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Testimonials

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"Candace coached me on my first memoir manuscript and helped me get it accepted for publication. Writing my second memoir manuscript, I heard her encouraging and probing voice in my head reminding me: "reflect, reflect, reflect." My second manuscript was accepted for publication on my first try.

I learned so much working with Candace."

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Anne Abel

Mattie, Milo, and Me: A Memoir

Work with Candace

Working 1:1 with a talented book coach is the most efficient way to achieve your goals. 

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"Candace is a seasoned industry pro who works tirelessly and ingeniously to help authors achieve their writing and publishing goals. Her expertise runs the gamut, from idea generation to editing to strategic marketing to planning bespoke launch events. Candace can and will do everything to make sure the best version of your book reaches its target audience."  

Kim Savage

Kim is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods (Kirkus, Booklist starred), Beautiful Broken Girls (Kirkus star, Kirkus 10 Best YA of 2017), and In Her Skin (YALSA Best YA 2019), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. 

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"Candace's coaching process goes far beyond craft feedback and editorial advice to include accountability, encouragement, and mindfulness. Working with her has absolutely transformed my creative writing practice. Where in the past I had been poorly fueled by stress and shame, I now feel abundantly resourced with assurance, calm, and even joy. Completing my manuscript feels not only possible, but inevitable!"

Meg Hayden

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“Candace is a superb editor and teacher of good writing. Young and old can benefit from her attention to detail and focus on creating clear and persuasive prose. She edited my college admissions book and it really made a difference. She started me on a path which not only improved my work, but her insights made me a more thoughtful writer. In addition to assisting with proper grammar and syntax, she comments on organization and style to make one’s writing more readable. I highly recommend Candace Coakley for consulting on writing that will have consequence.”

Charles Nolan, Ph.D.

Like No Other: A Brief History of the Admission Process of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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“I write plays, screenplays, and memoir. I wouldn’t think of putting anything out there before Candace works her magic. She is always my “first read” and a brilliant editor. She can distill any project into a pithy and attention-grabbing synopsis. In addition, her PR savvy enables her to write compelling copy for promotional materials including queries and synopses. Candace has made my work deeper, clearer, richer, and she has a wicked sense of humor to boot.”

Joanna Rush

Author of Kick; Sex & Power; and No Malarkey

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"As Candace's instructor in a competitive writing program, I had the pleasure of both reading her beautifully constructed prose and watching her give other writers precise, thoughtful, and useful feedback. Her editorial insight would be an asset to anyone's work.”

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir

Named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible.com, and others

Janet Zinn, LCSW

In The Time of Coronavirus: Reflecting on the Past to Embrace a Joyful Future

"How fortunate I’ve been to have Candace Coakley as a writing and publishing coach. I’ve been writing for years, yet Candace has been invaluable in guiding me to learn how to write a book specifically for publication. She provides the perfect balance of encouragement and clear corrective notes on all aspects of the writing, revision, and publication process.  She cares about her clients, which was apparent from the moment we met. She does all the backstage work as far as research, reading, and rereading, becoming familiar with all subject matters and related published pieces. I have grown so much as a writer while working with Candace.  
 

Candace has held my hand (virtually) when I’ve hit writer’s block. She cheers me on when I’m on a roll and gently guides me back to the drawing board throughout revisions. I cannot emphasize enough the value of working with Candace as a writing coach. I am grateful I had the good fortune of working with her early in the process."

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“It can be tough working with us creatives. Good writing requires planning and structure. Non-linear thinkers often come across as messy and confused. Candace offers the practical, positive, and clear strategies necessary to take our work to the next level and truly seems to care about the work as much as the author. With the sensibility of an artist and the logic of an engineer, Candace has an innate love of the creative process that drives her to tease out a writer's authentic voice.”​

Larisa Lindsay

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“I wholeheartedly recommend Candace Coakley as a writing coach and developmental editor. She started helping me with my nascent writing activities two years ago by providing a comprehensive developmental edit of my first-ever novel manuscript. With calm precision, she walked me through a wide range of literary complexities. I admit there were times when I felt overwhelmed, but her continuous encouragement and pleasant demeanor combined with her extensive knowledge, helped me complete my manuscript. I could not have done it without her. She is a true professional, an expert in the craft, and a superb writer in her own right. I will not hesitate to seek her assistance with my next novel.

George Tymitz

Key Number 17: A Ukrainian Grandfather's Odyssey of Courage

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“Candace has been indispensable in my journey to learn both the craft and the industry as a first-time author. Her expertise runs the full spectrum from plot strategy, to editing, to query letters, to how to find an agent. I can’t recommend her strongly enough. Just don’t take too much of her time, because I need her for my next book."

Ben Campbell

Nothing They Won't Do 

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“Coach. Mentor. Partner. These are words that come to mind when I think about Candace. She is one of the most responsive, thoughtful, and considerate professionals I have worked with in my career. She helped me turn the unruly first draft of my first novel into a finished manuscript I am proud of and excited to share with the world. Candace quickly got into the heads of my characters and the heart of what I was trying to say. She helped me trim my first draft by more than twenty-five percent while adding meaningful depth in all the right places: character development, sub-plots, “showing not telling” and sharper dialogue, among others. Candace not only helped me write a better book, she taught me how to be a better writer. I am now applying much of what I learned from Candace as I begin work on my second book."

Michael Maglulio

A Reason to Run

“What I liked best about Candace was her warmth, enthusiasm, and confidence. At the beginning of our sessions, I wasn't sure I could reach the top of Mt. Everest, that is, transform the stack of pages in my top drawer into a published memoir. But right from our first meeting, Candace created waystations up the mountain -- the first 20 pages, the arc of change, the Inside Outline (plot/purpose of each chapter). Once I'd fortified the book at each base camp, she'd cheer me on with enthusiasm and confidence, implying "okay, now we're ready to head further up the mountain." And, in retrospect, she was right. Did we reach the top of the summit? Yes, I just received a publishing contract.

 

I'm excited about applying what I've learned working with Candace to my next book -- a second memoir, this time about my 14 years working on L.A.'s skid row. Now I can create my own waystations. Still, I would like Candace to guide me on this journey, too."​

Laurie Collister
Vows Rewritten: A Memoir

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I look forward to helping you achieve your literary goals. 

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