5 Encouraging Authors Helping Other Writers Find Their Creative Voices
For aspiring writers, having access to mentors and other resources can provide essential assistance for future publishing careers. Fortunately, there are many authors who offer support to beginning scribes in the form of courses, advice books, and editing services. Here, in no particular order, are writers sharing their expertise with other wordsmiths.
Entering the list at #1 is Teresa Funke, owner of Teresa Funke & Company. She is the award-winning author of multiple novels for adults and children based on true stories from World War II, and creator of Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life, which is both a book and blog. As a writing consultant, she offers aspiring authors a variety of masterclasses, such as how to write historical fiction and tips for developing dialogue.
Funke hosts writing workshops that cover a range of topics, including editing, marketing, and self-publishing. Among the other resources she offers are recommended reading for writers, and tools for goal planning and organizing book drafts. She has been featured on the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Podcast, and has contributed guest blogs to the Nonfiction Authors Association and Buy the Book Marketing.
At #2 is Chris Fox, author of the Write Faster, Write Smarter series, which aims to teach authors how to maximize their time by writing faster, building effective habits, and marketing to a specific audience. Titles include Plot Gardening, a guide to outlining a novel, and 5,000 Words Per Hour, which offers tips on increasing output. Through his YouTube channel, Fox shares strategies for world-building, character development, and staying motivated.
Fox is also the author of The Magitech Chronicles, a series of science-fiction novels with similarities to the games Dungeons & Dragons and StarCraft. The first book, Tech Mage, begins when a man awakens in chains with no memory, and is conscripted to fight in an intergalactic war. Fox has been interviewed about writing and marketing across a number of outlets, including The Creative Penn, Self Publishing Formula, and The Fearless Storyteller Podcast.
Coming in at #3 is Lynsey G, a journalist, author, and publisher. A former editor-in-chief at WHACK! Magazine, her work has also been published in Rolling Stone, Glamour, Allure, and Men's Health. She offers what she calls heart-to-heart writing coaching, where she works with authors to help them tackle such challenges as writer's block, story plot holes, and information overload.
Among the services Lynsey G provides to private clients are targeted beta reading, copy-editing, and proofreading. She holds a certificate in publishing from the City College of New York, and was an assistant production editor for a romance imprint at Penguin. The author is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Oneshi Press, an independent publisher of graphic novels, comics, and illustrated books in Missoula, Montana.
Landing at #4 is Jane Friedman. This veteran of the publishing industry is the editor of The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors that was named Media Outlet of the Year in 2020 by Digital Book World. In her book The Business of Being a Writer, Friedman offers an overview of the industry, with advice on such topics as querying agents, blogging, and advertising.
A professor with the online educational resource The Great Courses, Friedman has also delivered keynotes and workshops at numerous worldwide industry events, including the Writer's Digest annual conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and BookExpo America. She has held positions as a professor of writing, media, and publishing at the University of Cincinnati and University of Virginia. Friedman's creative nonfiction appears in anthologies such as Every Father's Daughter and Drinking Diaries.
Finishing up the list at #5 is author and speaker Melissa Gijsbers. Her work spans a number of genres including picture books, novels for children, and flash fiction. To help students address writer's block, she created the LitPrompts series, using subjects such as dinosaurs, space, and fairy tales as inspiration.
Through her Bright Ideas Program, Gijsbers offers tips for young writers. Members of the group also receive monthly challenges, bookmarks, and stickers. Additionally, the author regularly contributes content to the Australasian Christian Writers blog, as well as the Chapter Book Challenge. She hosts presentations for schools and libraries, where she covers such topics as how to write realistic fiction.