November 2016 update:
Are you feeling “stuck” in your grieving, with your creativity, or in midlife? This summer, I completed my training to become a Martha Beck-certified life coach. I now work one-on-one with motherless daughters, creative artists, midlife women, and anyone who feels that their current life story is ready for revision and change. My new Lose Live Grow program will be designed to support individuals on their wholly unique journeys through loss and grief.
In the meantime…
Through my coaching and consultation company, Words Etcetera, Inc., I also work individually with a select number of private clients who are working on either book-length memoirs.
I add new clients several times per year. If you’re serious about a non-fiction writing project, I can help guide you toward the finish line, playing the roles of coach, editor, cheerleader, critic, and accountability partner. My 25+ years of teaching and consulting help me get to the heart of your story quickly, to identify its strengths and zero in on what needs to be done to bring the pages to completion.
With me, you’ll have the benefit of someone who’s published seven books and intimately understands the process from the inside — artistically, commercially, and emotionally. My former students and clients have been widely published, both by major book publishers (Random House, William Morrow, Penguin/Putnam, Perseus Books, Simon and Schuster) and in numerous publications, including the San Francisco Examiner, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Buzzfeed.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Reader’s Digest, Literarymama.com, and The Alaska Quarterly. I’ve also been a manuscript consultant for several university publishing houses, including Southern Methodist University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Chicago presses.
The following outlines the different coaching and consulting arrangements that I offer:
November 2016 Update: I am only taking clients for Full Memoir Manuscript reviews and One-Time, One-Hour Consulting Sessions at this time. Please check back if you are interested in a monthly coaching program, as my schedule may change, or I may be able to refer you to another writing coach who’d be a good fit.
All coaching arrangements begin with a free 30-minute phone or Skype call to discuss the nature of your project. In this call I’ll ask about the story beneath your story – the message you want to convey to readers – and get a sense of what your intention and vision for your project is. As much as I’m willing to share my expertise, I try to always remain aware that this is your story and your book. Ideally, we want to create a manuscript that highlights your creative skills, potentially meets publishing standards, and fulfills your personal goals.
From there, we decide on the coaching and consultation package that’s right for you, from the following choices (please note that both require a three-month commitment):
Standard Coaching Package : For writers starting or continuing books
You send 50 pages of prose per month, either revised or new material, via email. I read the pages electronically and insert margin comments, and also type one to three pages of single-spaced summary comments that offer both big-picture and micro feedback. Additional services include one (1) half-hour phone or Skype call per month to discuss the pages after they’ve been returned, and to plan for the next submission.
Deluxe Coaching Package: For writers who want to move quickly
You send, via email, up to 100 pages of prose per month, either revised or new material. I read the pages electronically and insert margin comments. I also type up two to four pages of single-spaced summary comments that offer both big-picture and micro feedback. Additional services include two (2) half-hour phone or Skype calls per month, one to discuss the pages after they’ve been returned, and another to check in during the writing process to offer guidance and/or support.
Full Memoir Manuscript Consultation: For writers with drafts already completed
You electronically send your entire memoir manuscript, up to 500 pages total. I read the pages electronically and inserts margin comments. I also type up four or more pages of single-spaced summary comments that offer both big-picture and micro feedback, including a) analysis of narrative structure; b) discussion of both the surface, plotted story and the interior story of the protagonist’s struggles and growths; c) analysis of the major conflicts in the story and their resolutions; d) discussions about characterization, dialogue, pacing, and narrative persona; e) suggestions for edits and additions; and f) analysis of writing strengths and habits. If publication is your goal, I will also spend time discussing what needs to be done to make the manuscript submission-ready if it is not yet there. Additional services include one (1) 90-minute phone or Skype call to discuss the pages after they’ve been returned and answer any questions from the writer.
One-Time, One-Hour Consulting Session:
For Writers Who Want Fast, Brief Feedback or a Second Opinion
You send up to 20 creative pages or a written summary of a project, along with specific questions you wish to discuss. Topics for these consults can range from how to get started to how to overcome writer’s block to how to approach an agent. Feel free to include feedback you’ve received from agents and editors, if relevant. I review the written pages, prepare brief notes for the conversation, offers insights and suggestions in a one-hour Skype or phone session.
Please contact me at [email protected] for information about availability and fees.
“There is perhaps nothing more important in the final stages of book writing than enlisting a reader with a critical eye, an attentive ear, and a deep knowledge of craft. When I contracted with Hope Edelman as I neared completion of my manuscript, it was those traits, as well as her professional insight and market savvy, that helped guide and strengthen my work. Timely, sophisticated, generous, and compassionate, Hope’s feedback has played an essential role in both my manuscript and growth as a writer.” — Tim Hillegonds, MA, Chicago, IL
“Among the many reasons Hope is such a powerful writing coach are her sharp insights coupled with her expert communication skills. Hope had the ability to perceive aspects of my work that I had never considered before—both small scale technical issues, as well as overarching structural ideas. This allowed me to understand my manuscript on new productive and exciting terms. In our conversations, Hope and I discussed specific ways I might address these points, giving me the clarity and confidence to move forward with both big and small changes to my project. Hope is supportive, responsive, and thoughtful. In the time I worked with her, my manuscript transformed from a set of connected pages into a piece of work that has a heartbeat and is well on its way to becoming the fully realized book I hoped it would be.” — Maggie Pahos, MFA, New Orleans, LA