Work with Laura

If interested, please query for details and availability. All services are tailored to individual needs.

Creative Mentorship

Is your writing/creative life at a stand still, and you wish you had some one-on-one personal guidance? Would you like to have reading suggestions, generative exercises, discussions about the creative life and your work? Do you want regular feedback on your drafts and ideas?

As your mentor, I come to understand your goals and desires and create individualized suggestions based on your needs. Together we build a relationship where we have monthly exchanges, initially for three months, with the possibility of continuing.

  • In-person or phone/virtual
  • $175-$325/ month depending on depth of the exchange

Manuscript Consultation

Are you looking for detailed feedback on your chapbook or a book-length manuscript?

As your consultant, I provide full, deep-level consultations that include feedback on strength of manuscript as a whole, sentence-level edits, suggestions for possible publication, and a one-hour phone call. Alternatively, I offer global consultations (that do not include line edits). I work with beginning and established writers.

  • Pricing: Variable, estimated on the needs of the project. To start that discussion, Contact me.

“Laura Van Prooyen is both insightful and kind. Her critique was illuminating. After her global reading, I felt like I had the awareness I needed to take this work to the next level. I highly recommend working with her!”

Kelly Fordon, client and author of two short story collections I Have the Answer and Garden for the Blind (Wayne State University Press) and a poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House (Kattywompus Press).

Virtual or In-Person Writing Workshops

Are you looking for an engaging experience for your group? I work with all ages and all levels, designing workshops based on your needs. Workshops can be generative, discussion-based, or designed toward a specific goal, such as developing a book-length collection.

Workshops also available for expressive writing toward healing and wellness (for veterans, active-service members, trauma survivors, retirement communities, and other interested groups).

Suggested pricing based on workshop design and needs. To start that discussion, Contact me.

“Laura Van Prooyen has taught the Martha Spoor Young Writers’ Workshop each summer since 2015. I am impressed by the quality of the workshop when I see the students in action during the session and in the writing they read at the culminating reception. As an audience, we are always moved by their pieces and by the joy they obviously experienced in the workshop with Laura. These middle-school students really connect with her. They feel safe to explore themselves in both playful and significant ways. The workshop is a great success!”

Frank E. Alfaro, Ed. D., Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services
Alamo Heights ISD, Alamo Heights, TX

Workshops for Teachers

Poetry for STAAR

Gretchen Bernabei and I have put together a wonderful new process to “pop the hood” on a poem to discover what makes it work, using text structures to unlock the engine of a poem. Teachers will participate in the modeled lessons, reading and re-reading a poem closely, to identify the author’s craft and text structure of the poem, and to leverage what they have learned to write their own evocative poems. All lessons are TEKS-aligned, and teacher’s will participate in creating text-based questions using STAAR stems. Book required for participants: Text Structures from Poetry.

Teacher Training in Reading and Writing Poetry: Grades 3-12

I individually design workshops for schools, districts, and regional education service centers, based on client needs.

Query me for workshop fees and availability.

“Amazing, insightful, and enjoyable! I loved being able to experience lessons just as students would, so I know how they feel and what to anticipate. It was a lovely mix of STAAR-helpful prep and authentic creative writing. Thank you!”

Elizabeth Bartels, 4th grade ELA Teacher, Southwest ISD

Readings

I am available to read my poems (and teach workshops) and at universities, in schools, and within community settings. I also can accommodate small groups for readings/discussions of my work.

“Laura’s Creative Mentorship spurred me to the next level in my journey, and her thoughtful treatment of even the roughest draft has been invaluable. In our monthly conversations, she guided me to make and meet achievable writing goals and provided a targeted reading list, so I could discover craft examples to study and emulate. Laura met me where I was, celebrating and challenging me at each turn. With her direction and encouragement, my writing evolved and my forward trajectory continues even after our time together ended. I signed on for a second mentorship, and I can barely wait to begin. Laura’s delight in sharing poetry is palpable.”

Dee Susong, client and Special Education Teacher, Bryker Woods Elementary, Austin, TX

“Because I know Laura is an excellent poet and a careful reader of other’s poetry, I felt she would provide an honest opinion of my new, large-in-scope manuscript-in-progress. I’ve found that Laura is not only an in-depth reader, but she is also a guide, providing detailed notes, giving meaningful references to read and consider, suggesting edits and sequencing ideas that enhance the work and its flow. Laura can see the whole of the book and give superb guidance in making the work come alive. I’m very happy that I chose Laura’s creative mentorship.”

Marcia Roberts, client and author of several chapbooks, most recently What She Knows (Blaze Vox Books) In the Bird’s Breath (Effing Press)

“I had the privilege of having Laura as a poetry mentor and my MFA thesis advisor in the Miami University Low-Res Creative Writing Program. Laura approached my work with care and attention, and it was obvious she was rooting for my success. Her feedback was thoughtful, pointed, and encouraging. Her facilitation in workshops fostered a serious, professional environment that still allowed for humor and fellowship. Laura’s warmth and personality make her approachable, and I always felt comfortable asking questions or seeking additional help.”

Alex McIntosh, MFA in Poetry, 2019

“I work in an Intensive Outpatient Program with service members who have a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. In October 2014, Laura joined our group to lead the narrative component of the treatment process. Laura’s goal, from the beginning, was not to transform these wounded warriors into writers; rather, she offered them a creative way to express emotions related to the trauma of war they’ve been trying to avoid for years. Her work with the soldiers has been successful beyond all expectations. During each six-week cohort, the patients eagerly anticipate Laura’s weekly session. This is a tough group to penetrate, but Laura, using a simple approach, is helping these heroes to express and release their emotions through writing. She is a vital part of our treatment team.”

Roy Gissendanner, Psychology Technician
Intensive Outpatient Program, Clinic of Behavioral Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center

“The perfect workshop! I am ‘wowed’ by Text Structures from Poetry, the steps we went through, and the strategies I am walking away with. My brain is running with ideas for my students. You inspired me to dig deeply and write about issues I thought were gone.”

Michelle Russo, 12th Grade English Teacher, Cornerstone Christian Schools