Genre: Creative nonfiction, memoir
For writers working on a memoir, a book on a non-fiction subject, or collection of essays—or on individual, shorter works. Book coaches read and respond to twenty pages of work. Responses include a written overall critique (email attachment), line edits and recommendations for revision. When appropriate, recommendations will include advice about publication. May be repeated.
Patrick's Book Coaching Statement:
Writing has to grab you, command your attention, and make you want to read it. I approach ALL writing with this in mind. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. I have read books on falconry, horticulture, and fencing—all of which are areas that didn’t immediately interest me—and ended up fascinated because of the author’s ability to write compellingly on their subject matter. I have also read detective novels, literary fiction, short stories, and plot driven narratives I thought would just be light reading, and came away in awe. Because what it all comes down to is the author’s choices in language, syntax, and structure, and this is where a book coach comes in. You’ve written a final, or at least a good working draft, and the idea is there, but there’s something missing. You haven’t gotten the response that you want when others have read it, or when you have submitted to agents and presses.
Having another writer with editorial experience take a look and offer suggestions is incredibly helpful. Another set of eyes, whose only invested interest is to help make your writing better, and can suggest the needed revisions to make your writing do what you want it to do. This is not to change your voice or make your writing like someone else’s. This is to define what is yours, and to improve it. As your book coach that is exactly what I’ll do when we work together. It will be an interaction between the two of us to assess and revise your writing.
I work with a very diverse group of writers and students. I edit and revise narrative nonfiction and memoir, as well as fiction. I lead nonfiction workshops, and teach college level English classes (online and in the classroom). So when I say “diverse group” I mean that I have experience working with writers at all levels, different backgrounds, and abilities. I have an understanding of where a writer is, and what they need to do in order for their writing to grab you, command your attention, and make you want to read.
About Patrick O'Neil:
Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir Gun, Needle, Spoon (Dzanc Books). His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Juxtapoz, Salon, The Nervous Breakdown, After Party Magazine, and Razorcake. O’Neil is a contributing editor for Sensitive Skin Magazine, a Pushcart nominee, a two time nominee for Best Of The Net, and a PEN Center USA Professional and former Mentor. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles where he is an instructor for the inspiration2publication program. Most days you can find him teaching some form of creative writing at various rehabs, correctional facilities, institutions, and workshops, and he is the co-coordinator for the Why There Are Words, Los Angeles reading series. O’Neil currently lives in L.A.’s monument to broken dreams, the über hip downtown district, with his fiancé and two giant Maine Coons. For more information, please visit: patrick-oneil.com.