In Short: I can help you with your
- Short Stories
- Flash Fiction
- Agent Query Letters
- Artist Statements (personal statements, statements of purpose, etc.)
- Submitting to literary magazines, residencies, and conferences
- Applying to MFAs
- A Sensitivity Reading
The Longer Story
I work with writers at all stages of their writing career to provide developmental consultation on their creative projects. My scope of work can range from brainstorming project outlines to (more typically) full manuscript critique. My clients write literary fiction and genre fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, speculative fiction, and mystery. I consult on personal essays and poetry, though on a case by case basis. I’m particularly interested in cross-cultural, international, transnational, and identity-focused narratives. When it comes to form, I consult on short work, as well as book-length manuscripts.
I am available as a sensitivity reader, but please take a quick look at my About page (or even read a little of my writing) to get a sense of my background and learn if I’m likely to be a good fit. What is a sensitivity reading? A sensitivity reading means that I will critique your story/ novel to determine whether the work in question presents or promotes problematic ideas, contains culturally insensitive depictions, or otherwise is likely to get you in trouble for being unintentionally offensive to a specific identity group or a general readership. This type of reading response will address craft issues only as they intersect with questions of cultural competence, and will provide strategies for addressing these issues.
I am also available as an advisor for writers working toward querying literary agents and writers considering applying to MFA programs. Both processes can seem unnecessarily mysterious and stressful–I know from personal experience–and I’m here to demystify either process. Regarding writing program specific coaching, programs my clients have gained acceptance to include the Writers’ Workshop at Iowa, Boston University, The New School, American University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Columbia College, University of New Hampshire, Bennington College, Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), University of Minnesota, University of Houston, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame, University of Montana, Pratt Institute, Chapman University, CalArts, and the University of Edinburgh. Querying clients have gained representation at Sterling Lord Literistic, The Riggs Agency, Folio Literary Management, Janklow & Nesbit, and Massie & McQuilkin.
To discuss a possible consultation, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your project(s) and/or short-term writing goals and how I might best assist you. Due to time constraints, I can only respond to queries addressed to me (as opposed to mass emails). I typically respond within one to five business days.
I love reading your feedback because you totally get it, and your insights are very meaningful.”
– Marina Hatsopoulos
“Jonathan is a very thoughtful line-editor who also uses higher-level critique to suggest how stories can work better as a whole. I was particularly impressed by his ability to speak in my language and honor the worlds of my stories so acutely. His commentary gave my pieces the extra push I needed to get accepted into MFA programs, and he even followed up when I was worried I had cut a story down too small for a contest. Thanks, Jonathan!”
“I was so relieved that Jonathan’s comments were so well laid out. To be constructive you need to provide the writer with a solution. In every case he provided me with one. This has been well worth while and I think I got the right guy to review my novel.”
“Jonathan, during the time we initially worked together, provided invaluable feedback. His contributions to my text , has molded my story into something I can honestly see having an impact on its readers. Throughout the process and afterwards he has constantly offered support as well as encouragement.”
-Lee Nave Jr.
“Jonathan read and reread my poetry, searching for errors, while suggesting improvements in diction, line length, etc. Working closely with Jonathan has been a creative experience that I will never forget. My debt to Jonathan is immense.”
-Preston M. Browning, Jr., author of Sandino’s Grave and Other Poems