One of the things I love most is coaching budding writers and critiquing stories. I like the feeling I get whenever a writer calls me up to say, Thank you! I just got into that prestigious creative writing program. Or my story just got nominated.
I joined a critique group and left and returned again. But I’m pleased to announce that I am very excited to get back to those roots.
After a lot of thought and consideration, I’m now publicly offering editing and coaching slots! Some of the services on offer are:
- Story Coaching: Got an idea, but don’t know where to start. I can help guide you.
- Short Story Critiques: Is your manuscript ready for submission, but needs a second eye? I can help.
- Query Letter Critiques: You know, this is where you sell your story idea to the acquisitions editor?
- Synopsis Critiques: Ah the synopsis. Character development, plot twists, hooks all in 500 words or less? Yes. I can offer support and expertise.
- Developmental editing, brainstorming, editorial feedback. : Second draft manuscript critiquing is my specialty.
- Social media for authors: Need to blog that book. I’ll tell the world your book has been published and why they should buy and read it.
Some writers might require both coaching and editing services, and that can be arranged.
If you’re interested, contact me at [email protected]. Rates and timing will depend on the scope of the project and the urgency. I will not be able to accept all the jobs that come my way, but can offer referrals.
Some of the projects I have helped edit in the past include Search selected by Bailey Prize award winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie, for the Farafina Trust Writing Workshop; Social Studies, named Finalist of the Witivism Prize 2015; and The Dream by Charles Opara which was nominated for The Fiction Desk Newcomers Awards and for which I provided developmental feedback. I have also done many other editing and consultation works.
In fact, here’s how one mentoring experience unraveled.
She Phoned In And Screamed
A budding writer rang me up one day and said, “Chioma, I want to apply for the biggest, most competitive workshop in Africa, and I want you to help me. I’ll pay for your services.”
It was a workshop I had been fortunate enough to attend and I knew how competitive it was, and so I said, “Okay, but let’s work towards getting you into the workshop first.”
So she sent me the first story she intended to submit for the competition.
I Went Through It With A Fine-Toothed Comb And Told Her The Truth
I could tell she was a fine writer, but the story lacked fundamental believability. The character’s motives weren’t clear.
I sent her two award winning short stories by prolific writers and asked her to study the structure. She was to rework hers after reading the recommended stories.
She wrote a new one, which I told her was good, but there was something about the story idea. “It won’t get you in,” I said. She felt discouraged and said she had quit.
“We haven’t come this far to quit,” I said. “Quitting is not an option.”
This Was Three Days To The Deadline.
The next day she emailed a story she had woken up at midnight to write. I opened the attachment and read it and absolutely loved it.
I called her and said, “We can work with this.” I revised and suggested rewrites in different places to make the writing shine.
I advised her to show through description or dialogue where there was too much telling.
She effected the edits and tightened the prose as suggested and managed to send in her entry about forty minutes before the deadline.
Two weeks later, she phoned in and screamed excitedly. She had been invited to the workshop. She went on to win many more writing awards.
Here’s What She Said About Her Experience
Before I met Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam, I couldn’t tell what was wrong with my writing. But it sure wasn’t good enough. Chioma helped me through my stories, and her input helped a great deal in getting me into the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop.
Some of the projects I have helped edit in the past include Search selected by Bailey Prize award winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie, for the Farafina Trust Writing Workshop.
Another project is Social Studies, named Finalist of the Witivism Prize 2015.
And The Dream by Charles Opara which was nominated for The Fiction Desk Newcomers Awards and for which I provided developmental feedback.
I Have Also Done Many Other Editing And Consultation Works For Other Notable Writers
I realize that not everyone can afford to pay for editing (Read other ways you can get writing critiques), and I have also started doing public critiques on the forum page. I’ll also blog about broader writing topics. Leave comments on the community page.