The Ground of Making

One year of creative support for your writing.
Offered in Grand Rapids and online.

Coaching for writers - image with idea bubble

The Ground of Making is for writers seeking a deeper connection to their voice, a sense of rootedness in their creative life, and a space where experimentation, hands-on learning, and true discovery can unfold.

Over 12 months of one-on-one coaching, thoughtful response to your writing-in-progress, and more, you’ll come into a more active and personalized writing practice.


Practice, as in: words out of the mind and on the page. Raw material written and gathered and shaped, one line after the next. Stories completed. Poems dreamed and collected into being. Images unearthed, sounds played with, characters heard, scenes tested and prodded. Themes and surprises and big ideas broken down with words, words, words.

Practice, as in: A writer is someone who writes. And writes. And begins again. And by practicing more, begins to understand what truly feeds their writing—on the page and beyond.



The Ground of Making is less “writer-in-theory” and more trying, tending, and tuning in… with highly personalized guidance throughout the journey. When things get tough or murky on the page, I’ll offer prompts and ask questions to find another way. We’ll create rituals, exercises, and more as the work unfolds—all inspired by what’s actively showing up for you, in the hopes of bringing you closer to your own ground of making.

My hope is that you’ll experience at least a few seasons, cycles, ebbs, and flows during our year together. Challenges and breakthroughs alike will have a home here. We’ll embrace all of them, so that you end the year with stronger writing and a real connection to what feeds your creative spirit.

What’s included in the Ground of Making

12 months of coaching, Writing Reviews & More


The Ground of Making is now full—thank you!

Registration will open again in late 2019. Please add your name below if you would like to be on the waiting list.

Monthly Coaching

Name *

One-hour session each month for 12 months, either in person in Grand Rapids or virtually using Zoom. Virtual sessions include audio and video, and each one can be recorded so that you never miss a moment of insight.

Writing Reviews

Close reading and review of up to 15,000 words of prose or 25 poems (up to 40 pages) or a mix of those depending on your projects over the course of the year. These include thoughtful notes on strengths and opportunities in the writing, personalized prompts/exercises to stir new writing or deepen revision, and observations on how the writing might connect to your body of work as a whole. The reviews can be broken up in different ways/amounts, depending on the timing that makes sense for your journey and the feedback that would be most helpful to you.

Email Support

You’ll be invited to ask questions as you put new practices to work, check in as you celebrate discoveries, or get those sometimes-needed sanity checks (e.g., “Is it normal to feel ____ at this point in the process?”). This works the other way as well. As I come across good reads that resonate with your writing or process, I’ll share them. As I hear of submission calls that might be a fit for you, I’ll offer those.

Creative Kickstart

The Ground of Making includes registration in Nineteen, a 19-day writing prompt adventure that will begin on January 19, 2019 with an optional, live writing session.

Submissions Workshop

Your year of writing support includes registration in Tending the Work. This five-part online workshop will share ways to know when a piece of writing is complete, how to find good homes for your voice, and how to submit your writing for publication (a value of $125).

The Ground of Making is now full.

Registration will begin again in late 2019. Please add your name to the waiting list above if you’d like to be the first to know when it’s open.



Testimonials from fellow writers
“With each day I feel like I'm discovering something new in my writing, and in myself; it's a release for me and I feel like I know what I'm doing, which is a first. I also feel like I'm writing well; writing in a style that I love to read which sort of completes me and helps me to write more. I think I'm on the right track to finding my voice. Thanks for being a motivating, down-to-earth teacher.”

Reflecting on whether The Ground of Making is the path for you?

I offer 20-minute introductory conversations for writers who are considering The Ground of Making. These are held in a private online room, using Zoom, so you can try the meeting tool we’d use, ask questions, and listen for whether this feels like a good fit. Please send me a note if you’re interested in scheduling a conversation.


Who’s invited?

I’m inviting four writers to join me for The Ground of Making in 2019. New and actively practicing writers alike are invited. You may be new to writing, or you might be seeking greater depth in your ongoing writing life. You may wish to publish your work, or you may not. You might not even know what kind of writing you’re doing yet, or you might know exactly what you want to finish in 2019. I’ll have space and questions ready to help shape the way as your 12-month journey begins.

Please note: An area I won’t focus on in this program is writing for children. I’ve loved helping writers get started on children’s book ideas, but for the longer journey, this is a special niche with more specialized guides/resources to support it.

About Your Writing Coach

I'm Emily Stoddard, a writer with over 20 years of experience in making meaning with words. My writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Radar, Ruminate, New Poetry from the Midwest, Pilgrimage, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, GravelManifest-Station, An Alphabet of Embers, Watershed Review, Menacing Hedge, and elsewhere. 

I write a mix of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and the in-between-indefinables, because I’ve found that stretching in one area inevitably makes the writing stronger in another. In addition to supporting writers, I've helped over 40 nonprofits and businesses tell their story. Learn more about my background here.