As a writer, editor and story coach, I mentor aspiring writers to complete their novels, short stories and memoirs so they can bring their manuscripts to publication faster.
Here’s what I believe:
- Your writing is trying to make sense of something that won’t let you go. It’s beyond capture, beyond understanding, even. The beauty is in the question. Not the answer.
- Your task is not to judge your work, but to get out of your head and into your dream space. That’s where your power resides.
- There’s tremendous freedom with form. Learn technique and practice it as rigorously and seriously as any dancer, musician, or athlete.
- A big part of the writing process is uncovering why you’re writing your story in the first place. What are you trying to understand about the experience? Once you have that, you’re half way there. Promise.
- There’s something uniquely brilliant about your writing. Even if you’re just beginning. Even if it isn’t obvious on the page yet.
- Write from what you know towards what you don’t know. Not knowing creates space in your work. This is as true in memoir as it is in fiction.
- You know more about the craft of writing than you realize, simply by being alive. Pay attention. Trust your instincts.
Perhaps like you, my writing obsession began early. As a child, I was prolific and fearless. I wrote with no limitations. No resistance.
But somewhere along the line, I abandoned writing for more reliable, lucrative pursuits.
My father had put me through college, after all, and I was duty bound to make good on that investment.
So, while I held many writing related jobs after college — in magazines, advertising, public relations, and my own freelance writing business — it wasn’t until the age of 39 when I finally took a stand and began writing solely for myself. I said goodbye to my clients, sold my apartment, and moved to a stream side apartment surrounded by mountain views. It’s here where I devoted the next two years to writing fiction.
During that time, I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Giving up my business and my home to pursue something that had absolutely no guarantee of succeeding felt like diving off a cliff. But taking my writing seriously was the best investment I ever made in myself — and in my writing.
In 2006, in Phoenicia New York, I launched the Emerging Writers Studio, a workshop for writers starting or returning to their writing after years of putting their writing dreams on hold.
Today I work with writers all over the world. My long term clients publish and win awards in anthologies, journals, and magazines. And many others are well on their way to completing novels, memoirs, and story collections.
I’ve been a professional writer and editor for over fifteen years. I started out on the editorial staff at Ziff Davis and CBS Publications, where I wrote articles for the magazine Backpacker and discovered new writers from the avalanche of unsolicited manuscripts that landed on my desk every week. I went on to write feature articles for the Italian lifestyle magazine, Inizio. I’ve written about food, travel, fashion, culture, and motherhood for The New Yorker and Redbook. As a freelance editor I’ve worked on everything from novels, short stories, and memoir to audiovisual scripts, marketing and web copy. My stories have been finalists in the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, Inkwell Journal’s Fiction Prize, and the Gulf Coast Fiction Award. I received my M.FA. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts where I also delivered a graduate lecture on how to select and use significant details in fiction and memoir.
And listen to me talk about writing on WIOX Radio here.
My articles and courses are designed to help you develop an ongoing dialogue with your prose, to engage with your writing in a spirit of play, experimentation, purpose, and discovery. I’m here to help you galvanize your ideas into elegant, potent stories.