When I was twelve years old, my mom signed me up for personal writing lessons with an author who lived several states away. We didn’t really know anything about him, or his work, or his credibility, but I was aching to write and my mom couldn’t offer much help. She read the first short story I wrote in sixth grade and realized that I was one of those kids with a gift, and that one of the best ways she could love and encourage me was to help me develop that gift.
So I took online writing classes and developed a really great bond with my tutor. He was a published author. His books were in libraries. He taught me about eliminating adverbs and setting up a scene and sketching out my characters and writing decent fiction work. A year after I stopped working with him, I was signed with Zondervan for the publication of my first book.
And a few years after that, I started offering writing lessons myself.
I love working with talented middle and high schoolers across the country, developing their natural gifts for writing and giving them a passion for storytelling. I’ve worked with over a dozen young people so far, and I’m opening up a few more slots this month for additional students who want to work on their creative writing skills!
The way it works is really simple. It’s an emailing mentorship, so it doesn’t matter where you live or what your daily schedule looks like! Once a week, you will receive a new assignment that you will have five days to complete. For most students, these are either short stories that they can come up with and write, or longer novellas and novels that we work for several months on. Each week, you, as my student, would be expected to write three to five pages or so (depending on your skill and amount of free time), and then send it back to me so I can look at your work and critique it. I offer personalized advice based on your strengths and weaknesses, so no two student’s assignments are the same! The weekly assignment would be based off of what I noticed in the your writing from the week before–I might talk about settings, characterization, speech tags, redundancy, etc. I’m very encouraging and would let you know when you succeed at something, but I would also critique you on your weaknesses and help you to grow in that area! (Hopefully by now you guys have realized that I’m not a super mean person)
It’s a fun program and has really allowed me to get to know my students on a personal level and help them reach their full potential as writers. Logistically speaking, I charge $95 a month (so it’s similar to taking music lessons) and usually ask that students agree to a three-month term to start off with. That means that if you took lessons starting in, say, September, you would just agree to stay with me from September through November (although you would pay one month at a time). After that, you could just take it one month at a time for however long you wanted lessons!
If you or one of your children is interested in lessons, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk more about lessons, I can check out some of your work, and hopefully we can become great friends and better writers together.