required of you–from hiring an editor and proofreader to creating a website and publishing related single pieces to pre-publication marketing to seeking blurbs to establishing a social media presence to creating a marketing team to soliciting reviews from  publications and readers to setting up a book tour to handling the emotional upheaval of it all. Book publication is not what you imagine, and it certainly doesn’t work the way it appears to in movies. It is a full-time job; it is mayhem; and it is hard work and not for the faint of heart.

To top all that, it comes with a timeline, and a very specific one. 

As the former New Author Support Coordinator for a Seattle publisher (Booktrope was in business from 2006-2016 and published a thousand titles), Paula Coomer has coached more than 100 first-time authors through this roughly 18-month timeline from book acceptance to launch and beyond. She is here to explain the steps to you, to provide that timeline, and to support you with grace, guidance, and assuredness. 

To learn more about this tedious but rewarding period of time, a good place to begin is to read the late Pat Walsh’s book 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might. Walsh explains that many writers fail to educate themselves about the publishing industry before they begin the submission process. This leads to delays and disappointments. One way to approach learning the trade is to bumble around in the dark–which many of us have done–or you can avoid the confusion by hiring a guide. Think of it the way you might hire an outfitter to take you into the wilderness.  A New Author Support guide (or coach) can lead you in taking an organized approach to traversing the new role of author and can also give you tips and information to help you get your book in front of the eyes of the world.

Important to know is the fact that you can never start too soon, particularly when it comes to establishing social media presence and publishing shorter pieces of writing to help promote name recognition.

New Author Support services can be arranged in one of several ways:

  • 18 month package–$5000 (a $6300 value; payment plans available)

    • Includes detailed timeline for proceeding toward launch day and beyond

    • Monthly 2-hour meeting over Zoom to go over list of what needs to be done for the upcoming month and to set a schedule and plan

    • Email communications with Ms. Coomer to answer questions/squealch those insecurities

    • Various referrals/recommendations/connections for each stage of the journey

    • Guarantees you will have Ms. Coomer’s availability and support for the entire 18-month process

  • Month-to-month contract–$350/month

    • Includes detailed timeline for proceeding toward launch day and beyond

    • Monthly 2-hour meeting over Zoom to go over list of what needs to be done for the upcoming month and to set a schedule and plan

    • Email communications for the following month with Ms. Coomer to answer questions/squealch those insecurities

    • Subject to  Ms. Coomer’s availability

  • One time New Author Support meeting–$350

    • Includes detailed timeline for proceeding toward launch day and beyond

    • One 2-hour meeting over Zoom to go over 18-month timeline and to provide recommendations for keeping yourself on schedule

    • Follow-up emails for 1 month with Ms. Coomer to answer questions/squealch those insecurities


Book draft review and feedback; suitable for any type of book, including poetry

    • Feedback is via Zoom meeting plus written feedback on the draft, depending on the level of response solicited

    • Rates for prose manuscripts vary based on level of review

      • Quick global readthrough of an early to mid-level draft; no editing–$0.008 per word

      • Global readthrough of a final draft with minor revision suggestions–$0.010 per word

      • Developmental read with revision recommendations of middle-stage draft–$0.015 per word

      • Detailed line editing of final draft–$0.020 per word

    • Good choice for writers who are on draft 3-4+ in but are stuck in plot or character development or who want analysis or editing of a final draft

    • For poetry manuscripts, please contact Ms. Coomer at

    • Turn around time is 4-8 weeks, depending on level/type of review; must be scheduled in advance

    • Prose manuscripts must be provided in hard copy (global and developmental) or electronically (line editing); poetry manuscripts should be provided in hard copy AND electronically

    • 50% downpayment due with manuscript

    • Final 50% of payment due at completion of work but prior to final Zoom meeting

    • Important note: Please click here for manuscript formatting requirements


Read more about Literary Representation services here

Please email Ms. Coomer at for more information.

Paula Coomer writes poetry, literary fiction, and non-fiction about food and health. She is the author of eight books, including Jagged Edge of the Sky, Blue Moon Vegetarian, Dove Creek, and Nurses Who Love English. Her newest book, a collection of short stories, Somebody Should have Scolded the Girl, was recommended by BuzzFeed. She has been a nominee for the Pulitzer, the Pushcart, and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, among others. A former long-time university writing instructor, Ms. Coomer lives in southeast Washington State, where she advocates for writers, teaches writing in the community, and facilitates retreats and workshops.