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'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.

Jean

writer & massage therapist

Gemma helped me break down my work, keep things manageable, and graduate from grad school. She is not only a fabulous organizational coach, but also a fabulous person, who I would recommend without hesitation.

Whitney

educator

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

Gemma is a talented coach and educator who is adept at assisting her students with learning and writing processes. She was an excellent support to me in chunking and organizing my work into manageable pieces and supporting fluid thinking in my writing. I strongly recommend her services to others looking to strengthen their organization, time management, and writing skills.

Suzanna

graduate student

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

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