Work with Me
Stanford University offers an online creative writing program for adults through Continuing Studies that gives writers a chance to work in a strong, supportive community, deepening their fiction and learning more about both craft and process. I teach novel writing and publishing in this program as well as courses in the Stanford Continuing Studies Online Certificate Program in Novel-Writing. I also teach in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. This winter, I'll be teaching both at Warren Wilson and in the certificate program. In the spring, I’ll be teaching a ten-week online novel-writing course, Writing the Compelling Character-Driven Novel, through Stanford. The class is now full, but people’s schedules sometimes shift, and the sign up for the wait list is here.
Below you’ll find the descriptions for both coaching and manuscript consultations. (Please note that, for new clients, I’m currently scheduling for May and beyond. If you’re interested in working together one on one, email me and we can discuss what you kind of help you need and find you a place in the calendar.)
One-on-One Writing Coaching
Helping other writers tell their stories is a central part of what I do. If you want help in completing a book or working through process or craft issues, you can contact me to schedule a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month coaching series. My coaching clients send me up to 6,500 words a month, and a week or so later, we have a video chat or phone session (60 minutes) to talk through ideas and questions. The coaching series can include recordings of our video sessions and occasional emails as needed, to help you stay on track and provide a venue for quick questions, emotional support, and celebrations. My clients have found it helpful to have a sequence of sessions: this provides accountability and regular feedback in ways that help keep the writing a priority. But the payment is session by session, and if someone needs to end a coaching sequence or change their schedule, we can be flexible. If you're interested in discussing the possibility of coaching, send an email about your project and the kind of help you're looking for to sarah(at)sarahstoneauthor.com.
I take on a few select clients a year for private mentoring/editing of full manuscripts, working with writers of novels, story collections, and creative nonfiction. I'll read your manuscript not only as a long-time professional reader, but also as a person interested in life, death, and the peculiar challenges of living in this world: my responses will always include a consideration of your book's human and thematic aspects.
As I read your manuscript, I make notes and occasional line edits, describing what's already working well, asking questions, and suggesting a variety of possible strategies and areas for revision. I believe very strongly in the usefulness of specific praise, as well as honest, supportive, and individual criticism. This is a developmental edit, rather than a copy edit, but I will make suggestions for taking your writing to the next level and will extensively line-edit selected passages as examples of where and how the work can be clearer, stronger, richer, and more urgent.
I'll also write you an in-depth letter that covers character, point of view, structure, plot and narrative tension, pacing, language, dialogue, the handling of time, and any questions particular to your work, whether those you've raised in our initial exchange of emails or those I see as I read.
After the critique of a full manuscript, we will have a follow-up phone call or video chat for brainstorming, conversation, and answering any questions you have. I'm also available for follow-up readings for sections of the rewritten manuscript or a complete revision. And because the contemporary publishing landscape has become so complex, I also offer assistance and information for navigating both traditional and self-publishing possibilities.
If you're interested in finding out more, please write to me at sarah(at)sarahstoneauthor.com, or use the contact button below, to send a description of your book and attach the first twenty pages as a Word or RTF document. In your email, please describe the events and characters of the book, as well as your history so far in writing and revising.
I'll read your opening and letter and write you an email with my initial thoughts about your project and a quote with my rates if I think I can be helpful. Each book gives rise to its own artistic and craft questions, so this first email exchange will help us both to get a deeper sense of your aesthetic and aims. It's very important for you to find an editor who's a good fit for you and your book.