Read what my clients have had to say about their coaching experiences:
"Joan was wonderful to work with on my book. Being a first time author of a self-help book, she showed me how to craft a book proposal and make my writing more engaging to my audience. Her support and enthusiasm for my project was invaluable."
-Wanda Swenson, Author
"Joan is a wonderful coach! She is very knowledgeable, fun, supportive, caring, and completely professional. Work with Joan! You'll be so glad you did!”
-Sara Hart, PhD, Author of “The Upside of Downsizing”
"Joan is amazing to work with. She tells you like it is. She is very quick to hone in on the essence of a poem and strategizes ways to
deepen its texture or enlarge its themes. Because of her coaching, my ms. was greatly improved and has been accepted for
publication. I am working with her on my next ms. and know my work will be richer because of her input."
-Claudia Reder, Author of Uncertain Earth and My Father and Miro and other Poems
"You're a wealth of information. A huge thank you!"
-Jackie Berger, author of “The Day You Miss Your Exit,” and Autumn House Prize winner
"I wanted to thank you for your swell suggestion that I check into performing at the Marsh--managed a sold out house and a standing ovation."
-Clyde Always, Spoken Word Artist, San Francisco
"I was on of the participants in your workshop in Oaxaca who took your advice to heart and started submitting my work to whoever looked like an appropriate audience. My first piece of fiction has been published in Tikkun (july 2017) Thanks for coming south and lighting a fire under us.'"
-KT Maclay /participant in Oaxaca Lending Library submission workshop /January 2017
"All ways lead to Joan! She opened exciting doors for me to other networking groups and salons...In short, with her generous spirit and indomitable energy, I couldn't recommend a better guide for writers taking their books out into the world."
-Renate Stendahl, author, “Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures,” and “Kiss Me Again, Paris.”
“Please know that working with you is an enlightening experience and that i am aware of all of the talent and insight that you share. Thank you! "
-JP DiBlasi - Author “First Person Elephant”
"Joan Gelfand's feedback on my poems is invaluable: she sees through my often cluttered lines for the kernel that needs polishing. Her probing questions and steady encouragement keep me focused on what's important to me as a writer."
- Simona Carini
"You were fantastic on Wed. It was beautiful to observe how my students responded to you. Wonderful afternoon, followed by gorgeous music in the evening. With an afternoon like this, the whole world is in harmony. Hugs! "
- Diane Frank
“ Hey, CQ was a great call--I just found out that they will run one of my poems in the fall issue. Thanks for suggesting I submit there!" - Joel
"Thanks for getting together with me; I really appreciate your sharing your insights. The road forward is now much clearer.”
"Meeting and working with Joan has been a god-send. She believes in me and she knows I have the talent, the voice and the drive to write like I want to. She helps me to focus my efforts and gives me specific strategies and tactics to be successful. She encourages and inspires me on many levels and I am grateful for her coaching."
- Chris Young, UX Research Consultant & aspiring writer
"Thank you again so very much for coming out to our bookstore! It was so uplifting and informative...and fun to think of the fires you started with us emerging writers! We will certainly share what we learned with the rest of our membership!”
- Elizabeth Mosteller, President, WNBA greater Philadelphia Chapter
"Your passion carried through to those in the room and beyond into the track as a whole. Attendees went home with new excitement, inspiration, and tools to build their writing careers. And they're letting the conference organizers know about it! Seriously, you’ve been mentioned by name in five star reviews."
- E.A. Provost, Author, Poetry Track Liaison, San Francisco Writer’s Conference
"Joan not only helps me deepen my poetic practice; she also imparts her considerable savvy about the business of being a writer. That she is excited to share such hard-won professional knowledge speaks to the generous nature of her engagement with writing and writers. Moreover, Joan models what she preaches: her latest book of poems is evidence of her own development as an artist. I carry The Long Blue Room with me as a reminder that reaching others through my poetry is a very real possibility. Working with Joan brings this possibility within reach."
- Erin Redfern
“After spending an afternoon with Joan Gelfand talking about innovative ways of book promotion, I always feel renewed, re-inspired, and hopeful again."
"Joan's sweet but tough style of support gave me the push I needed to bring my work to light. With her encouragement, I moved my art from portfolio to public space for the first time in 30 years!"
- Susan Stanger, Web Producer, Graphic Artist, Watercolorist
"Joan's professional and prompt feedback was insightful and very helpful to me in the final stages of editing my manuscript. She gives honest feedback with enthusiasm and encouragement and was wonderful about working with me on a tight deadline."
- Sandra Feder, author
"Joan Gelfand is a phenomenal coach for writers. She has an amazing grasp of how to move publishing hopes from pie-in-the-sky dreams to concrete steps that bring solid results. Working with her is an adventure and a pleasure, and I highly recommend her to writers who want to speed their work out into the world."
- Janet Thornburg, author, Rhubarb Pie: A Short Story Collection
"Joan Gelfand is an enthusiastic and supportive coach. She gave me a lot of ideas on how to promote my book including social media, website, contests, writer organizations, and media."
- Robin Levin, author
"Joan is one of those people with the ability to pull seemingly disparate things together, put them next to each other, and see what happens. As a coach, she has a good grasp of the entirety of the project and the steps needed to get to you to your goal. She is kind, direct and practical, all qualities that work well when dealing with writers searching for the next step. She is also responsive to the needs of the writer and the project, and as things shift and change she does too."
- Clara Weygandt, adjunct professor, UC Santa Cruz
"I’ve known Joan Gelfand and gone to her readings for several years. She is a steely compatriot and wise nudge. Being a working writer is about the need to persist. I can’t think of hiring anyone else more plugged in and supportive. Joan is with you in the trenches, helping you, grabbing your collar when you falter and gently prodding you on."
- Eric J. Silverman, writer
"I’ve been meeting with Joan for several sessions now, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She has given me insight, direction and motivation. I am jazzed about my project and have gotten more done in the past few months than I have in two years."
- Abby Caplin MD, MA
"Thanks, coach for your time today – I’m just so glad I’ve hooked up with you. Feels like the right thing to be doing for me and my work."
- Kathy Barr, founder of Small Plot Press,
publishing limited and unique editions and director of Old First Concerts
"I have had the honor of seeing Joan Gelfand present to large groups on several occasions. Each time I marvel at her uncanny ability to “own the room” while being explosive and elegant simultaneously. Her talent, wisdom, and humor comes from a deep well of soulfulness and practical, real-world experience…thus making her mesmerizing to watch and riveting to listen to."
- Kelly Sullivan Walden (Doctor Dream),
author of Amazon.com’s #1 bestselling book, I Had The Strangest Dream;
Recent Past Present of the Woman’s National Book Association (Los Angeles Chapter)
"Joan Gelfand is the grande dame of practical pedagogy for contemporary poets seeking success. For the past several years, Ms. Gelfand has inspired me to say no to creative compromise and write verse from the heart, and then, what’s more, Joan has guided me through the convoluted (and daunting) layers of today’s literary publishing in order to get my best poems in print."
- Brad Henderson, poet, novelist, memorist, & professor in Writing at UC Davis
"Joan gives straightforward and direct feedback, always delivered in a warm, encouraging manner. She’s very personable and enthusiastic and conscientious about the details too. I was a pleasure to work with her!"
- Clare Ramsaran, writer
"Joan helped with my book “Burned: A Memoir” by offering a healthy does of encouragement, inspiration and most importantly concrete suggestions and professionalism introductions that will help to get my book out to a wider community."
- Louise Nayer, author
"During our meeting Joan provided me with practical, targeted advice for which I am very grateful. Joan not only generously builds community, she is a poet well-versed in the business and promotional side of our craft. I highly recommend her consulting practice to poets at any stage in their careers."
- Christina Lloyd, author
"I really appreciate Joan’s feedback on the first chapters of my novel. I was struggling with voice, and she helped me get it right!"
- Harriet Rohmer, author
"Again, having you around to bounce ideas off, to benefit from your sage advice, to help organize my thinking, and to have a just plain enjoyable and sane-making time on the phone with is invaluable to me. I couldn’t do it without you, Joan. (I know the last sentence is a mess, but you get the idea, I hope)."
- Tom Parker, author
"Joan Gelfand has a generous spirit and fun attitude about her work, but more importantly in our work together she has helped me to set goals and meet them. Joan is a fantastic networker and is eager to share those skills. Through Joan I have met many writers and a variety of new and exciting career opportunities have opened for me. I am grateful to Joan for all her guidance."
- Jenny Overman, author
"Joan Gelfand’s help and encouragement are invaluable and her strong networking skills are on point. She helped me get a piece published in a new area of my writing which is opening doors for the success of the project."
"Joan is a natural mentor and teacher — eager to support others’ growth, thoughtful and specific in her suggestions, generous and passionate about sharing what she knows and loves."
- Nancy B., poet and artist
Joan inspired and provoked me at a time when I really needed it; She was a godsend to this atheist.
Ms. Gelfand sprung to the aid of the incipient Lycidas pulsing within my breast, bridging the schism between my warring internal spirits of striving artistic ambition and pure lassitude and doing so with aplomb.
More from the heart:
I thank Joan for her encouragement and criticism; her experience, judgement and amiability kept me writing and improving. I’m better because of her."
- Dave S., financial services professional
"I really thank Joan for getting me started on my writing plan. I’ve been writing on and off but with Joan’s help decided to get serious. Thank you, Joan!"
- Joan R., breast cancer advocate, green building activist
and frequent contributor to NPR
"With Joan’s support, I have committed to finally putting together a book of my poetry. The submissions group has provided a great support for me to do something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time."
- Kit, poet and director of a popular reading series in San Francisco
"Without Joan’s inspiration I would never have put my chapbook together – nor would I have started my blog. Thanks Joan for leading the way."
- Karen H. Magazine, editor and poet
• Erin Redfern wins Poetry Foundation Prize - "I co-won a PSA poetry award! It's for a small group (10 pages) of poems." (description at #7 here: http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/ind_awards/
• Abbie Caplin published in Tikkun
• Eric Silverman, published in the "J"
• Clare Ramsaran, accepted into an MFA program
• Christina Lloyd, had a chapbook published
• Kathy Barr, published in the "J"; started work on her first novel.
• Tim Carl, accepted into a workshop with Billy Collins
• Janet Thornberg, organized a reading for Women's National Book Association; built her author website
• Robin Levin, had her second novel published; built her on-line reputation
• Rabbi Pam Frydman, published her first full length book, Calling on God