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author guidance programs 

Paula Coomer is a long-time teacher of writing at both the university and community level. Her answer to the question of whether writing can be taught is well-depicted in this quote from author Marilynne Robinson: “I try to make writers actually see what they have written, where the strength is. Usually . . .  there’s something that leaps out—an image or a moment that is strong enough to center the story. If they can see it, they can exploit it, enhance it, and build a [work] that is subtle and new. I don’t try to teach technique, because frankly most technical problems go away when a writer realizes where the life of a story lies. I don’t see any reason in fine-tuning something that’s essentially not going anywhere anyway. What they have to do first is interact in a serious way with what they’re putting on a page. When people are fully engaged with what they’re writing, a striking change occurs, a discipline of language and imagination.” —Marilynne Robinson in The Paris Review


  • Book Development—one-to-one guidance on the drafting of a book; suitable for fiction and creative non-fiction

    • $300 per month payable by the first of each month
    • Includes weekly in-person, phone, or Skype discussion sessions plus email exchange and manuscript review with written feedback. Sessions are up to 2 hours long.
    • Good choice for writers looking for support while working on first books or for writers with ideas but who are uncertain about choice of form and/or structure, as well as anyone who would benefit from regular input during the drafting stage of a book
    • Important note: Please click here for manuscript formatting requirements
    • Availability for Book Development is very limited, but Ms. Coomer does keep a waiting list. For more information, contact her directly at for more information
  • Advanced Draft Consultadvanced draft review and feedback; suitable for any type of book, including poetry

    • $500 (up to 200 DS pages; see formatting requirements below; add $2.00/page for subsequent pages)
    • Feedback is up to 120 minutes via phone or Skype plus written feedback
    • Good choice for writers who are several drafts in but are stuck in plot or character development or who want detailed analysis of a nearly-final draft
    • Turn-around time is usually 2-4 weeks
    • $350 down payment due with manuscript
    • Balance due at least 24 hours prior to phone/Skype meeting
    • Manuscript must be a moderately-advanced draft and must be provided with down payment
    • Important note: Please click here for manuscript formatting requirements
  • Weekend Workshops

    • Three 2.5-hour sessions plus manuscript review of up to 20 pages (double-spaced and Times 12 cpi) per participant and open mic
      • One session Friday evening
      • Two sessions Saturday
      • Open mic Saturday evening
    • Focus of choice
      • Fiction Writing
      • Short Story Writing
      • Experimental Forms
      • Writing the Novel
      • Life and Recovery Writing
      • Memoir and Creative Non-fiction Writing
      • Poetry Writing
      • Custom Focus (i.g., Writing as Sanctuary, Writing Women’s Lives, Writing to Save the World, Teaching Creative Writing, etc.)
    • 5-15 Participants
    • $150 per participant plus travel and accommodations
    • Availability for these is very limited. Workshops must be scheduled 9-12 months in advance.
    • To inquire further, please contact Ms. Coomer directly at

Payment Process

Payment for all programs is made via PayPal. Please email to receive PayPal information.

Paula Coomer is a poet, fiction writer, and, on occasion, a food writer. She has authored seven books, including Jagged Edge of the Sky, Blue Moon Vegetarian, Dove Creek, and Nurses Who Love English. A former long-time university writing instructor, Ms. Coomer lives near the mouth of Hell’s Canyon in southeast Washington State, where she teaches writing in the community, organizes retreats and workshops, and has completed work on a third novel.