Writing Consultations

photo of author and writing teacher Melissa Cistaro
Individual consultations with Pamela Feinsilber

Get That Book Started, Polished, or Finished

30 min consultation • Hosted via Zoom, or phone and email • $75

 

Do you have an idea for a novel or work of nonfiction but aren't sure how to continue? Do you have a finished draft and need big-picture comments on theme, structure, pacing, plotting, characterization, description, etc.? Are you ready for line and copy editing? Not sure? Set up a half-hour consultation to discuss how to proceed. The $75 fee will apply to whatever level of editing you need, from getting started to getting to the finish line. That can include advice on self-publishing.

Pamela Feinsilber has been with our Path to Publishing program from the beginning. After years as a senior editor at San Francisco magazine, she became a freelance book editor, working with both longtime and first-time authors. For more information, see pamelafeinsilber.com.
 

What Students Are Saying About Pamela Feinsilber

"When I finally decided to publish a family memoir, a friend in the publishing world recommended Pam. She was the perfect match. She took a rough text through meticulous editing involving language issues, historical references, and multiple voices, shepherding my entry into the literary world with patience, wisdom, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Her attention to detail and precision led to a book of which I am truly proud."
—Joshua Rassen, author of From the Shtetl to America: Jacob Rassen's Lifetime Journey


"Pamela Feinsilber’s astute eye gave my novel Kingdom of Simplicity just what it needed to go to press. Her touch is like applying every grade of steel wool, from scouring down unnecessary subplots to burnishing the finest thematic strands. Her editorial skills cover the gamut, from structural changes to line editing. Getting great editorial help like this is a necessary investment for any professional author."
Holly Payne, author of The Virgin's Knot and The Sound of Blue


"Pamela Feinsilber is the queen of questions. I appreciated her gentle manner in explaining the "why" behind the suggestions that guided me to write a more compelling story. Her skill, enthusiasm, and encouragement have fueled my desire to become a better writer and to forge ahead with my second book.
—Therese Crutcher-Marin, author of Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying Into a Family at Risk for Huntington's

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photo of author and writing teacher Melissa Cistaro
Individual consultations with Don George

Polish Your Prose: A Personal Consultation to Take Your Story to the Next Level

Hosted via Zoom • $250

 

In this one-on-one consultation, Don will read your manuscript of up to 3,000 words and offer specific guidance and feedback, including comments on structure, evocation and development of theme, and strengths and infelicities of style. Manuscripts can be non-fiction stories, essays, works of fiction, or chapters of a book. The consultation will include written editorial suggestions and a 50-minute story discussion by Zoom.
 
Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of How to Become a Travel Writer, the best-selling travel writing guide in the world. Don has also edited 12 acclaimed literary travel anthologies, including The Kindness of Strangers and Tales from Nowhere. He has been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com, and Global Travel Editor at Lonely Planet. He is currently Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel.  Don has taught travel writing in the MFA programs at UC Berkeley and San Jose State University. He is the co-founder and chairman of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference.

 

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Individual consultations with Nina Schuyler

Developing Your Story: A Personal Consultation

Hosted via Zoom • $150

 

Now what? You’ve taken your story as far as you can and can’t see how to fix it. Should it be told in first person? Third? Nonlinearly? Nina Schuyler will read up to 3,000 words of your nonfiction, essay, fiction, or memoir. She will look closely at structure, deepening character, tension, endings, imagery, point of view, and other craft elements. You also can provide questions about your draft that you’d like answered. She’ll meet with you for 45 minutes to discuss her suggestions and provide you with written feedback.  

Nina Schuyler teaches creative writing in the graduate program at the University of San Francisco. Her next novel, Afterword, will be published in 2023. Her novel, The Translator, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her novel, The Painting, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. Her book, How to Write Stunning Sentences, is a bestseller. Her short stories have been published by Zyzzyva, Fugue, Gold Man Review, Santa Clara Review, and elsewhere. She writes a column about style in writing for Fiction Advocate.