WordCraft LA
2016 Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp

Following the success of our Writers’ Resolution Boot Camp last year, we’re now offering an expanded 13-week program with separate tracks for fiction and memoir writers. From generating ideas to building an author platform, we’ll help you make significant progress on a writing project and start the year off right! For only $90, you will receive inspiration and motivation in the form of weekly e-mails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. Contact us today to get started!

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    Testimonials for Our Consultants



    Megan Stephan

    The college process was in full effect, and I was as stressed out as ever when someone referred me to Megan Stephan. I met with her every week; we brainstormed until we found the right ideas. She not only helped me with writing my essays, but she truly helped me grow as a writer and as a student. I had so many friends that had writing coaches who basically wrote their essays for them, and I was proud to tell those friends that my writing teacher, Megan, does not do this type of work. She knows how to inspire students and get creativity flowing. I can honestly say that working with Megan is one of the main reasons I got into good schools. I would recommend Megan to anyone who wants help with writing because she not only helps you get work done, but she helps develop your own process.

    —Gracie R., high school senior (class of 2013), Altadena, CA


    Megan
     delivers the perfect blend of structure, motivation, and encouragement to students going through the college essay writing process. She understands the high schooler so well and is brilliant at working with those who are not known for being self-starters. The exercises and techniques she developed draw out the best in a student, producing original work that the student can be very proud of and that is sure to impress college admissions directors. Her expertise, knowledge, and familiarity with the requirements of institutions and their supplements are invaluable. To date my daughter is six for six on college acceptances and I attribute a great deal of this result to the work Megan did with her. I simply cannot imagine going through this process without Megan and cannot recommend her highly enough.

    —Stacia R. (Gracie’s mother), Altadena, CA


    I met with Megan once a week during my fall semester of my senior year. For these two months, she helped me with every essay and supplement I had to write for the numerous universities that I applied to. During our one-on-one meetings we brainstormed, edited, and discussed the essay and supplement questions. By the end of this process I was able to submit every essay before the winter break. Before each appointment, I would take the notes that we had discussed during our previous meetings, and implement the changes into my essays. Without Megan’s help, the difficult process would have not only taken a greater amount of time, but also could have hindered my academic success during the fall semester. I would without a doubt highly recommend Megan’s services to any student who is looking for help with their writing or college essay and application process.

    —Jesse K., high school senior (class of 2013), Sherman Oaks, CA


    Megan
     was my son's high school English teacher in 11th grade.  Under her tutelage, I watched my son blossom into a more confident and expressive writer. When it came time to face the college application and essay process, I did not hesitate to ask her to help him maneuver through the overwhelming task of working on all of the required essays and supplements. Throughout this process, Megan encouraged Jesse to think outside of the box. Each week, before their meetings, my son would email the drafts of his essay to her. During their scheduled appointment, she would help him organize his thoughts (when needed), and made whatever recommendations that she believed to be applicable. The final products were well constructed and articulate answers to the variety of sometimes obscure prompts presented by each university. Having been through the college application process two times before this, I have to admit that this was the most positive and almost painless experience of any of my sons! With Megan's guidance and encouragement, my son completed all eleven essays early on in the fall of his senior year.  We are truly grateful and feel blessed to have been able to work with her.

    —Jan W. (Jesse’s mother), Sherman Oaks, CA

     

    Jennifer Alise Drew

    Two years ago I wrote a personal essay for AGNI review. I was assigned Jennifer Alise Drew as an editor. This turned out to be one of the best things to have happened to me in my writing life. Jen is a brilliant and remarkable editor. I have worked with editors at UK and US publishing houses including Pantheon, Viking and Schocken, at magazines including The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine and the TLS and I can say without reservation that Jen is the very best editor I have ever had the pleasure to collaborate with.

    Jen is a superb close reader with the deftest sense of how sentences are supposed to work. After she had edited my essay I felt so grateful for the job she had done and so impressed that it occurred to me that she might be able to help me out with the mess of a manuscript, a memoir, that I had been working on for a couple of years. Jen took on the pages. She shuffled and sliced, moved and cut and out of my ragtag progression there suddenly emerged a smooth narrative that resembled a book. A few more months of Jen's meticulous editing and it was a book. It sounds banal to say I couldn't have done it without her, but I couldn't. 

    Jen has a dauntingly fine mind and an extraordinary ability to sift the wheat from the chaff. She made me a better writer and I'm sure that's true for everyone she works with. I can't imagine a better editor. She is also a lovely person.

    —Jonathan Wilson, director of the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University and author of seven books, including A Palestine Affair (Pantheon, 2003).


    Over the 25 years I've been writing professionally I've worked with dozens of editors, most of them adequate professionals. Very few of them, however, have been gifted: fewer than half a dozen. Jennifer is one of this small group; she is extremely sensitive to the near-tactile reaction readers have to words and phrases, and she is always aware too of the flux of a story line or the soundness of a narrative structure. She insists on the most correct solution possible to an editorial problem, and I know for a fact she works way beyond the call of duty to help a writer find it. She has collaborated with a number of very distinguished and talented writers and I believe every one of them became an admirer. I certainly did. 

    —Vince Passaro, essayist, critic, and author of Violence, Nudity, Adult Content: A Novel (Simon and Schuster, 2002). 

     

    Chris Daley

    I have worked with Chris Daley at Wordcraft for over a year now to help me polish stories for the various storytelling shows around Los Angeles. Recently, she helped me do a quick revision (two day turnaround time!) on a story that I told at The Mint, and the story was so well received that it was selected to be included in an anthology. She actually helped me get published! She revises with respect to your unique voice and edits with a keen eye, so that you are communicating your story clearly and concisely. Wordcraft is such a great service, because sometimes you don't want to rely on friends or family to learn if what you are writing comes across. You need a dispassionate professional to help you mold that message so it reaches a wider audience. I will be using Wordcraft again in the future, and I am grateful for them! 

    —Janie Haddad Tompkins, Regular Show, Modern Family, and Janie & Aaron Does Hollywood


    I was in a crunch to get a small piece edited and proofed very quickly for a last minute deadline.
    Chris saved me with a quick turnaround and with editing that was precise, clear, and very helpful. Her keen eye made it easy for me to tighten up all the loose threads, and I appreciated the copy editing notes she gave about the piece, which made it easier for me to clarify what I was trying to get across. She was a lifesaver.

    —Cecil Castellucci, author of Boy ProofThe Plain Janes, and The Year of the Beasts
     

    I've made more progress with Chris as my mentor/coach than I have in any other writing class I've taken. The opportunity to work one on one with her provides the structure and insight I need to keep my writing on track. During our first meeting she helped me find an organizing principle for my memoir and I went off to continue writing with a new energy and excitement. Her edits and suggestions leave my voice intact but give my writing greater clarity. She's warm and funny and I always look forward to our in person meetings. I can very clearly see myself finishing a first draft while working with her, where I couldn't have envisioned that before.

    —Leah Dieterich, Los Angeles, CA


    I was entirely new to writing when I registered for a creative nonfiction workshop with Chris through Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Eight weeks later I had a short story which is about to be published. This is a true testament to Chris as an instructor and a coach, as well as source of inspiration for anyone looking to write. Chris’s charm and sense of humor are key to the collaborative atmosphere she creates in her classes.  She skillfully facilitates group discussions, so that everyone walks away with new ideas and volumes of helpful feedback on their work. Her reading assignments are always stimulating and relevant, while the writing prompts never fail to challenge you out of your comfort zone.  Chris is a fantastic editor and a kind soul who genuinely wants you to succeed as a writer. I cannot wait for the next class with her.

    —Elina Gorelik, Los Angeles, CA


    I signed on with Chris as a coaching client one year ago. We meet for an hour via phone every other week to discuss writing I've sent to her beforehand. Chris has really helped me negotiate my writing and find another voice I wasn't sure I had. She sets a good pace for me – I’m a lazy writer so I need to be pushed but not overwhelmed. I think that my essays have matured through her coaching, and I finally feel like I have pieces that are fresh enough to submit. Thanks, WordCraft!
     

    —Jo LaCoeur, New Orleans, LA
     

    Chris took my draft, quickly edited it, and provided me with great suggestions on where to submit it. Success!

    —Aizita Magaña, Los Angeles, CA


    Chris
    's thoughtful editing brought some much needed clarity to two academic articles that were then successfully published in peer-reviewed journals. Her work helped to refine the flow of the story and made the article more readable to those both in the field and outside it. It even made more sense to me! In an entirely different realm, she recently brought a steely gleam to marketing material that I'm confident will be just as effective and successful. Insightful, professional, and trained in multiple disciplines. It's a good thing she's not a cage fighter. But she is an excellent editor. Highly recommended.

    —Stephen Immerwahr, Research Scientist (NYC Department of Health)


    Finding an environment that is at once nurturing and challenging is almost as important to the writing process as actually sitting down in front of the computer. Writing is hard, finding inspiration is hard, honing your voice is hard, and doing it all on your own is lonely… but as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be. You may not think you need a class to write, but I guarantee the process will be far more enjoyable if you take Chris's creative nonfiction class. You will discover so much more about yourself as a writer, especially with a teacher like Chris pushing you to explore and play. She creates a safe place for us to try and fail, learn from it, and then try again and grow.  Everyone has a natural voice, but a class like this, with a teacher like Chris, will help you not only sharpen what is best about your unique voice but also explore new styles that could potentially open you up to whole new worlds as a writer. Unless you’re illiterate, you probably don’t need a class to learn how to write, but you really should consider this class if you want to learn how to be a writer.

    —Emma Fletcher, Los Angeles, CA


    Chris
    's nonfiction class was a transformative experience for me. Chris's readings, discussion and critiques are carefully chosen to spark new thoughts and approaches. Chris is funny and relaxed but at the same time serious and professional. I walked into the class and knew immediately that I was in good hands. In only eight weeks, she helped me see nonfiction in general and my writing in particular in an entirely new light. If you want to learn, laugh, think, feel, and grow as a person and a writer, sign up with Chris. 

    —Joy Allen, Los Angeles, CA


    For the past two years, I have relied on Chris's skills to polish and perfect the clarity of my jewelry company's marketing materials and merchandizing memos. Twice a year, I present a new collection of jewels to buyers, the press, and the public. The narrative materials surrounding the collections must clearly articulate the inspirations, innovations, and intent of the work. As I run all aspects of small but growing business, these materials are often developed in an organic way that need a swift and professional polishing at the eleventh hour. It is a relief to be able to confidently relinquish this responsibility to Chris and know that my voice, intent, and aesthetic will be respected and optimized under her care.

    —Randi Mates, Aesa Jewelry


    Quick, detailed, and personal editing help. With only one month left before a required start date for my postdoc, Chris came to my rescue by providing a fresh pair of eyes to help edit the text for my dissertation thesis. Within a week, she had read through the several hundred pages of text, catching typos and providing suggestions on how I might more clearly communicate the technical details of my work. Over coffee, she walked me through her comments, line-by-line, to make sure that I understood her editing suggestions. During the crunch time leading up to my oral defense, it was reassuring to have such helpful feedback.

    —Jasper C. Simon (Department of Biology, Occidental College)


    Chris is a capable editor who can parse through complex text and quickly produce clear and focused material. She has consistently taken our interactive web copy aimed at physicians, researchers, and academics and created leaner and more user-friendly text. Her suggestions for layout and copy division across web pages made final site design easier for us all. Highly recommended.

    —David Jetton, Interactive Web Designer (Eveo.com)