The artist speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation - and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all of humanity - the dead to the living and the living to the unborn.
-- Joseph Conrad
I can shape personal essays, feature articles, book reviews, op-eds, and query letters. I'm open to ghost-writing. But my forté and first love is memoir, and there are three ways we can go about it.
1. Simple 2-page Written Evaluation of Proposal: [I.e., pitch letter, 1-2 page synopsis, list of chapters, sample chapter]: $100 per hour, not to exceed $500.
[For tips on writing a great sample proposal, click here ].
Phone conversation in addition to written eval.: $50 per half-hour.
2. Manuscript Evaluation:
Broad evaluation including but not limited to the categories of story, theme, character, structure, dialogue, point-of-view, tone, and commerciability. The evaluation comprises:
a. 7-9 pages of notes: Hourly rate of $100 capped out at $2000 for a maximum 200-page double-spaced book (rate for longer work negotiable); and
b. one 30-minute phone conversation (additional negotiable).Line editing: for additional editing of spelling, grammar, syntax, word use, etc.: an additional fee of $100 per hour capped out at $1000 for a maximum 200- page double-spaced book.
Rewrite: After taking my notes into consideration and re-writing, you may re-submit. For a second read, 3-page evaluation, and 30-minute phone conversation: $1000 flat fee.
3. Hourly Mentoring:
For a 6-month period, I will be available for an agreed-upon number of emails, not to exceed 10, and two half-hour telephone conversations per month. I will read pages as written and as you are working on them. This MUST be based on the production of pages. I am not your friend, shrink, or mother. I will want you to dig deep, grapple, sweat. Cause I do, dammit! And you're not getting off any easier than me.
First half of fee payable upon order; second half payable upon delivery. And of course we'll talk first, to get a feel for each other, so you can tell me what you need, want, and expect. Also of course, that's free.
I've published three memoirs. I've written and recorded over 30 slice-of-life commentaries for NPR's All Things Considered. I've been anthologized, won awards, and guest-lectured. I get flown around the country to get interviewed, lead retreats and give talks.
But at least as much to the point, I have a heart that was formed by living for 20 years in, and eventually being resurrected from, the gutter. I believe books, art, and music have the power to literally save people's lives, because they saved mine. I'm self-taught, self-disciplined, self-motivated, and depressed, I mean funny. I like to make good use of my time. I'll be respectful and I'll also be honest. I'm compassionate and I also expect you to be as serious about your work as I am about mine. Let's deepen our capacity for delight and wonder! Let's live up to our respective callings! For surely there could be none nobler than writing.