Greetings, fellow writers! I’m Robin, and I'm so happy you've found my cozy, little virtual nest. I'm here to help, and I'm here to help at reasonable rates. To start, here's a bit of background about me and about my experience. I've helped fellow writers work on and edit their individual projects, ranging from single poems to full books, for a little over twenty years. I’ve also held an array of editing positions for literary journals, dating back to high school and to my undergraduate studies. I have a Bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where I double majored in Psychology and Creative Writing. I also took part in a delightful fellowship at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre and Library. I'm currently an MFA candidate at The University of Baltimore, where my genre is poetry, though I also study memoir.
While a great deal of my experience has been working one-on-one with folks, I've recently begun working with a few fantastic literary journals/presses. Recently, I worked as a Poetry Editor with the lovely Welter Journal. I’m currently a Poetry Editor for the winnow magazine, a wonderful magazine for queer creatives. I'll also be taking over as Poetry Editor for The Broadkill Review in January 2023. The fabulous Broadkill Review is dedicated to promoting the best writing from the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond, and is particularly interested in queer and BIPOC voices.
I give generous, precise, compassionate feedback, with laser focus and attention to detail. I will work extremely hard to help you transform your fabulous work into something even more fabulous! I know these are your babies, your darlings. I take that very seriously, and do not take lightly the honor of being entrusted with them. All of that being said, I am also not afraid to say when I feel something isn’t working, or could be working more effectively. I want to help you elevate your work to new heights, and I can't do that without a thorough, honest critique. But you can trust that I will always give criticism with warmth and respect, and will always offer alternatives. When I was lucky enough to work with Paul Lisicky, he taught us that even the hardest thing to hear can be said with compassion. I've never forgotten that essential lesson, and carry it with me in the work I do with others.
While I am not an actual poetry therapist, I do want to note that I've also worked in mental health (off and on) for two decades. I've worked primarily as a crisis counselor and as a milieu therapist in residential treatment settings, bringing creative writing into my therapeutic work whenever possible. Utilizing these twin passions of writing and mental health, I've helped guide many writers through works related to trauma, loss, and illness. Please know this is a safe space where you can bring work that deals with difficult, painful topics. I will never judge, and while working on your writing, will always come from a place of empathy and trauma-informed support.
Below, you will find my current rates for editorial and feedback services. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss whatever exciting creative project you’re working on, and how I can contribute to its growth. If you are working on a larger project — such as a chapbook or full length book— we can absolutely come up with a discounted rate for the work as a whole. In the case of poetry, even if it’s not a full book, I will give a discounted rate if you want feedback for 10 poems or more.
Poetry: $8 per poem, up to 3 pages in length. $10 for poems 4-5 pages in length. If your poem surpasses 5 pages, we can discuss and come up with a fair rate.
Memoir/fiction: $8 for work that’s 3 double spaced pages or shorter. $12 for work up to 8 double spaced pages. $16 for work up to 12 double spaced pages. For longer work, as noted above, we can figure out a discounted, reasonable rate together.
Hourly rate for one-on-one sessions over Zoom: $35/hour, or $300 for ten hour long sessions. I will give you pieces to read (mostly poems) and a prompt to work from each week. I will also give you detailed feedback for one poem a week— or we can go slower if you want/need. We will always work at your pace. (If you want to work on longer works of memoir or fiction, we can absolutely do that too, but would need to workshop no more than 10 double-spaced pages a week, and I might have to ask a little extra. We can discuss.) Some people who work with me have a particular focus on trauma in their work, and are interested in the therapy of writing more than the craft. Some people are particularly interested in both. Please let me know ahead of time if this applies to you, giving as many or as few details as makes you comfortable.
What I Offer
I will give line-by-line notes for each page of writing, using Microsoft Word’s commenting function to really hone in on the details of your work. In the case of poetry, I will also write a minimum of two paragraphs of detailed feedback at the end of each piece. As for memoir and fiction, I will write more than two paragraphs if the work surpasses 3 pages. Essentially, the longer your piece, the longer my feedback will be! Should you want me to edit an entire book, you can expect detailed line-by-line notes, as well as a minimum of 2-4 double-spaced pages of in-depth feedback at the conclusion of the book. I am always open to specific requests as well. If there are particular aspects of your work that you especially hope to strengthen— theme, imagery, character, metaphor, etc.— feel free to make some notes about this, and I'll be extra-sure to take those specific desires into account. In terms of content, there are very few topics/issues I'm not comfortable working with, so don't worry about that. Content warnings can be a kindness, but are not strictly necessary.
Finally, feel free to read my testimonials to get an idea of what others have to say about working with me. I’m excited to work with you, and look forward to hearing from you, fellow star-eyed writers!