Work With Me

Wherever you are in your WRITING journey, I will help you reach the next level… or two or three levels.

Perhaps you are setting out on your writing journey, making the decision that now is the time to commit your vision to the page… Only, you’re not quite sure if you’re on the right track. Writing can be a lonely voyage, and you need an expert navigator to help guide the way.

Or perhaps you’re a seasoned writer, you’ve just finished your first or fifth manuscript, but you sense that something is off. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but your novel or poetry collection, your screenplay or memoir just isn’t flowing in the way you’d hoped when you first began drafting. You lost your way somewhere along the road, and you need a trusted coach and editor to help set you back on course.

You might be anywhere in your individual writing journey, and you’re feeling a bit stuck, a bit lost in the woods…

I am here to help!

I get asked all the time how I am so prolific–how I can lead such a full, busy life as a mama + teacher + mentor and still write and publish at least one critically-acclaimed book per year for the past six years in a row! As YOUR COACH, I will show you not only how I do it, but how you can too

In addition to over a decade teaching creative writing, publishing in all genres, and working as Editor-in-Chief for a literary journal and Acquisitions Editor for a literary press, I’ve got a superpower: I can home in on the heart of your creative work–whether a novel, collection of short stories or poems, a memoir, or screenplay–and reignite your passion that first called you to write. During our work together, I will offer an empathetic and critical analysis that shines your work’s brightest light. Choose from one of the paths below:

Development

Whether you’re beginning a new project or deep in the woods, this package will give you clarity, focus and direction. Together we will create a clear path through the writing forest, via email and two phone conversations. I will give you assignments and plenty of concrete tools to get you back on story and/or thematic track. You will leave our sessions pumped to write all the way to “The End”–knowing you’re now fully equipped to get there!

What you get:

Clarity, focus and direction. You will submit a thematic synopsis + sample and a goal-setting questionnaire that I’ll provide, and via email and two Zoom coaching sessions, I will help you flesh out your ideas and create a clear plan forward.

You will receive assignments + concrete tools to get you on thematic + craft track. You will leave our sessions pumped to put together a polished, powerful collection or rocket through all the way to “The End” of your novel, memoir, essay collection, or screenplay!

Analysis

You have finished your manuscript! Yes! Please give yourself a pat on the back because it’s estimated that 97% of people who start a book never reach the end, so you’re one of the 3% who made it! You rock! Now you want to make sure that your vision has actually made it to the page! With this package, I will give your work a deep read and help you home in on what’s working, what isn’t, and what you can do about it. I will offer concrete solutions to help you deepen and polish your manuscript to its brightest shine!

This rate is based on your current manuscript’s page count.

What you get:

A deep read of your current manuscript for specific, detailed advice, suggestions, and solutions. We will push your draft to the next level! Or even two or three levels! For fiction work, this option is only available for complete drafts 250+ double-spaced pages.

I will offer concrete solutions to help you deepen and polish your manuscript to its brightest shine! You’ll get 4+ pages of feedback and solutions + two 1-hour coaching sessions with me via Zoom. This package includes an additional round of editing + line editing as necessary.

Coaching

You, dear writer, are a kindred spirit, and you know that writing is meant to be done in community. I’ve got your back. With this package, we are in it for the long haul! Your writing path will never go dark, dear one. Not while I’m holding the lantern and walking beside you. I already believe in you. Our goal is to make sure that you believe in yourself.

You may currently consider yourself an aspiring writer with only a nebulous idea. It’s your heart’s truth, your deep story, and you need help manifesting it into reality. The mindset frameworks and craft techniques I’ll teach you will work for you if you let them. When you work with me, you will boldly call yourself a writer who transforms aspirations into reality.

What you get:

All the elements of Development and Analysis + a guide and cheerleader along the way! Weekly check-ins. Email questions anytime. Bi-weekly motivational and brainstorming coaching sessions via phone or Zoom. I’m sharing my productivity and craft secrets with you! You’re getting an MFA without the hassle of grades! Just your most beautiful book + all the publishing know-how you’ll need to send it out into the world!

These coaching packages are for those serious about catching their wildest dreams and transforming their lives.

Dear Writer, I’m ready to start when you are.


Writer, have you ever received feedback on your work that you felt was more reflective of the reader’s tastes than an understanding of what your poem was trying to accomplish? Working with Jennifer, I never doubted that she took the time to sit with my work, to understand what my project, my vision, was, and to give thoughtful, necessary, incisive critique in the service of helping my poetic voice ring clearer. From line edits on individual poems to broader commentary on ordering and how the poems fit together to form a whole, Jennifer’s critique not only made my work better, but helped me think about how to talk about my work out in the world. I didn’t know how important that would end up being until I was actually out in the world meeting readers and giving interviews and such. original kink wouldn’t be what it was without Jennifer. I’m eternally grateful and I’d work with her again in a heartbeat.”

Jubi Arriola-Headley, author of original kink


Working with Jenn on my manuscript was like going to book therapy—she pointed out strengths and pushed me to see some hard truths. She showed me how to understand my own manuscript better so I knew how to improve it. In addition to marvelous, meticulous suggestions, often on a line-by-line level, Jenn offered me a powerful vision of where the book could go and how to get it there. She recommended books to read for inspiration and sent me craft articles catered to areas I needed to work on the most. I learned how to make the book and my writing life more powerful. When I’d spent some time revising based on her suggestions, the book was finally truly ready—and accepted for publication at the first place I submitted it! What kind of magic is that!?”

Jessica Walsh, author of List of Last Tries


“What a masterful teacher and editor Jenn Givhan is. When she gives you comments on your work, it’s like she’s reading your heart giving such thoughtful feedback knowing where the gaps are and guiding you to push your voice further. Work that I have developed with Jenn have been published in some fine journals and now I’m working with her on putting together a collection, entitled Native and Invasive Species. Jenn has such a magnanimous spirit that you just want to give her the best you got, plus it does not hurt that she is a woman of color who sees and knows the struggle of folks on the margins. Did I mention that she is super smart?”

Sonia Arora


To work with Jenn is to have your creative work in the caring hands of a master writer! Jenn helped me polish the poems in my chapbook, Atlas of Lost Places, which was published in 2020 by Milk and Cake Press. She read my poems with so much kindness and highlighted all that she loved in them and more importantly, all that wasn’t working. I loved the short lessons and prompts I received from her on an as-needed basis and felt completely supported throughout our time together. My poems and I are so grateful for the time we spent with Jenn!

Yamini Pathak, a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet in the Schools


Jenn Givhan was my mentor last year. She possesses a very special talent. Her strong poetic background, commitment, & generous spirit coupled with her professionalism & expertise are outstanding. She sets ongoing personal & professional goals for you & is very honest in her line-by-line critiques. She shares in depth articles, essays, examples & craft lessons that enable you to gain a deeper perspective. Trust me, when I tell you I was a novice poet, just starting out, when I began working with Jenn. She accepted & understood where I was at in relation to the level of my work. She guided & pushed me to the next level. I was amazed at my own growth. Through hard work & Jenn’s constructive feedback, I had six poems published in a matter of months and my chapbook was published last year. I will always be grateful to Jenn for helping me believe in myself with her motivating & positive attitude & genuine interest in my progression.

Louisa Muniz, author of After Heavy Rain


I highly recommend Jenn Givhan as an editor/writing coach. I sent her a mess… and she helped me hone it down to a strong collection, shaped it into a beautiful volume with organic unity I hadn’t previously seen, and even line-edited and offered suggestions. It quickly found a home with the love and attention that Jenn paid to it. If you’re looking for writing/editing help, she’s the real deal!”

Shaindel Beers, author of Secure Your Own Mask


I needed expert eyes, and I needed them quickly. I had my heart set on submitting my second book manuscript *Bloodfish* to a press that had a looming deadline. I felt stuck in my revisions and needed someone with a fresh perspective to provide feedback. Jennifer Givhan came through for me. At the time we had never met in person, only had a few online conversations, but she treated me like a friend, taking on the 60+ pages and giving me detailed and thorough feedback well in advance of when I needed it. Her commentary throughout the manuscript was conversational, but knowledgeable, insightful, and so smart. It was like she was sitting right beside me, giving me both her immediate responses and her prepared critiques. Her suggested readings were spot-on, and her extra materials on everything from writing emotionally resonant endings to finding the beating heart of a poem were professional and useful. I highly recommend her services.”

Jennifer Jackson Berry, author of The Feeder


“With grace and brains, Jenn helped me edit my manuscript. I found her feedback to be helpful and honest—she wasn’t afraid to say what was working and what wasn’t. She was prompt in getting back to me after reviewing the whole document, and was also quick to answer questions afterward. Her services were well worth the money I paid, and she and I have continued to have a friendly, professional relationship. She is passionate about her work and helping others succeed.”

Karen Holmes, author of No Such Thing As Distance


Let’s make something
beautiful together.

WONDERING WHAT PROGRAM MIGHT BE RIGHT FOR YOU? SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND WE’LL DECIDE TOGETHER:

IT’S TIME TO LEVEL UP

Ask yourself honestly where you want to be next year. If your answer is a published author, then you know what your soul is calling you to do. Your book is ready for you.