Writing Teaching Editing Events About Contact Allison Wyss

Manuscript Consultation, Book Coaching, Customized Instruction

Your story is your story. I don't believe there are rules to writing. But I do think there are techniques and strategies that help writers achieve particular effects. The same techniques that might be against some famous writer's "rules" could be right for your story. So I don't really talk about good and bad, but I love to explore all the different tools we have as writers. Of course, because I don't tell you what is good or bad, you have to do the extra work of figuring out your own tastes—I can help with that, too.

To these ends, I offer manuscript consultation, book coaching, and customized writing instruction.

For manuscript consultations, I believe my role is to help you understand what is already happening in your story—to analyze how the words and ideas affect me and how they are likely to affect other readers. Then I offer suggestions and strategies for tweaking these effects one way or another. However, it's ultimately up to you to decide what you want to achieve and to do the actual tweaking and comprehensive revision that it might take to get there. I can work with short stories as well as novel excerpts and entire novels. Each review will contain margin notes on specific parts of the work, as well as a letter about the work as a whole. And we'll schedule a phone call, too, so you can ask questions about my review.

Book coaching often includes a lot of back and forth--the writer submits an installment of a longer project, and I provide feedback, as well as prompts or suggestions for the next step to complete. Because each writer's process varies, I believe in tailoring this service very specifically to your needs—together we can come up with a schedule and format that works best.

Customized instruction is also quite flexible. If there's an aspect of craft that puzzles or intrigues you, I can design a personalized mini class for you—or maybe your whole writing group. These often entail a sample text to be read prior to meeting, and an online video chat or phone call that includes instruction, discussion, and targeted writing exercises.

My expertise comes from a lifetime of writing and revising stories, formal study of creative writing in the MFA program at the University of Maryland, work in the publishing industry, and ten years of experience as a writing instructor.

If any of this sounds right for you, please send me an email and tell me what you're looking for. If applicable, please tell me about your writing project, including the word count, genre, and what your goals are. You should also feel free to inquire further about my experience, philosophy, or methods. Then I'll propose a plan (or perhaps several options), including cost and schedule for your project.

© 2015-21 Allison Wyss. Image courtesy of Stacia Yeapanis.