(NOTE: CLASS IS FILLED) Another One-Day Creative Writing Kickstart class!

CLASS IS FILLED, but I will continue to offer one-day workshops regularly. Thanks.


Greetings, writers and writerly types,

I’m offering a one-day creative writing workshop –Creative Writing Kickstart– on Sunday, April 14. The class will touch on various aspects of creative writing craft, but our main focus, now that the snow is (nearly) gone is to get the creative juices flowing.

In one afternoon, we’ll read and discuss some fabulous published works –poetry, memoir and fiction, with maybe a little children’s lit thrown in there– talk about what makes great writing great, and complete three or four short writing prompts.

The class is fun and low-key and designed for writers of all abilities, experience levels and genres. If you’re a longtime writer in need of a boost or someone who’s always had an interest in writing but never known how to sit down and get started, please join us! And please feel free to send this email to anyone else who might enjoy the class.

Limited to eleven. If you’re interested, please email me at alison_mcghee@hotmail.com to reserve a spot.

Date: Sunday, April 14
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Place: my house in the Uptown neighborhood of south Minneapolis. On-street parking is usually plentiful, and I’m three blocks from several bus stops in all directions.
Cost: $50.
Bring: yourself, a pen and a notebook. Water and some sort of tasty treat will be provided.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Manuscript Critique Service:

Poem of the Week, by Paul Farley

The Power
– Paul Farley

Forget all of that end-of-the-pier

palm-reading stuff. Picture a seaside town

in your head. Start from its salt-wrack-rotten smells

and raise the lid of the world to change the light,

then go as far as you want: the ornament

of a promenade, the brilliant greys of gulls,

the weak grip of a crane in the arcades

you’ve built, ballrooms to come alive at night,

then a million-starling roost, an opulent

crumbling like cake icing …

Now, bring it down

in the kind of fire that flows along ceilings,

that knows the spectral blues; that always starts

in donut fryers or boardwalk kindling

in the dead hour before dawn, that leaves pilings

marooned by mindless tides, that sends a plume

of black smoke high enough to stain the halls

of clouds. Now look around your tiny room

and tell me that you haven’t got the power.

For more information on Paul Farley, please click here: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=27

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alison-McGhee/119862491361265?ref=ts

Manuscript Critique Service Available


Are you a serious writer looking for a careful, devoted reading and critique of your manuscript? We are senior editor-writers with many years’ experience in both writing and editing books of all kinds. Our specialties: novels (adult, young adult and children’s), memoirs, short story collections, essay collections, general nonfiction, mysteries, thrillers and noir.

Critique services

1) an extremely careful reading, followed by 2) a summary critique letter, usually 3-5 pages, detailing the editor’s overall sense of your work and what sort of revisions would make it the best possible manuscript, followed (if desired) by a telephone consultation.

$600 for a book-length work of up to 60,000 words.
$800 up to 80,000 words.
$1000 for 80,000-100,000 words.

Line-editing and margin notes are also available for an additional charge of $60/hour.


“Brad Zellar is a writer capable of conjuring character, situations and images that shift fluidly between the painful and the hilarious, always in a way that gives me a jolt of recognition. I love so many of his stories. I treasure his opinions on literature, on music, and on film. As for his editorial skills, the fact is that my graphic memoir Stitches would not exist if it were not for Mr. Zellar.  He recognized in me an ability and a strength that I thought I didn’t possess. He took me (figuratively, of course) by the collar, stared me in the eye, bared a single glistening fang, and dared me to write and draw what turned out to be the book of my life.”
David Small, Caldecott Award winner and author of Stitches (W.W. Norton, 2009), which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called “Emotionally raw, artistically compelling and psychologically devastating graphic memoir of childhood trauma. . . . Graphic narrative at its most cathartic.”

“Brad Zellar is as precise and economical an editor as he is a writer. He read my novel, The End of Baseball, helped me to see and, more importantly, understand, its strengths and weaknesses – without excessively finagling with the plot. If you want a professional who can help make your prose clean and your characters real, Brad Zellar is your man.”
Peter Schilling, author of The End of Baseball (Ivan R. Dee, 2008) which the Baltimore Sun called “the best baseball novel so far this century.”

“Thank you for introducing me to Mr. Zellar. When I first read his critique, it was evident he knew exactly what I was trying to do, and say, in my novel. I knew before I went into the critique that I had major issues with a certain area of the manuscript. Mr. Zellar immediately noticed and identified the problem. Through his critique and our subsequent conversation, I came up with a great solution to my problem! What’s funny is that I had strayed far from the course, and he led me back to where I originally began. His advice is invaluable.” – M. Longstreth

“I have worked with Mr. Zellar for almost one year now. In that time, he has edited and made suggestions for revising seven of my short stories and a novel manuscript. He reads everything at least three times, comparing notes he makes with each reading so that his final review is particularly well thought-out and consistent. For some of my shorter pieces he recommended very little change, and for others major reorganization–in other words, he doesn’t use a script.  The scope of his editing services has included suggestions for reading certain novels and short stories to help me understand a suggestion, e.g., a subtle change in a narrator’s voice. I wouldn’t think of sending out a submission of any kind without the advantage of his remarkable critical eye. Please feel free to contact me with any questions (contact info available upon request). – Donna Trump

Payment (via Paypal or personal check): Two-thirds upon manuscript acceptance and the last third upon completion of the edit. Turnaround time is approximately three weeks, often sooner. For more information, email alison_mcghee@hotmail.com. You may send your work as a Word or WordPerfect attachment.