Writing Coach, GemmaCooperNovack.com, Boston, MA and elsewhere (2011-present)
Instructor, Various Writing Courses, Brookline Adult and Community Education, Brookline, MA (2014-present)
Instructor, “Writing Rights,” Boston Plan for Excellence, Boston, MA (2013-2014)
Resident Writing Coach, Boston Teacher Residency, Boston, MA (2013-2014)
Writing Coach, Access and Disabilities Services, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2010–2014)
Adult Education Instructor, Truman College at Association House of Chicago (2007–08)
High School Tutor, Howard Area Community Center, Chicago, IL (2007)
ESL Tutor, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Chicago, IL (2004–05)
Eileen Berger, Harvard Graduate School of Education
L. Todd Rose, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“Inclusive Practices for Graduate Students with Disabilities: A Writing Coach Model” (with Eileen Connell Berger), NASPA Knowledge Communities (2013)
“More Time Is Not Enough: Supporting Graduate Students with Learning Disabilities Using a Writing Coach Model, a Case Study” (with Eileen Connell Berger and Yamila Hussein), Conference on Equity and Social Justice, Syracuse University (2014)
FAQ: The “Snake Fight” Portion of Your Thesis Defense (McSweeney’s)
I had been working with a rather flat plot [for my musical], and Gemma pushed me to heighten the tension by creating greater differences between the characters and by stretching me out of my comfortable material, all while keeping me feeling comfortably in control of my own story. The amazing part? I had my plot and relationships straightened out with heightened stakes and character development, to my excitement and delight, all within two sessions. … [W]ith Gemma's coaching, I will be on my way to digging into writing — a place I had been struggling to get to for over a year. Thank you, Gemma!
Gemma's class, "Writing Longer Fiction," helped me access a deeper, conscious connection with my developing form as a writer. I continued working with her as a coach when the class structure ended. She recognizes where research is needed to strengthen familiarity or broaden perspective. Gemma hears the voice of the project clearly and knows the questions to ask to help its form stay true to its evolution. I have found her guidance invaluable and it continues to be a fascinating unfolding for me.
writer & massage therapist
Working with Gemma has transformed my writing process. In our weekly meetings, Gemma helps me to prioritize the papers I’m working on, think short-term and long-term about what writing projects I want to accomplish, and carve out time in my schedule for specific writing tasks. When I feel stuck on a paper, or completely overwhelmed by my work, she gives me encouragement and helps me find a way out. When I need help thinking through the logic of a section or even a paragraph, she reads with a sharp but empathetic eye. She always seems to grasp what I’m trying to do even when my writing is a mess. I love working with Gemma! I’m a much more focused, productive and calm writer as result of her coaching. I sing her praises to all my academic friends!
"So far Gemma sets reachable weekly goals that have helped me a leave a serious year or two of writer's block. She's also been great with visualizing the presentation of qualitative data in diagrams and figures."
Gemma has helped me break down seemingly huge projects into manageable pieces that I can act upon. She helps me plan my time in such a way that I am more likely to find success. Gemma also knows when a plan needs adjusting so that I may find greater success with the things that I want and need to accomplish. Gemma's kind and understanding approach helps me move forward with her recommendations. She understands how people with ADHD operate with work and academics. She gets it and provides concrete help.
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