Fiction & Nonfiction Mentoring
Are you working on a short story, novel or non-fiction project and getting lost along the way? Do you need feedback on a completed manuscript? As your writing mentor I will read your work, give you copious margin notes, and make constructive suggestions for revision. The goal is to cultivate your strengths as a writer and remedy your weaknesses. Testimonials about my mentoring and teaching are at the bottom of this page.
If you’d like to talk to me about your project and ask questions before sending me work, an initial 15-mn phone consultation is free! If you’re outside the U.S., I’d be happy to answer your questions via Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime.
For more info, email jessicalevinephd “at” gmail.com or call (510) 326-4675.
Evaluation of First Chapter(s) and Story Line
You submit to me the first 50 pages of your novel or memoir and a 1-3 page summary of the entire story. I give you copious margin notes as well as a separate document with feedback on your characters, story exposition, and overarching plot. Then we have a 30-minute phone call or Skype. If you decide to continue working with me, the fee may be applied toward the Ten-Month Mentoring program or Manuscript Review.
Got Writer Friends? Let’s Do a Skype Workshop!
If you have writer friends, I can lead a Skype writing workshop for 3-4 people. This can be on a one-time basis or customized for an on-going format. A week before our cyber meeting, group members will circulate up to 25 pages of writing for feedback. Then, when we Skype, each writer has a turn of 30-40 minutes, during which we share constructive criticisms and suggestions for revision. I weave in craft talks based on the writing challenges specific to your group. If this is an on-going workshop, we can meet every other week or once a week, depending on how much time you have for writing.
Fee: $100 per person per meeting
Write That Book! Ten-Month Program
The goal is to produce 20 to 35 pages of manuscript once a month in order to have a draft of a book by the end of the program. You will receive detailed margin notes on the chapters you submit as well as a separate document with suggestions for improvement. We will have a half-hour Skype after each submission. Short readings will be assigned to help you master any technical issues that are of particular difficulty. If you finish your draft before the ten months are up, we begin on revisions.
Short Manuscript Evaluation
For a short story, memoir, or nonfiction piece. You will receive copious margin comments as well as a final write-up with suggestions for improvement. I will provide feedback on style, voice, characterization, and plot. Once you have read my comments, we will have a half-hour phone call or Skype so you can ask me questions.
Fee: $250 for a 25-page double-spaced manuscript in 12-point font.
Full Manuscript Review
For a novel, short story, collection, memoir, or work of creative nonfiction. You will receive extensive margin notes addressing style, character, and plot, along with suggestions for story development if needed. A one-hour Skype session is included.
$2,500 for a 100,000 word manuscript.
” Jessica Levine will change you as a writer. She will push you to do the things that you might not want to do, but you must do, in order to become a better writer. My writing has improved tenfold because of her straightforward but supportive approach of guidance that is based on technique and craft. Jessica was the first writer that I gave my writing to and I was very scared. She found what was strong in my work and she encouraged me to continue but at the same time was direct about what needed to be changed. This type of feedback is exactly what I was looking for. I cannot thank her enough. She is an amazing mentor. Thanks to Jessica, I now have two polished short stories and have completed five chapters of my novel.” –Betsy Marks Smith***“I was fortunate to find Jessica at the American Library in Paris where she taught a class helping wayward but hopeful writers in the city of love. Her experience as a published author helped hone our thoughts and critiques, keeping us engaged and focused. She also gave fantastic seminars with other writers and her agent. Jessica is always thinking in our best interests and it truly shows. She’s firm, savvy and wonderful.“After the class I’ve continued to receive great advice and would recommend anyone work with Jessica to improve their writing.” — Richard DeVore***“I really enjoyed our monthly writing group with Jessica Levine at the American Library in Paris. Jessica’s feedback was always thoughtful and constructive and she guided the group very professionally. I learned a lot about the craft of writing and was buoyed by the encouragement of my fellow group members. ” –Aoife Drew
“I was a member of Jessica Levine’s writing group at the American Library in Paris from October 2014 to June 2015. What a wonderful leader she was! Jessica has that ideal balance of giving direction and allowing independence that is essential to leading such a group. Her observations were always perceptive and on target: we all benefited from her experience as a published author. She provided a structure for each session and then allowed it to be changed when necessary. I would recommend her most enthusiastically as a leader of a writing group – and as a talented writer whose experience and abilities were models for us all.” –Eric von Dorster
“Jessica’s framework, deadlines, feedback and experience made for a great combination–her workshop provided the impetus for me to make significant progress on my book.” –Kay Crider
“Jessica is a pleasant, gracious and knowledgeable teacher who has been generous with her time and talent… She navigates well among different levels of writing expertise within the class, which has helped fledgling writers feel as comfortable and enthusiastic as those with more experience.” –Mary Ellen Gallagher
“My novel before your workshop–nothing. My novel after your workshop–hopefully something!” –Peter Villani
“Being a part of Jessica’s writing group at the American Library in Paris brought out the writer in me that had been dormant for years. Her ability to graciously mediate a strong creative group as we constructively criticized each other’s pieces of writing was nothing short of brilliant. I left each session wanting to write more and develop more in all areas of the craft. It was an incredible experience that I take with me as I continue to slowly but surely write my first book.”–Erin Zhurkin