My experience as a writer and a teacher have helped me to hone my skills as both a reader of work and a planner & organizer of projects. Do you need help getting out of a writing rut, or planning a major revision effort, or developing a plan to get your work published in your dream journals? I have experience helping others in your situation and I currently offer a range of writing help and mentoring/coaching services.
Below, I’ll outline an overview of three specific services. To discuss customized rates with me and/or tailor an individual plan, please contact me via the Say Howdy tab above. I look forward to working with you.
Professional writing – edit & review
Let me share my knowledge with you on best practices for applications and formal statements. Whether you’re applying for a new job or a funding opportunity, I can help as a second set of eyes. I have submitted at least a hundred (it feels like many more) grant/residency/fellowship applications and I’ve won or received several. I’ve also learned, from direct and indirect experiences, what many reviewers are looking for. This service costs $15-30 per page for line edits using track changes and/or brief end notes with revision suggestions, depending on what you need. Contact me to talk about your project.
Manuscript review and critique
I will review and offer detailed critique on up to 30 pages of nonfiction. This can be one or several essays. I have published a range of CNF online and in print, from journalism and traditional essays to experimental forms and collage. Here’s how the process works:
- You will send me your essay(s) as a word document, along any questions you have, goals you are hoping to achieve, concerns
- I will send your essay back with line edits (using track changes and margin notes) and a detailed “end note” about strengths and opportunities that I see in the piece. I may include suggestions such as recommended readings or possible markets to consider for the work
- If you have any questions about any of the comments or notes, you can ask me over email about them
Note: If you’d like me to review a revision of a piece I’ve already critiqued, we can discuss a discounted rate for that, as my feedback would not be as extensive on a revision with which I’m already familiar.
The cost of this critique and feedback process is $249 and I usually need at least two weeks to read and comment. If you have substantially fewer than 30 pages or a substantially tighter schedule, contact me.
One-on-one mentoring/coaching (4 weeks)
While I teach several 4-5 week workshops per year, those don’t always coincide with everyone’s schedule. This is an option for folks looking for more of a personalized and directed process, without the structure of a formal class or cohort. Since each writer comes to this process with slightly different needs/concerns, the below is only a general overview of how our session could work. At minimum, each week will involve an exchange of emails and one 45 minute phone call or Skype meeting, and you can expect feedback on up to two short works (up to 750 words each) and one long (up to 5,000 words).
Week One: I will send you a brief questionnaire with space for you to talk about your current areas of concern or interests, and after receiving that, I’ll draft a proposed schedule for the month. I will also forward some recommended readings and/or prompts in that first week to get us started.
Week Two: You will submit one or two short pieces of writing for feedback, either in response to the prompts or excerpts from work you are struggling with of have questions about. I will reply with recommendations, readings, and/or prompts. In this week, we will begin developing specific plans for your area of concern. For example, if you are stuck on a larger piece, we will have a list of tasks/prompts for you to do to break through the block. If you are interested in a specific kind of writing, such as experimental forms, collage, or science writing, we will be talking about craft elements and prompts (and recommended readings).
Week Three: You will send in work for feedback. We will talk about broadening your inquiry—this may mean looking at ways to find a writing community in your area, or about workshops and classes that could advance your goals, or ways in which your work could further issues that matter to you. This week depends on your own needs and concerns and will be organized to help you contextualize your work and practice in the larger writing community conversation.
Week Four: You will receive notes on your longer essay, if applicable and I will summarize the tools, techniques and/or plans we have developed for you to carry forward in a closing letter.
This is an individualized and intensive process. You should plan to commit 8-12 hours a week to some combination of writing and reading. The cost for four weeks is $499.
What folks who have worked with me say…
“I took an online workshop with Chelsea two years ago. As a fiction writer venturing into nonfiction, I needed a lot of guidance, and I got it. Chelsea’s lessons and feedback were immensely helpful to me. An essay I began in that class was later accepted by a well known online magazine. I still go back to the material Chelsea provided as support when starting new projects. I can wholeheartedly recommend Chelsea as a mentor and teacher. ” ~ Leslie Doyle
“Chelsea Biondolillo is an incredibly talented teacher. I learned more from a 1-month intensive workshop with her than I did in semester-long courses with many of my MFA professors. From her close attention to my verbs to her insights on pacing to her overall reflections on the themes of my essays, Chelsea really got what I was trying to do, and then made it better. Chelsea is also a cheerleader, and will go to the mat for you and your work. I can’t recommend her enough.” ~ Beth Johnston
“When I was a newborn baby writer I took an online class with Chelsea that was like Miracle-Gro or mother’s milk. I quickly signed up for the next one, and the next. I was still getting my undergrad degree, but I took Chelsea’s classes all summer and even during Christmas break. In short, any time I could, I took Chelsea’s creative nonfiction classes, thinking of them as my “real” writing education.
Chelsea was always amazingly generous with her feedback on my writing. I never had to puzzle out what she meant. She spent extra time on submission advice, shared her resources, and her line edits were amazingly insightful. Pieces I wrote in her class were published in Full Grown People, The Bitter Southerner, and Change Seven. I’m beginning an MFA program in the fall, and I think Chelsea’s mentorship and the example of her own gorgeous essays are partly to thank for any success I have or will ever have.” ~ Sarah Weaver
“I took Chelsea’s intensive flash nonfiction class and was deeply impressed by her commitment, feedback, and warm teaching style. The class was online, but Chelsea managed to create a respectful and intellectually stimulating sense of community. Chelsea’s feedback to my written work managed to be both sensitive and rigorous, striking the right balance of thoughtful critique with encouragement (including a selection of journals that I might want to consider submitting to). The readings for the class were carefully and wisely chosen, and I found the assignments wonderfully imaginative and productive.”
~ Julia Zarankin