What Clients Say

Book Coaching

“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, author, Spirit Hill  

“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., author, Like No Other: A Brief History of the

Admission Process of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering 

"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, author, 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 

“As a first-time author, Candace has been indispensable in my journey to learn both the craft and the industry. 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, author, The Sabbatical   

“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. Candace has made my work deeper, clearer, richer, and she has a wicked sense of humor to boot.”

― Joanna Rush, author, actor, activist

Kick: It's Not How High, It's How Strong; Sex & Power

“Candace edited and consulted on my first book, helping me transform a jumble of journal entries and blog posts into a fluid prescriptive memoir. Throughout this three-year process, she offered editing insight that kept me on the literary rails while still honoring the charming quirks in my writing voice. Her excitement about this project kept me motivated and accountable when I felt tempted to throw my keyboard out the window.”

― Vanessa Linsey, author 
Metta Mom: A Guide to Managing Your Mood & Your Brood

“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 Dodge, freelance writer

“I came to Candace with a sprawling novel, conceived and executed without the benefit of a single creative writing class. She took on the task of educating me in structure, plot, character development, and voice. She read and re-read chapters, identifying the sections that worked and why, and suggesting improvements in the most encouraging way. She is a patient and enthusiastic teacher and editor."

― Liz M., author 

I've been a screenwriter for over twenty years but had no idea what to do with the manuscript for my first book. That is until I met Candace and her Mr. Miyagi-like guidance helped me Crane Kick the publishing world. Her advice and expertise helped me discover my true voice by showing me it's not just our abilities as a writer but the choices that we make that show who we really are.” 

Erik Lindsay, author 
Tango with Oblivion  
American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile, American Pie Presents: Beta House, Last Call, and Slap Shot II

“What’s impressed me most with Candace is her combination of insightfulness, clarity, and creativity. She helps make our message stronger without ever compromising on our organization’s mission.”

― Toni K. Troop, Director of Communications & Development, Jane Doe Inc.

“Candace is a seasoned industry pro who works tirelessly—and ingeniously—to promote my novels. From utilizing her contacts at local news outlets to writing press releases to organizing lavish launch events, Candace can and will do everything to make sure your project reaches its audience. I wouldn’t trust my books to anyone else.”

― Kim Savage, author, After the Woods, starred review Kirkus, Booklist

 Beautiful Broken Girls, starred review Kirkus, Best of 2017; and In Her Skin

Essay Coaching

“Candace is key to the success of Leathers College Consulting Group. The college admissions process has a lot of statistics and numbers attached to a student’s application and the essay is the most personal part of the process. With her friendly and kind demeanor, Candace connects with the students in a way that encourages them to truly share their story. She challenges them to dig deeper, and to illuminate the experiences or truths that they want to convey. And then she helps them to polish the essay until it shines. The students feel empowered and proud of their work, which is so important in a process that they often feel they have no control. Candace and I provide detailed timelines for the students, which help us all stay on track and avoid last minute panic as applications deadlines approach. I know that I can count on her to connect with the students in a professional, timely, and most importantly sensitive manner. Candace is an essay guru!”

― Susan Leathers, president, Leathers College Consulting Group

“Candace is a dedicated writing coach and a valued colleague.

She helps students identify their best qualities so they can write effective college essays.”

― Susan Knowpow, CEO, Wow Writing Workshop 

“I’m grateful for the guidance Candace gave my twins in writing their college essays. She offered great ideas for how to respond to prompts, helped clarify what the colleges were really looking for, and provided clear and concise feedback to produce compelling and grammatically correct essays. The best part is that it was she was able to work virtually via phone and email. Candace was quick to respond and made the process much easier. My sons were both accepted to their top colleges.”

― Tanya P., Atlanta, GA 

"Candace is approachable, professional, and easy to work with. She understands the essay must be the student's, not the writing coach's, nor the parents'. She guides in a way that builds student confidence and gives clear and candid feedback. Rather than reworking or heavy-handed edits, she asks the right questions and makes strategic suggestions that prompt and inspire the student to deliver her best. Candace’s coaching style absolutely matched how we wanted our daughter to approach college applications: Give it your best effort, make it your work, and proceed with confidence based on who YOU are, not what you think a college or someone else thinks you should be. She helped our daughter use the essay to let her personality shine through. In today's pressure-cooker college application climate, this is hard!
We are happy to report our daughter was admitted to her top choice."

―  Maura F., Winchester, MA

“I had many ideas about what to write for my college essay but no fully developed theme. After talking through my experiences, strengths, and interests, and brainstorming ideas with Candace, I realized what I’d previously thought was a solid theme didn’t work. She helped me refocus to create strong essays and supplements while maintaining my voice. Whenever I needed help, she was extremely flexible and worked around my hectic schedule. I believe Candace was an important part of why I was admitted to the highly selective schools to which I applied.”

― Tony, Winchester, MA, high school senior

"Candace is amazing! She helped my daughter and my son with their applications to undergraduate and graduate school, respectively. My daughter was accepted at every school that she applied to, and my son was accepted to two of his competitive MBA programs. Candace doesn’t write the essays, she helps formulate ideas, provides on-going support, provides organizational structure, communicates regularly, and meets deadlines. I highly recommend Candace for any student needing assistance with their college applications."

― Rachel Roginsky, Owner and Principal, Pinnacle Advisory Group

"Candace is a good listener, and able to understand all sides of the conversation. As a parent, I wanted to make sure she could talk with my son and get him to open up and think critically, and she did! I highly recommend working with her, it made the whole writing process so much easier for everyone."

―  Joseph, Arlington, MA, 

Not Sure What You Need? Schedule A Free Consultation.