Mentor & Consult

Creative Mentorship

Do 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
  • Initial three month commitment
  • Monthly cost depends on depth of the exchange. To start that discussion, Email Laura.

“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, Special Education Teacher

Manuscript Mentorship & Consultation

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

Manuscript Mentorship is ideal for someone who has a body of work-in-progress who aims to build a collection of poems to prepare for publication. The process includes written feedback and a monthly 90-minute phone call. This process also includes reading books of contemporary poetry with a critical eye as a reference point for revision and to understand the context of literary publishing. This mentorship springs from best practices and experience in building books, and requires a three to five month commitment with monthly exchanges.

  • Cost depends on depth of the exchange. To start that discussion, Email Laura.

“Laura Van Prooyen is such a gem! I worked with her on my first book of poetry, choosing the Manuscript Mentorship option. She was thoughtful, attentive, and able to see patterns in my work that I would have never seen on my own. She worked with me to maintain my manuscript schedule at a pace that felt intentional and user-friendly. Some of my material required a deep personal dive and she gave me helpful writing exercises that assured me I would not be overwhelmed. She is an excellent advocate, and I highly recommend working with her.”

Mary Jane Philpy-Dollins, MSN, RN 

Consultations vary and typically require 1-2 exchanges. I provide full, deep-level consultation 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 can 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, Email Laura.

“Laura Van Prooyen is an outstanding writing consultant. She’s both honest and encouraging in her remarks, pointing out what works and offering practical suggestions for improvement. She also has a strong talent for looking at a manuscript through the eyes of an acquisitions editor, explaining how to arrange the material so the reader is hooked from the very first page. I fully recommend Laura for writers who want to take their craft to the next level.”

Richard Cole, author of Catholic by Choice (Loyola Press), The Glass Children (University of Georgia Press) and Success Stories (Limestone Books)

 

“Laura is generous, direct, and masterful in her guidance. She condenses decades of accumulated wisdom into highly tailored feedback designed to help you reach the next levels of truth and depth in your writing. Like a mirror that shows you precisely what you need to see, her mentorship sessions will change the trajectory of your journey as a poet.”

Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, PhD

“As a non-native English speaker with a science background, I always felt insecure about sharing my writing. Laura made me feel safe with her kindness and professionalism. Since we began working together, I’ve witnessed my work evolving with a speed that has surprised me. From the beginning of the Creative Mentorship, I noticed the benefits of Laura’s honest feedback on my work as well as in the way I look at my own potential. She has given me excellent reading recommendations that she has tailored with care to my evolving needs and focus. Laura is a pleasure to work with and always leaves me feeling curious and inspired.”

Monica Pernia Marin, MD

“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 Manuscript Mentorship.”

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

“What has made the Creative Mentorship so meaningful to me is the time and attention Laura provides when reviewing my work, the gentle way in which she delivers constructive feedback, and her thoughtful recommendations on reading assignments, which she tailors to my individual learning needs. Because of her, I feel I have grown considerably as a reader of poetry, and as a writer generally; I am more confident with self-editing.  While I have had several works accepted for publication after working with Laura, it’s been the shared camaraderie and learning that I have valued most.”

Evelyn, Physician

“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 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

Laura Van Prooyen is both insightful and kind. Her critique was illuminating. After her consultation, I felt like I had the awareness I needed to take my manuscript to the next level. I highly recommend working with her!

Kelly Fordon, 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).