Editing and Consulting for Writers

Whitney WritingOngoing Coaching

Available at $75 per hour. By phone or in person. We meet and review your work or use master writers to do a tutorial on an element of craft.

First Chapter and Synopsis. A review of your one-page synopsis and first chapter up to 15 pages. I respond with thoughts and suggestions.  Use form at bottom to contact me.

  • Fee: $250

Four-By-Four Coaching/Consult.  Four coaching/intensive manuscript review sessions over about 8 weeks. I read and mark 15 pages prose for each session, followed by a one hour private meeting by phone or in person. Includes craft discussion, reading suggestions, and strategies for revision and publishing. A great option for the start of a book, a series of short essays or stories, a poetry collection, or refinements to a section of a book.  Use form at bottom to contact me. 

  • Fee: $595
  • $10 additional for additional pieces in a single prose packet
  • 60 pages prose or 30 pages poetry
  • Single session/15 pp: $195

Intensive Manuscript Review

Intensive editing marks, suggestions about pacing, layering, metaphor, ways to bring the heart of the story. Editing for phrasing, illogical connections, missing material, general issues to work on. Includes detailed, page by page comments, a letter, and individual meeting by phone or in person.  Minimum: 20 pages. Use form at bottom to contact me.

  • $10/page for first 50 pages. $7.50/ page for remaining pages.
  • Includes 1-hour follow-up meeting by phone, Skype, or in person.
  • 50 page minimum / $500
  • $250 deposit reserves your start date

 Mentoring – the Low Cost Alternative to an MFA Program
A transformative learning process at about a tenth the cost

Schedule a one-hour meeting to assess your readiness for this rigorous program: $75 fee, waived if you sign up within 1 month. 

Following the Low Residency MFA mentoring model I have adapted from the top-rated Warren Wilson College MFA Program and my own process, I will review your creative material in a series of packets, via email or postal mail. I respond with manuscript markup, craft advice, reading assignments, assignments for short essays on craft, and general discussion of writing strategies, all in a detailed letter.  This is an incredibly effective and affordable way to make MFA-level progress in your mastery of craft at about one-tenth the cost.

  • We compile a reading list and discuss your reading.
  • Each packet includes a program of assigned reading and craft study.
  • Each fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir packet includes: 20 pages fresh material or revision
  • Poetry Packets: 8 pages.
  • I assign you short essays on how writing works.
  • I provide a detailed letter with each packet review.
  • We start with a one-hour meeting, and end with a one-hour review.

3 packet exchanges:  $1,200 (up to 60 pages manuscript transformation)

5 packet exchanges:  $1,800  (up to 100 pages manuscript transformation)

$500 Deposit reserves your dates.

My qualifications:

  •  15 years  teaching and consulting on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry
  • An uncommon “sixth sense,” honed over years of experience, reading, and study, that tells me the shapes and solutions that will serve the heart of a story, essay, or poem.
  •  30 years of professional editing and writing for trade fiction, nonfiction, and university publishers.
  • Numerous awards, including the prestigious PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Distinguished Fiction and an NC Arts Council Fellowship (2012), Hedgebrook and Hemingway Foundation Fellowships
  • MFA, Warren Wilson College

Past Institutional Clients / Staff Work:

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Harper Collins, Duke University Sanford Institute for Public Policy, UNC Institute of Government Publishing Division, Duke University Chronicle, Capital News Group, TeleSpan Publishing Company, National Parks Magazine, American Land Forum.

Published Writing: 2 literary books in 2 editions each, 5 anthologies, more than 50 stories, articles, poems in Story, Storytelling Magazine, West Branch, Yankee, Garden & Gun, Wildlife in North Carolina, American Land Forum, and many more.

A Few Recent Clients and Workshoppers

I’m so proud of you all!

Rebecca Duncan – Secrets of Gray Lake, a novel
Michele Berger, fiction, poetry, blogger – multiple awards
Anne Anthony –  forthcoming in NC Literary Review and other journals
Judith Lessler – memoir published in The Sun
Charles Higgins – finalist Doris Betts Prize for Fiction
Al Capehart – Behind Santa’s Smile, memoir
Liz McGuffey – nonfiction forthcoming in NC Literary Review

Fill out contact form below for more information. 


One response to “Services

  1. Marjorie: Know you are busy, but slightly concerned that I did not hear from you regarding poetry coaching/reading. Would still be interested.

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