Frequently Asked Questions


What is book coaching?

Book coaching is like having a personal trainer for your writing life. I help whip your book into shape (minus the burpees). Together, we clarify your book idea so that it has the best possible chance of achieving your personal literary goals. I help you develop a detailed master plan to reach your target audience and maximize success. And I provide support every step of the way. I am an Author Accelerator Certified book coach.

Will coaching still work for me if I've never published anything or if I'm unsure if I want to publish at all?

Yes. I work with writers at every stage of their writing journey. Together we develop a detailed strategic plan designed to meet your individual needs and objectives. I am well-versed in coaching writers through various methods of publishing including traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing. I believe Writers Gotta Write! I have the utmost respect for writers regardless of whether the final goal is an international bestseller or an audience of one. I am here to support both the process and the outcome.

How is coaching different from writing workshops and conferences?

Book coaching focuses directly on you and your writing. I work closely with you based on your individual needs and objectives. Together, we develop a strategic plan to bring your ideas to life on the page. Book coaching is unique because you don’t have to listen to a lecture designed for a different writing level. You don’t have to workshop your pages with writers in other genres. You don’t have to share with a writing group who may not understand your mission. The process is tailored specifically for you and your writing goals.

Approximately how long does book coaching take?

Book coaching timelines vary. I am flexible and able to accomodate your individual needs. It depends on what you are writing, how clear your vision is and where you are in the writing process. Most clients work with me for approximately six months to a year as they write and revise their work. I have a range of packages and can tailor them to ensure they best support your individual writing goals.

What genres do you coach?

I work with writers in both fiction and nonfiction. I coach fiction writers in genres including literary, historical, upmarket, and women's fiction. I work with nonfiction writers in narrative memoir, prescriptive memoir, self-help/personal growth, and other areas. I love the creative process and the miracle of creating something out of nothing--beginning with a blank page and ending with a fully developed story. I understand the grit and determination it takes to write. I love helping writers of all levels achieve their writing and publishing goals.

How much does it cost?

Please click here to see my rates and packages.

I offer a complimentary phone or video call to discuss your work and your needs. Here.

What are your qualifications?

I have more than 25 years of experience in writing, editing, and communicating. I began as a theatre critic for my college newspaper and campus stringer for The New York Times. My first job was as editor for the newsletter of an international hotel chain. I have written and published articles and completed a memoir. Throughout my varied career, I have written all types of content for politicians, celebrities, business leaders, and most importantly, amazing, ordinary people. I have coached hundreds of students in drafting outstanding college application essays. I have helped dozens of novelists bring their ideas to life. Whether in book coaching or essay work, I am driven by empathy and a calling to help people connect through storytelling. I love to bear witness to people’s stories and help shine a light on what is important to them. ​I have gone through extensive training and ongoing skill-building and I am an Author Accelerator Certified book coach. ​Author Accelerator​ is an online book coaching program that supports writers through the process of trying and failing, studying and thinking, stopping and starting, honing their skills, admitting their faults, and getting up every day to face their fears and their doubts, over and over and over again. Author Accelerator’s core philosophy is that the best way to learn how to write is with one-on-one professional guidance. I am proud to have learned book coaching from the talented team at Author Accelerator. I also coach writers in the coaching track for She Writes Press and SparkPress.


What is your essay coaching philosophy?

Everyone has a story… yet figuring out how to tell your unique, personal story can be trickier than it may seem, especially given the high-stakes and intense pressure around the college application process.

As a writing coach, I help students reflect on their thoughts and experiences and write about themselves. Introspection is never easy, especially when deadlines and pressure abound. I strive to make the process as stress-free as possible. I help students maximize the opportunity to personalize their application and share their best traits with admissions committees.

Who do you work with?

Many of my essay coaching clients are high school students applying to college. I also work with middle school students applying to secondary school as well as graduate school candidates. It's gratifying when my clients receive the school acceptances they desire, but it's even more rewarding to watch young people evolve through our work together. My favorite clients are students who are passionate about finding their place in the world.

What does essay coaching entail?

I use Wow Writing Workshop’s proven ten step method to guide students through various
exercises and brainstorming assignments. Through this comprehensive online platform, students develop meaningful essays, using their distinct voice, that reveal something personal and genuine and provide insight beyond their test scores, grades, and extracurricular activities.
I meet with students either in person or virtually as many times as necessary to create outstanding essays. I also work closely with students to strategize and develop school-specific supplemental essays, additional questions and scholarship essays.

When should I get started with college essays?

Most students begin working on the college application process as rising seniors. Ideally, we begin working together during the summer after junior year. My students are always so relieved to have this part of the application process complete when school starts in the fall. I recommend reserving a spot as soon as you are sure you are interested as I have a waitlist every year.

Do you write the essay for a student?

No. Under no circumstances will I write papers, essays, or application materials. If you have any questions about my services, please ask. I’m happy to discuss my editorial policies with you.

How did you become an essay coach?

My introduction to the college admissions world began by partnering with Leathers College Consulting Group, a well-respected and established independent counseling firm based in Boston. I was fortunate to be mentored by admissions expert Susan Leathers. Since 2014, I’ve coached hundreds of students through the process of developing college essays. My clients have received acceptances and generous scholarship offers at a wide range of colleges and universities.

As a counselor in Wow Writing Workshop’s Partners Program, I am certified in their method, and authorized to use Wow’s online essay-writing process and platform with my clients. I’ve completed an intensive training program and am committed to ongoing professional development, guided by Wow Writing Workshop’s professional writers and teachers. Wow Partners understand the essay coaching process inside and out; they are confident in their skills and are prepared to guide students of all skills and abilities. Prior to my time as a writing coach, I founded Coakley Marketing Communications and worked with individuals, corporations, and non-profit organizations for more than 25 years. My writing experience includes public relations and marketing, ghostwriting, corporate communications, essays, articles, and a memoir. I hold an M.A. from Emerson College and B.A. from Boston College. Check out more about me here.

How much does it cost?

Please see my rates and packages here

I offer a complimentary phone or video call to discuss your individual needs click here

What forms of payment do you accept?

Click here for payment. I also accept payment via Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, personal check, and other methods as preferred.