So here’s something I’ve secretly been doing and loving–editing essays. My service is called Essay Transforming. It goes something like this: You have an essay idea or a draft of an essay you’d like to finish. You email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) We’ll talk about your goals for the essay. I’ll help you figure out where and why there is struggle. We’ll find the story that you really want to tell and I’ll help you flesh it out. We’ll get to the grit of the essay and I will encourage you to say the things that are hard to say.
2) I’ll give you stylistic suggestions and critique.
3) I’ll provide you with generous feedback and suggestions, grammatically and emotionally.
4) Look at your second draft and fine-tune.
5) Brainstorm with you places to submit the essay for publication, depending on your goals.
COST: Yes! This does cost a small amount of money. Email me and we’ll come up with a fee based on your needs and word count. I can assure you that I am the least expensive person you will find offering this. As you know, I’m an essay and creative non-fiction junkie, so I’m only offering this class to personal essays and CNF. I know you have it in you to write phenomenal essays!
TESTIMONIAL: Working with Chloe Caldwell has been a game-changer. I went from having a few essays kicking around in my head to writing a book. Her observations were instrumental in getting to the grit of my work. Chloe gently nudged me to explore the rawest, truest parts of my work, and she did it with such grace and insight that it didn’t even feel like a critique. She’s the Essay Whisperer! –Erika Kleinman
Here’s excerpts from two essays I worked with Erika on:
Our Bodies, Our Elvis
We played My Little Pony and Barbies all the time. We always knew just what to make them say and do, and we always had the same ideas about what was necessary. I had a Brooke Shields doll and a Michael Jackson doll. They totally fucked. Well, as much as two plastic dolls with no sex parts could possibly fuck. We both had Cabbage Patch kids. They did not fuck. Your grandma bought you a knockoff for your first doll and you were disappointed. The nose was pointy on the sides instead of round, and her eyes were different. They were a little dull-looking. Her name was Crystal. We grew to love her anyway. You got a regular one later.
How To Communicate With Your Dead Brother
When you communicate with your dead brother, you have to do it on the down-low. Communicate with him around other people, but be cool about it. Turn up “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band when it’s on the radio. Sing along with it very loudly, hitting every single note and brrrehr-breh-ehr! The best people will sing along with you. Most people will just sit quietly and listen to you while looking out the window. Sometimes people will try and talk to you while you sing. Don’t answer them. Just keep singing right over them. Maybe do a little air guitar, even though you’ll have to take your hands off the wheel.
I have studied Creative Non-fiction at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and have studied with Authors Melissa Febos, Kevin Sampsell, Katherine Dykstra, and Cheryl Burke.
Read my essay samples below:
Thanks everyone! Spread the word! One essay at a time, let’s do this. In this video below, Cheryl Strayed (Read my essay about her here) says “Artists are here to tell the truth. If you’re not going to tell the truth, don’t bother.”