Writing Coach

Is writing holding you back when you're trying to get ahead? Do you struggle with structure every time you write? Does writing sometimes make you want to quit? I guide writers through the development of their work — from academic writing to fiction, from application essays and test essays to plays. I have a subspecialty in working with individuals with disabilities, including executive functioning disorders (such as ADHD), learning disabilities, and anxiety disorders; my unique coaching system supports all writers of all ages and skill levels, from high school students to doctoral candidates, by focusing on the individual's specific writing process. I am a doctoral student in Literacy Education at Syracuse University, and conduct in-person coaching sessions in the Central New York area; for those farther-flung, I am happy to arrange sessions via phone or Skype.

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)

Disabilities Services
Eileen Berger, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Education Neuroscience
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)

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.

Joyce

graduate student

Gemma was incredibly patient and attentive. She helped me discover and develop my own personal writing process. She was a godsend for someone with LDs like mine.

Victor

graduate student

Gemma helped me pass the writing portion of the communication/literacy MTEL! She provided me with useful strategies that made the test so much easier.

Joanna

student teacher

Thank you for the impact you have made in my education.

Tabitha

GED student

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!

Rory

playwright

Contact me to collaborate on writing, editing, education, and theater!

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