rachelcoker



Now Offering–Personal Writing Lessons!!

fan letter

This is something I’ve been planning for a looong time, and I’m so excited to finally get to make the announcement on my blog! Many of you have heard my story of how I grew to become a published author at the young age of sixteen. Well, I credit a huge part in my success to my wonderful writing coach Jonathan that I worked with for about a year when I was twelve/thirteen. Before I started working with Jonathan, I knew NOTHING about writing AT ALL. So I had to learn all the basics–adjectives, adverbs, characterization, plot building–you name it! And yet, somehow along that journey, I learned something else. I learned how to embrace my passion for writing–for crafting stories and developing characters and expressing myself through words. And now, I want to be able to do that for other young people out there in the big wide world of writing. I know that there are other girls (and maybe boys?) out there who have a passion for writing but maybe need a little push to help them fine-tune their craft. Maybe you’d like a second opinion on your work, or you think you could use a bit of help “perfecting” your writing before sending it out in the scary world of agents and editors and publishers.

That’s where I come in!

Basically, I want to be your friend and mentor. I want us to have an open relationship where we can talk about writing and where I can give you writing assignments once a week  and then see what flows from that. Ideally, you, as my student, will write short stories and I will look them over and write up my notes. Maybe I’ll notice that you need work developing your characterization, or setting up scenes, or working on pacing. Or maybe I’ll notice a bigger problem if I see you struggling with plotting out ahead of time or developing your tone of voice. As a seasoned writer and fresh set of eyes, I would be able to pick out these problems and work through them with you, helping you to learn to edit your own stories and stay on top of your own weaknesses.

Every month, I would also give you reading assignments based on whatever we were talking about. If I was trying to emphasize to you the importance of powerful dialog, for instance, I might have you read a play and would point out to you how that author used nothing but dialog to craft a strong story. Or we might read some poems as we study the rhythm of words and the flow of an idea. The power of literature is so important when you’re a writer, and everyone can benefit from reading (or re-reading!) the great classics that have paved the way for authors to come.

The main objective of my coaching would be not only to help you hone your writing abilities, but also to discover your artistic voice. To help you try out different styles of writing and storytelling, and help you discover what style of writing is really “you”. How can you best tell your story to the world through your pen?

It would also be a very personal and open relationship. If you were able to, I would love to start off our relationship with a little Skype chat and “get to know” each other. To talk about your goals and your favorite books and stories, and get to know a little about me, too. We would work our way through short stories, novellas, and eventually novels, all the while really analyzing your writing and discovering how to make you an even better storyteller.

I will admit that I knew practically nothing about writing until I was eleven years old, but I have learned to much over the years and I want nothing more than to share my passion with others! And to this day, no matter how nicely I think I’ve written something, I still have editors and agents who will go through and point things out and help me fine-tune my own abilities. I just want to do that for others!

Anyway, the tutoring would probably consist of an email a week. I would give you an assignment, then you would have a little under a week to complete it. You would send it in to me and I would email you back in a day or two with my comments, ideas, and your next assignment. You would (hopefully!) be constantly growing and learning and becoming aware of both your strengths and weaknesses.

Obviously, I will work on writing up a contract for my students. The cost will probably be $100 a month, and I will probably make the contract to be signed for three or four month increments at a time. I will also work on discovering contests, teen publication opportunities, and other fun opportunities for my students! The basic idea is that this should be like any other “sport” or instrumental lesson you might take in life. Just as if you were paying me to teach you piano, you’re paying for a professional opinion and for someone to work with you to develop your skill in this area. And then you would be expected to work on it your own throughout the week!
So when would this fabulous writing opportunity start? Haha, good question. Truth is, I’m pretty flexible. Right now, my schedule is pretty tied up until May, but starting at the beginning of the summer, I will be totally free! In fact, I’m stepping out on a limb with this and quitting my day job so that I have more time to work with my writing students. I’m praying that God will provide the number of students I need to make a decent living, but I feel like He’s laid this on my heart for this season in my life, so I’m optimistic that He will provide the writers!

If you and your parents are interested in lessons, or would like more information, please email me at rachelcokerwrites@hotmail.com. That’s right, I changed my email address. I’d really like to keep my private life and my professional life separate, so if you all could start emailing me at this account, I’d really appreciate it!

Even if you’re not interested or can’t afford it at this time, I do sincerely hope that you continue writing and know that you can email me any time with a question. I always answer, no matter how long it may take me to write up a reply!

So what do you think? Would this be like a dream come true for some of you, or do you think I’m crazy to be quitting my job to teach writing, of all things?

-Rachel

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Comments

  1. * Julia Byers says:

    While I don’t personally have the time or resources to participate in this, I think this looks like a fantastic opportunity. 🙂 I hope you get plenty of students!

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  2. * Margaret says:

    That sounds really cool! I’ve thought about asking for a writing coach before. I keep waiting until I’ve finished a manuscript and loved it, but that hasn’t been happening, sigh. I’m curious, though–have you thought about maybe doing chapters rather than short stories for some assignments? Just a thought because my short stories usually turn out pretty lame. Haha.

    Anyway, it sounds like a brave thing to do and a great idea too. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Well, if you’re ever interested, I’m available, haha. 😉 Yes, I have thought about that! I think I would start off with short stories just as the writers and I get to know each other and as I figure out each student’s writing style. But eventually I would love to help my students to write full-length novels and work on chapters together!

      | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  3. * Amanda says:

    I certainly don’t think you’re crazy. 😉

    I love helping others with writing, too, and I think some people would definitely be interested! 🙂 Have fun and hopefully you’ll find some students.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  4. * Emily Ann says:

    I love this idea!!! I would totally do it, I’m just not sure if I can afford it right now. I’ll pray about it! =)

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  5. * Hannah Elise says:

    You would probably be able to teach me a lot 😉 but unfortunately I don’t have the money, and am not sure I’d be able to do this anyway. I’m not good at generating stories at all–probably something I should work on. The book I’m writing about has been my idea for about four years now and I love my characters, etc., and don’t have much inclination to begin another novel until this one is published/in a different draft. I hope you get a lot of students!

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  6. * Rissi says:

    Nice idea, Rachel. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  7. * cait says:

    I had a mentor when I was 12-14 as well, and boy, did it change my writing. I had no idea there was a different between writing in passive or action…Clueless! This is a great thing to be offering! I really hope you get the students, besides, I think you’d make an awesome mentor. 😉

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  8. * Natalie Noel says:

    I may talk to my parents about it. I think it sounds like a great idea, and something I’d be totally interested in!

    ~Natalie Noel~

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Great! Definitely talk to your parents about it and let me know! If you’re homeschooled, it can even go on your highschool transcript as a writing credit, which is a huge plus! 🙂

      | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  9. * Renata says:

    Wow this is awesome!! I hope I can do it soon when I can get a job. This sounds like a great opportunity.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
  10. * Kelly says:

    I would die to do this 🙂 I’ve been begging my mom to splurge for writing lessons for over a year so hopefully I am wearing her down! If I convince her I will definitely come to you. It sounds like a great opportunity.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 9 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Yay! Let me know! I have plenty of room for more students, so please let me know if you decide to take lessons. I’d love to work with you! 🙂

      | Reply Posted 4 years, 8 months ago
  11. * Hannah says:

    I think it’s a wonderful idea, Rachel! I would absolutely LOVE to do it, but unfortunately I don’t have the money right now, and I doubt I would be able to attain it anytime soon. But I hope it works out for you, and you get lots of students!! 🙂 Keep us updated on what happens! I will pray for you!

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 8 months ago
  12. * Britt says:

    That’s so cool! I wouldn’t be able to do it right now, but good luck! It’s such a smart idea. You’d be such a fun person to work with, and I hope you get plenty of students! 🙂

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 8 months ago
  13. * Kelly says:

    Hey, just a quick question- would it be possible to work with you during just the summer months (Like June to August?) because I attend a really rigorous school were unfortunately writing time comes last.

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 8 months ago


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