Writing Mentoring

You are a fabulous teacher. – Parsippany, NJ

Let me save you some time before reading this post by starting out as I did with Critiques: Online or via Email; Do you want to improve your writing? Are you willing to pay to improve?

If the answer to either of those is No then read no further, this post isn’t for you.

Answered Yes to both? Read on.

The Joseph I know is a gifted author, supportive human, and thoughtful mentor. His thoughtful insights on a myriad of subjects allows for lively discussions and good insights. … The operative word is constructive. Suggestions by Joseph are very specific which helps the entire learning process. Note, this is different than simply working with an editor, or English teacher, or even beta readers, because the feedback is actionable. It is an honor to rank Joseph as a mentor. – Houston, TX


I offer a writing class, one class each week, four weeks running, starting the first Wednesday of the month and going until we hit four Wednesdays (five Wednesdays if a month has them). There’s a morning session and an evening session to accommodate people in different time zones. You get to choose one and you have to stick with it to take part.

What will we cover?
The usuals: Atmosphere, Character, Critiques, Description, Dialogue, Editing, Exposition, Language, Mood, Pace, Plot, POV, Scenes, Setting, StoryCrafting, StoryTelling, Structure, Style, Tone, Viewpoint, Voice, Throughlines, …

Put down your guard, stop thinking you know what you’re doing, keep quiet, watch, learn, listen. Carrabis gave us 500 things if he gave us five and each one paid off a million fold. – St. John, NB

Price is 100$US for the four (or sometimes five) classes. No makeups. Miss a class, bummer, dude. That noted, the classes will be recorded for my benefit (helps me improve my teaching methodology). If all participants agree, the recording will be available for review afterwards.

What are Carrabis’ methods? I can’t tell you, because the methods used in the classes I attended probably won’t be the ones he uses in yours. Carrabis suits the method to his current purpose, as far as I can tell, and you never know exactly what’s going to happen until it already has, (believe me, I saw it time after time) you end all of a sudden with a clear understanding of something you didn’t even know existed before you started. And it turns out to be something that’s important to you! Amazing. – Columbia, SC

Rules and Restrictions

  1. Each week we’ll look at something participants have written and analyze it for weaknesses, strengths, and make suggestions to improve the piece itself. If nobody offers anything I’ll either offer something I’ve written or take an excerpt from a book currently on the market.
  2. We are respectful and honoring of each other especially when we’re eviscerating others’ work. People are not their work, and everyone is working towards some goal. Our purpose is to help each other towards their goal.
  3. Along with the above, all genres are welcome because all genres have something to teach us.
  4. My end goal is to teach you enough so that you’ll a) not need me any more or b) be able to confidently go on to someone more capable than I (and let me know who they are. I’m learning, too!).
  5. Should I look at your work and believe I’m not going to be helpful (or I simply enjoy reading it), I’ll let you know, refund your payment, and may suggest a critique group to you.
  6. Each class is one to two hours long (depends on the number of participants. More people, longer class time. Fewer people, shorter class time) and may run over if everyone agrees.
  7. Each class starts with an exercise which is the equivalent of musicians’ exercises to learn technique. The goal is to stimulate your creativity in the class and provide you methods to get yourself out of slumps and avoid blocks.
  8. An important element of being a writer is being in touch with different emotions to connect with characters on an emotional level. Some classes will seek visceral reactions. Techniques to achieve emotional reactions may seem aggressive, offensive, crude, and/or hateful. By enrolling in the class, you consent to any and all techniques used within the class that may seek to connect students with various emotional responses. You agree any offense is non-actionable for any damage you may feel you suffer or for the cost of the class.
  9. Classes are organized based, in part, on the number of committed participants. Class size is ten (10) or fewer. Dropping out diminishes the program and the spot in the class is not easily refilled. Thus, class fees are non-refundable.
  10. Can’t afford my rates? Contact me. Convince me you’re working hard at your craft and I’ll work hard to make sure you get any help I can offer.
Joseph is passionate about writing and storytelling, and about supporting other authors and sharing knowledge with them. His editing skills are considerable. He is thorough, professional and knowledgeable. He is not shy with the red pen, but he is quick to offer suggestions and guide you to the right solution. Rather than merely identifying an issue or – equally frustrating – giving you the answer, he teaches. This willingness to teach is what makes him such a valuable editor. – Worcester, MA

Fill in the form below and I’ll get you in the schedule.