Although most people think of writing as a solitary endeavor, many other people are behind the scenes. Most successful writers tell their readers they couldn’t have made it without the help and support of family and friends. For other writers, support comes in the form of an author coach.  Working with a coach in sports pushes you to the top of your game. Your coach helps you refine your skills and correct problems. An author coach or writing coach does the same thing with the written word.

What Does an Author Coach Do?

What your writing coach does depends on where you are in your writer’s journey. If you’re a novice, a coach can help you with the basics, including book structure, what works and doesn’t work in your genre, and how to stay focused. If you’re finished with a manuscript but know it needs refining, an author coach can help you finesse rough passages or develop a better flow. 

Your coach can help you take good writing and create excellent writing. A good writing coach will work with you on everything from becoming more productive to improving your grammatical skills. They can also help you find a consistent voice that fits your topic and personality.

Know What You Need

If you’re considering a coach, examine what you want out of the relationship. Know what you need so your coach can keep you on track, and your concerns are addressed. 

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where do you feel your book should be going?
  • What is the one writing skill you really struggle with?
  • Are you most concerned about structure, storyline, research, or style?
  • What kind of coaching do you want? Online? Via phone? In-person?
  • Do you want a very hands-on author coach or someone who merely offers advice from the background?
  • What three questions would you ask your coach first?

These questions help when you talk to potential coaches, as they give them an idea of where you’re at and what your needs are. This doesn’t mean your writing coach won’t offer other avenues you may need to pursue. If they realize you’re struggling in an area that could impact publication, listen to what they have to say. Sometimes a critical eye helps – as writers, we are so intimately attached to our own writing that sometimes we don’t see problems until they are pointed out.

Topics to Address with an Author Coach

You can talk to a coach about nearly any topic relating to writing, but common issues where they can be a tremendous help include:

  • Content strategies
  • Your writing goals
  • Creating an outline or framework that works
  • Defining and understanding your audience
  • Motivational techniques
  • Editing and rewrites
  • Writing assessments
  • Finding your voice/style
  • Motivation when yours is flagging.

At Dudley Court Press, we offer individual author coaching with Gail Woodard, a best-selling author, and publisher. These private phone sessions focus on your and your writing journey. We also offer Writer’s Sprint, a nine-week group writing productivity program where you’ll work with Gail and a small group of others who appreciate the value of accountability to get their projects done. Gail’s coaching has helped many writers cross the finish line to become published authors.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a contemporary publishing company, we help thoughtful people write and publish books for all sorts of reasons. For more information about our Developmental Editing, Coaching, Consulting and Professional Self-Publishing options, please reach us at +1-520-329-2729 or

We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive ten-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir.

– Gail Woodard