One-on-One Creative Support, in Grand Rapids and Online
Sometimes our writing journey brings us to moments when personalized support would be helpful. Maybe you're working on a special project, overcoming a creative block, or want to strengthen a specific part of your writing. I offer writing coaching that is a mix of open-minded listening, creative guidance, feedback, and editing support.
How It Works
Writing coaching can help you better understand the creative task at hand and strengthen your voice. It can also tune you to your creative instinct, build your writing sensibilities, and deepen your knowledge of craft. In some cases, these sessions are fairly practical (e.g., polishing a poem or essay to get it published). In other cases, they are more conceptual or generative (e.g., breaking out of a creative rut). No matter what, they are always hands-on and collaborative. I'll offer guidance in person or online, close readings of your writing, recommendations of books or writers to follow, writing prompts, suggested creative tools or practices, and more depending on your needs.
Who It's For
I have worked with a range of folks as diverse as the stories they tell: new writers who are getting to know their voice and creative routine, writers who want to polish and publish their work, professionals and business owners who want to sharpen their writing skills, and so on. You may be looking for support to:
- Use your voice more confidently or see how it's coming through in your drafts.
- Open up to the story you want to share or go deeper into an idea you're exploring.
- Overcome blocks or anxiety in the creative process.
- Build a consistent writing practice or re-energize your creative routine.
- Plan a new creative project.
- Take a fresh look at a manuscript you're revising.
- Decide whether a piece is ready for publication and find a good home for it.
One-on-one support starts at $50 per hour, with packages available for larger projects or long-term support.
First-time sessions are $100 and include a close reading of up to eight double-spaced pages of your writing before we meet. I like to spend time with a writer’s words in advance of the conversation, so that I can get to know your voice. I also prepare a document of writing prompts, creative practices, and recommended reading based on the writing and any questions you share. It's like getting a take-home workshop customized for your voice and writing interests. I usually spend three to four hours reading and preparing the document for our first meeting. Rather than charge for all that time, I offer a flat rate of $100 for the first session. (I'm also happy to read more than eight pages, if you'd like. I provide a quote based on the length when writers share longer pieces.)
Ready to get started?
Send me a note and tell me about your needs, interests, or current challenges. I'll follow up with some ideas for how we can move forward and times to talk.
About Your Guide
I'm Emily Stoddard, a writer and communications guide with over 15 years of experience in making meaning with words. Poetry is my first love. Essays are often where I turn when a poem decides it doesn’t want to be a poem anymore. Fiction writing is an ongoing conquest. I love blurring the lines between all of them whenever it feels right. My writing has appeared or is forthcoming in New Poetry from the Midwest, An Alphabet of Embers, Watershed Review, Hermeneutic Chaos, Menacing Hedge, Cactus Heart, Big Scream, and elsewhere.
As a Certified Leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method, I approach writing coaching with an emphasis on wholehearted listening. The joy in this work comes from spotting your creative strengths and helping you bring your natural voice forward. I'll ask questions to help you get to the root of what you're trying to say, and my feedback will surface new ideas for telling your story.
In addition to helping writers discover their unique voice, I have helped over 40 nonprofits and businesses tell their story. These have included Arbor Circle, Database Sherpa, Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, Healing Traditions, Kids' Food Basket, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Phoenix Society, Women's Funding Network, and more. You can read more about my background here.