Some nice words from folks who have worked with me before:
I can’t say enough about Jennifer. Her experience speaks for itself, but her generosity of spirit sets her apart. She is genuinely interested in other writers’ stories and ideas and invested in their success. She’s not just an acclaimed author and magazine writer. She’s a teacher. Last fall, I began tooling around with a concept for a nonfiction book and struggled to start writing a proposal: My inner critic thought, “I can’t do this!” I procrastinated. Realizing I was getting in the way of myself, I called Jen. She helped me break up my proposal into manageable parts, spreading out assignments over several weeks. She offered constructive criticism and a compassionate ear. Her class has been an invaluable education. Now I believe I can write a book, and I’m dedicating it to Jennifer. — Erin Carlson
Jennifer is an extraordinary writing coach. She taught me the basics of narrative nonfiction in 60 minutes, more or less. Her advice was concise and 100% practical and useable. I bought two 6 hour coaching packages with Jennifer to complete a book proposal. A couple weeks later, I had a meeting with the single biggest agent in the field, and a meeting with another agent at a leading agency a couple weeks later. I couldn’t have done it without her. To be frank, her services are astonishingly high value for the very reasonable rate charged. — Jonathan Petts
Jennifer really helped me define concrete goals as a writer, and work on addressing them. She also provided detailed feedback that was insightful and on point. I struggle with writer’s block, so I appreciated her mentorship. — Emma Pfeiffer
We can do any of these from afar if you’re not in New York — Skype or phone works great.
Special: $399 for six hour-long sessions in the following subject areas. Click on the PayPal button below for easy purchase, or email me for details and payment options. (I accept PayPal, Venmo, credit cards, and checks as well.)
- Becoming a Writer … Who Writes: You know you want to be some sort of writer, but have no idea where to begin. I’ll walk you through the early stages in easy, clear steps until you’ve got a concrete plan and routine for moving forward. I’ll help you figure out what you want to write, or at least start with—an obviously critical step. We’ll work together to draft a writing routine that works for your life and even a reading list to keep that important part of being a writer on track. We’ll talk about how to incorporate basics like character, scene, and structure into whatever you hope to write. And we’ll talk about living the “writer lifestyle” on your own.
- Finding Your Writing Voice: In these six weeks, I’ll help you get in touch with the essence of your personality that should come through in your writing. (Yeah, it’s a little shrink-y and Oprah-y, in the best possible way.) We’ll talk about voice from every angle: the lit-geeky (Kerouac, Salinger, The New Yorker) and the pop-star-ish (Beyoncé and Britney might come up). There will be weekly exercises designed to help you find your writing voice (no dancing required, though if you’re feeling it, by all means …). We’ll explore ways to get comfortable with being vulnerable and how motivation strengthens your writing. We’ll also talk about karaoke or opera, if the mood strikes.
- Launching Your Blog: A complete how-to, from drafting your plans and finding your target audience to setting up and writing. I’ll walk you through the basics of choosing a platform and design, then work with you to fine-tune the writing before you go live. You’ll have a chance to workshop blog posts and ideas, get critiques, and make a blogging schedule. By the final session, we’ll launch your blog with five posts up and another five ready to go.
- Launching Your Writing Career: You want to be a writer — a published one — but you don’t know where to begin. With this package, you’ll find your writing niche and learn how to get published. I’ll guide you through coming up with specific, attainable writing career goals and drafting plans to accomplish them. By the final section, you will have made progress on — and perhaps even accomplished — three specific writing and publishing goals. And you’ll have action plans for completing all of them.
- Writing a Nonfiction Book: In this package, I’ll help you figure out your nonfiction book from start to finish: from what your book is about and why anyone would want to read it to researching it to getting an agent. During the six weeks, we’ll work on your sample chapters, your proposal, your title, and what to do next.
- Writing Your Nonfiction Book Proposal in Six Steps: I will walk you through the entire process of writing a nonfiction book proposal in six sessions. We’ll assess your idea, then work on a section of the proposal at each meeting, honing your material and allowing you to get feedback on every part of the proposal. This is for students who have an idea, know they want to write a proposal, and are ready to get it done.
More affordable options are available as well: Training materials, without the one-on-one consultations, for just $99. (Not available for Launching Your Writing Career, which is a customized program.) Email me for details.
Writing Career Coaching and Mentoring
For more direct, immersive help in guiding your writing career, I offer one-on-one coaching and mentoring. We can decide on a set period of time, work toward a goal, or simply collaborate as long as you need help. I love giving advice to fledgling writers who are baffled by the publishing industry and in need of some simple insider tips.
If you’re interested, please email me: JMKArmstrong (at) gmail (dot) com
Jennifer critiqued my book proposal. I had never written one before, so her insight into how proposals should be structured and her suggestions for improving it were invaluable. She was very thorough, and while not all her comments were positive, they were always constructive. Thanks to her help, I think I have a great chance of getting this project off the ground. Thank you Jennifer! –A.K. Whitney
Jennifer came to me highly recommended by a seasoned and veteran writer. Jennifer transformed what I thought was a book proposal into a work of art. I would absolutely recommend as well as hire Jennifer again for any editing project in the future. — George A. Mapp Jr.
I critique articles, essays, memoirs, op-eds, blog posts, book proposals, and non-fiction book manuscripts.
The critique includes a thorough analysis of your pages and a letter with suggestions. Expect a fair amount of feedback — both the good and the bad, don’t worry! My critiques cover structure, reporting, transitions, and style. In nonfiction book proposals, I help you make everything agent- and editor-ready, including the marketing sections, chapter outlines, and sample chapters.
In a critique, I’ll also point out problems in grammar, punctuation, awkward sentence structure, and similar things. But if you’d like a more basic line edit focusing just on those areas, I’m happy to do that as well.
If you’re interested, please email me: JMKArmstrong (at) gmail (dot) com
We can hash out the details beforehand, but FYI, I’ll want your manuscript pages in professional format: double-spaced, Courier or Times New Roman 12-point typeface, one-inch margins (ragged right margin, not justified), page numbers upper right, title/name in upper left. Please indent all paragraphs five spaces or a half inch.
For more about why I’m qualified for this, please check out my bio page.