Coaching & Workshops


Finish Your Fucking Book Boot CamP 2017  

Get your book in shape this summer. In-Person & Virtual options.

Advanced Fiction Workshop Summer 2017

7 weeks, July 11- Aug 29 (no meeting Aug 15th). Feedback and community. Limited to 7.

One day seminar: Make me care: crafting compelling openings 

September 23, 2017. You get a few pages to impress a reader. Make your book’s opening sing.

Continuing groups: I run carefully assembled ongoing small private workshops of different types. If you are interested in joining one of my groups or having me facilitate your existing group, please email me at

Stay tuned for additional workshops and seminars. If you would like to be kept up to date with news on upcoming classes and workshops, please join my mailing list at the footer of this page or email me with questions.



From an in-person meeting, phone call, or Skype chat to discuss how to begin your project, to an in-depth critique of your draft, to editing a polished manuscript, I offer options for whatever help/advice you need at any stage of the writing process. Coaching can include setting deadlines and accountability check-ins, or having meetings to discuss story arcs, structure, plot holes or the business side of being a writer. With my education, training, and experience as a published author and writing instructor, I can lend a guiding hand to help you accomplish your writing goals.

Write to me at and tell me a little about yourself and your project. We’ll figure out a plan that works best for you.


Query Letter CRITIQUES

Query letters are your first impression to agents, so you want them to shine. Whether you are just starting to put together your query or are ready with a draft and need feedback, don’t tackle this important part of the publishing process on your own. I can also offer guidance on the submission process and tips for choosing the right agent for you.


UCLA extension Classes

Most quarters I teach a class in the novel writing series at UCLA Extension. Check the catalog for the most up to date course information.



“Melanie is the perfect blend of critical and encouraging.”

“Melanie is the best kind of voice to have in your head…one of the best things for my career has been Melanie’s advice, guidance, and red pen. ”

“In addition to Melanie’s notes and comments being incredibly helpful, I really appreciated her workshop. I’ve found other classes and writing groups much less useful, and I think Melanie is very skilled at leading and guiding these discussions. This was the first time I’ve walked away from a workshop feeling like I had real concrete ideas about how to improve and move forward.”

“Melanie is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to take her next class!”

“I have an MFA in writing and have been doing writers’ groups and workshops for years. Melanie is, hands down, one of the smartest and most insightful instructors I’ve ever had…an instructor who can help you make your book the best it can be. Anyone would be lucky to have the chance to work with her.”

“Melanie has invigorated each story I have brought to her, but more than that she has molded my writing practice so that my work keeps getting better when she’s not around…She is also just a remarkably smart, genuine, and witty person. Being around her is always a good time and then almost without realizing it you’ve taken your work to the next level by the time you say goodbye.”

Read more of what others are saying about working with me.



Melanie is the best kind of voice to have in your head. I know I can trust her to give honest feedback while still energizing me to get to the next page. Melanie has invigorated each story I have brought to her, but more than that she has molded my writing practice so that my … Continue reading Testimonials

My Teaching Philosophy

My goal in teaching fiction is to give students an arsenal of writing tools and the time and community in which to practice those tools, so that they may each find their unique voice and the confidence and courage to tell the stories only they can tell. My approach includes facilitating the careful study of … Continue reading My Teaching Philosophy