AUTHOR COACHING AND MANUSCRIPT GUIDANCE

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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 20 years. Her classes and workshops are at once challenging, humorous, serious, informative, and nurturing. Ms. Coomer’s teaching philosophy is best depicted by 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


Services:

  • 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
    • Minimum 2-month contract
    • Includes weekly in-person, phone, or Skype discussion sessions plus email exchange and in-process manuscript review with written feedback. Sessions are 60-90 minutes 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 coom1286@hotmail.com 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
  • Workshops

    • One to three 2.5-hour sessions, plus optional manuscript review and open mic for 2- and 3-session workshops
    • 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
    • $50-150 per participant plus travel and accommodations
      • Price dependent on number of sessions desired and optional features
      • Options include open mic MC-ed by Ms. Coomer, manuscript review of up to 25 pages per participant, and/or a reading by Ms. Coomer
    • Availability for these is very limited. Workshops must be scheduled 9-12 months in advance.
    • To inquire further, please contact Ms. Coomer directly at coom1286@hotmail.com.

Payment Process

Various payment options are available. Please email coom1286@hotmail.com for more 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. Upcoming in 2019 is a new collection of short stories, Somebody Should have Scolded the Girl. 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 and organizes retreats and workshops.