On this page, you will find information about my editing services, coaching, workshops, and more.
For Dutch writers: Lees deze pagina in het Nederlands.
For free resources: Please click or scroll down.
Need a new perspective on your writing? An evaluation of your manuscript? Advice on story structure or character development?
Let me help you meet your writing goals!
I collaborate with emerging writers on their works in progress. I edit fiction and narrative nonfiction written for adults, young adults, and children.
I provide feedback for texts long and short:
- Fiction and nonfiction collections
- Short stories
- Personal essays, lyrical essays
- Flash fiction, microfiction
- Travel articles
My favorite genres (for all age groups) are literary fiction & nonfiction, speculative fiction, historical fiction, family saga, magic realism, and psychological suspense.
I don’t specialize in poetry, academic texts, journalism, screenplays, romance, or epic fantasy.
Claire has been such a support to me with not only specific and constructive craft advice on language, structure, tone, plotting in everything from flash to novel writing, but also she’s been immeasurably helpful with her knowledge base and encouragement in navigating the sometimes confusing and intimidating publishing world. I’ve simply loved working with her.
Jolene McIlwain, American author, @jolene_mcilwain
FLASH AND MICRO PROSE (< 1,000 words)
Do you have a flash fiction or essay that doesn’t quite work yet? I’m happy to help. My service includes a short editorial note and comments made in Word’s Track Changes. I focus on story, character, and conflict, but also pay attention to language, especially when meaning or flow is compromised. As a bonus, I suggest three literary magazines that may be interested in your work.
Flat rate: € 25,- for one piece of short prose (<1,000 words), fiction or creative nonfiction. Quick turnaround. Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com.
Over the years, first in an international writing group, and then one-on-one, Claire has been a trusted, talented beta reader for my flash fiction, flash nonfiction, short stories, essays, and now a full-length project. She’s wonderful! Astute, insightful, critical, always encouraging and supportive. I recommend her wholeheartedly. Don’t miss an opportunity to work with this writer!
SHORT PROSE ( > 1,000 WORDS)
My editing services for short stories and essays are the same as described above for flash. But I don’t have fixed rates for works over a 1,000 words. I determine the project rate based on the length and quality of your writing. A reading sample might be necessary. Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com for a personalized quote based on your needs.
I attended Claire’s classes in Hoi An. So much valuable information delivered by a warm and inspiring teacher. Organised, thoughtful, fun classes which moved my writing up a level.
I have since used Claire’s editing services which have been incredibly helpful. Editing your own work can be a bit like walking through a very dark forest, thank goodness I had Claire’s torch to show me the way through!
Janie Lawson, British author living in Vietnam
MANUSCRIPT CONSULTING and DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING
I’m available for manuscript consulting and more intense developmental editing of book-length works: (middle grade) novels and memoirs.
My manuscript consulting service includes one read-through and at least 2,000 words of constructive feedback on how to improve your manuscript. I make a list of strong and weaker points, and advice you on how best to rewrite.
As a developmental editor, I do all of the above and additionally make comments throughout your manuscript, using Track Changes in Word. I make suggestions for revision and share ideas based on your voice and intentions. I may point out pitfalls such as clichés, redundancies, and the passive voice.
My feedback for both manuscript consulting and developmental editing may address:
- character motivation
- character development
- story structure
- point of view
- thematic coherence
I will NOT:
- Line edit or proofread your manuscript; that will happen at a later stage in the editing process.
- Correct grammar and spelling, unless it’s to point out recurrent mistakes
- Rewrite your text, although I might provide an example of how to revise on your own
- Check facts or do research
- Advice you on legal issues regarding your manuscript
I determine the project rate based on the length and quality of your writing. A sample edit is likely necessary.
When you’re ready, I can also advise you on how to navigate the confounding world of agents and publishers.
Please note: I will help you as much as I can, but I cannot guarantee that you will get your work published.
Are you intrigued but unsure whether you want to hire me for a book-length project? Let’s work together on a piece of short prose first. I can also critique your first chapter and an outline of your manuscript.
Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com for more information or a personalized quote. I would love to hear from you!
“Although I’m a professional writer and writing coach myself, I have a blind spot for my own unclarity and kill-your-darlings. Claire spotted them flawlessly in my manuscript and also tackled the synopsis. She is a professional with experience.”
Janneke Jonkman, Dutch author and blogger about motherhood.
QUERY LETTER CRITIQUE
A query letter is like a first date: You want to make a good first impression. Literary agents, publishers, and editors will read your letter before they spend time reading your manuscript. Having a professional query letter is therefore very important.
My critique includes detailed feedback on your query letter with suggestions on how to improve it. I address the hook, logline, blurb, biographical information, and closing. I also read the letter’s second draft and send you my comments. I cannot guarantee you’ll find representation, but I can offer you insight into what may stand in the way and enhance your chances of a response.
A query letter is maximum 500 words long and its critique costs € 50,-. This does not include an edit of your sample material or longer synopsis. I’ll charge an additional fee for editing these texts.
Interested? Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com.
As a writing coach, I provide personal mentoring sessions for writers of all ages. I can help you get started, develop an idea, stay motivated, or guide you to the next level. Perhaps you’ve written a few stories and would like to know how to get them published. Perhaps you’re a flash fiction writer who seeks advice on how to become a novelist. Perhaps you’re struggling with an essay because it feels too personal (which probably means it’s good). In all these cases, I can give you feedback, writing exercises, counseling, and encouragements.
We can brainstorm together and discuss the writing process, craft issues, writer’s block, inspiration, confidence, and publishing strategies. Coaching happens by email and occasionally via Zoom. In-person is possible, too, if I happen to be in the right place. I love sharing what I know and help you get better at what you love.
Hourly rate: € 40,-
Interested? Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com.
Workshops / Creative Writing Classes / Writing Retreats
I organize workshops and creative writing classes on all sorts of topics for the young and for adults. I intend to organize writing retreats in the near future. Follow me on social media (see the links on the top and bottom of each page) or subscribe to my blog to keep in touch and learn about upcoming events. I love invitations to write, read, speak, and collaborate. I offer customized private craft and generative writing classes for small groups. Please send me an email at cp(at)clairepolders(dot)com if you’d like to invite me to your event, in person or online.
This list is a work in progress. I will keep adding links to craft articles and useful sites.
Please note: I’m not paid to mention any of these resources; there are no affiliate links.
- Scrivener. My favorite software for drafting novels and book-length nonfiction. There’s a free trial version and once you get hooked, the full license is very affordable.
- Literary Hub. Book reviews, craft articles, interviews, industry insights.
- Electric Literature. Reading lists, fiction, essays on books, conversations.
- Submittable. The platform that will help you submit your prose and find (literary) magazines.
- Duotrope. A resource for finding agents, publications, and more. Paid subscription, but with a free trial.
- Manuscript Wishlist. A website on which agents and editors at publishing houses post what they are looking for.
- Why you should aim for 100 rejections a year. The title should make you curious enough.
- Online Thesaurus. For when the right word seems just out of reach.
- Grammar Girl. Tips, tricks, myths, and examples—so much to learn.
- The Writer’s Dictionary. Literary and linguistic terms explained.
- Writing Exercises from Matt Bell. Great author newsletter.
- Craft Articles on Flash Fiction from Kathy Fish. Another great author newsletter.
- Writer Beware. About the shadow world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.