Merilyn Simonds
Merilyn Simonds, the Book Coach

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.   What I Can Offer You   .

Over the course of a 35-year writing career, I have published short and long fiction, memoir, autobiographical fiction (which I call nonfiction stories), practical nonfiction, science books, history books, and a kids book. You can see my full CV on my Bio page.

My books have been published by major Canadian publishers, including McClelland & Stewart, Doubleday, HarperCollins, Douglas & McIntyre, Groundwood Books, and Macfarlane, Walter, and Ross. In those houses, I have worked with astute, award-winning editors such as Jan Walter and Ellen Seligman, whose eyes are as sharp as their pencils. Ellen Seligman is well-known as the editor of Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Jane Urquhart, and many, many other internationally known authors.

I have taught creative writing through Kwantlen University College, the Banff Creative Centre, UBC’s Booming Ground program, and the UBC Optional Residency MFA program. I have given dozens of workshops across the country on all aspects of writing both fiction and creative nonfiction. I was Chair of The Writers Union of Canada and through that organization, gave a series of workshops on publishing to emerging writers across Canada. I founded the Kingston WritersFest and through that developed relationships with a wide range of Canadian publishers and editors.

I take special interest in structure, language, and voice. I am a Grammar Queen. As well as being skilled in sentence-by-sentence construction, I can help you with pacing, structural re-draftings, and discovering where and how to go deeper into your material.

You are the writer; the book is yours. My job is to help you write the book you want to write. I’ll hold your hand and keep your nose to the grindstone and make sure you excise all such clichés.

Once the manuscript is polished, I can work with you to develop your submission and work out a strategy that will ensure your manuscript is read and considered by the right acquiring editor.

I love writing. And I love working with others who are excited by story and value the written word. It is a rare and wonderful pleasure to help a writer move from the frustration of mid-draft to the unique joy of holding their bound and printed book.


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