Carolyn is available for manuscript consultations, coaching, and editorial services (more information below), as well as readings, workshops, and other teaching opportunities.

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Editing and Consulting

Consulting for Creative Writers

I’d love to help you reach your writing goals, whether that means reading your full manuscript or cheering you on as you send your first story or packet of poems out into the world.

What I bring to the table: I’m the author of a full-length poetry collection and three chapbooks, and my poems, flash fiction, and short stories have appeared in over 100 literary magazines. I’ve served on the staff of literary magazines (I’m the editor of The Worcester Review), mentored new writers, and I’ve been submitting my own work since 2015. I love connecting with readers and writers.

Individualized Consulting and Coaching for Creative Writers

Services I’m currently booking:

  • Poetry manuscript consultations (full length or chapbook)
  • Feedback (including line edits, suggestions for revision, and proofreading) on individual poems, short stories, and flash/hybrid work. 
  • Accountability check-ins (celebration, not shame!) on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis
  • Submissions assistance (please read on, below)

For a custom quote or to discuss a service not listed here, please reach out via the contact form.

Submissions Consulting

I can help you meet your submissions goals, whether you’re new to the process, submitting your work again after a long hiatus, or ready to develop a regular submissions practice.

On a call (video or audio), we can talk through your questions. Some topics we might cover (it’s up to you!):

  • Overview of the submissions process
  • Common submission management systems
  • Organizing your submissions
  • Creating a submission calendar
  • Submission etiquette
  • Cover letters
  • Bios
  • Formatting your writing for consideration
  • Resources for finding venues for your work
  • Reading journals to find the right fit
  • Developing a submission strategy
  • Magazine submissions vs. contest submissions vs. anthology submissions
  • Dealing with (inevitable) rejection
  • An acceptance! Now what?

Submissions consultation rate: $75/hour. Please contact me for more information.

Personalized Submission Guidance for Poets and Flash/Hybrid Writers

Maybe you’re comfortable with the submissions process, and your work is ready to send out, but you’re just not sure where to begin. I can help.

Send up to five pages of poetry or up to 1000 words of flash fiction (one piece or a few micros, as long as the word count does not exceed 1000), and I’ll suggest 10 literary magazines that might be a good fit for your work (including link to the journal’s submissions page or submissions portal, opening and closing dates, and information on submissions fee).

Flat rate: $100. Please reach out via the contact form, above.

*Please note that I cannot guarantee acceptance by any journal.

I was feeling profoundly stuck trying to narrow down and order a poetry manuscript until Carolyn worked her magic. Her sensitive, insightful and perceptive reading helped elucidate the major themes of the collection, which I had been struggling to articulate, and by association, to identify a core group of poems comprising the heart of the manuscript. Carolyn saw surprising yet undeniable connections between poems that helped to construct sections and knit them together across the manuscript as a whole. Her editorial letter provided generous, clear, and actionable feedback presented in terms of options and opportunities, including several other potential directions for projects including the poems that might not belong in this particular manuscript. She handled my poems with care, respect, and professionalism. Collaborating with Carolyn was enlightening and affirming, and breathed new life into a manuscript I’m excited to continue refining. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

– T.C., poet and literacy teacher

Editorial Services for All Writers

A highly versatile writer and editor with over a decade of experience in writing-related fields, I offer editing, writing, fact-checking, and proofreading services to give you peace of mind and your projects professional polish.

My background includes an MA in English Language and Literature, experience as an in-house proofreader for a major textbook company, freelance editing and ghostwriting, extensive research skills, and four years of teaching at the undergraduate level. Projects I’ve worked on include novels, memoirs, UX case studies, textbooks, cookbooks, and nationally-distributed magazines. My clients have included attorneys, students, tech entrepreneurs, and STEM researchers, among others.

Whether you’re a first-time author with a case of writer’s block, a student facing down those all-important application essays, a job seeker hoping to vault her cover letter to the top of the pile, or a business owner working to enhance her company’s online presence, I can help you meet your goals. With wide-ranging experience and cheerful professionalism, I’ll support you through any writing project.

I respect your words and your voice, and I am committed to helping you craft prose or poetry that reflects your vision.

For more information* or to discuss your current project, please get in touch via the contact form.

*My rates are in line with those listed by the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Here’s what a few clients have to say about my editorial work:

Before entering medical school, I had to go through a long, drawn out application process with roughly ten essays to write.  Carolyn was a lifesaver!  She quickly edited my essays and her keen eye helped me find small errors and her facility with language led me to a much better constructed essay by the end.  I would certainly use her services again!

— E.P., University of Maryland, School of Medicine

When I decided to create my own joint J.D./M.Div. program, I faced the daunting task of explaining in only two pages why I thought it would be a good idea for me to be a law student and a seminarian at the same time.  Carolyn not only proofread my work for spelling and grammar, but provided valuable editorial feedback.   She helped me to state my professional and academic goals clearly and concisely while maintaining my unique voice of personal experience and passion.  Her comments were comprehensive and insightful, and her turnaround time was lightning-fast.  I would recommend her heartily for anyone seeking editorial assistance.

— M.F., Graduate Student

When I launched my own business, I knew my website would be the most important part of my marketing as a service provided online around the world. My website is my company. I had some friends look it over, but I wanted a professional eye to make sure everything was perfect. Carolyn quickly gave me edits on all of the webpages and she found some flat-out errors that I and others had missed. Not only that, but she helped me reconstruct sentences in a better way even if they were technically correct. Thank you, Carolyn!

— S.P., Small-business owner

A little over a year ago I was laid off. I was thrust into the world of writing résumés and cover letters, knowing that it is very hard to differentiate yourself from the multitudes of others applying for the same job. That’s where Carolyn made all the difference. She effortlessly took each iteration of my cover letter and made it more robust and professional. I truly believe that Carolyn’s expertise helped my cover letters reach the top of each hiring manager’s list, which led to interviews and, ultimately, a fantastic job. Thanks Carolyn!

–B., Service Industry Professional

After Carolyn Oliver edited my drafts and tweaked my sentences, my writing sounded graceful and vibrant. Carolyn’s wonderful facility for language transforms words into art and confusion into order. In short, she is a brilliant editor.

— J.M., AP English teacher

Carolyn Oliver was a lifesaver when I was planning my wedding. I had no idea how to even begin to organize and write a ceremony program, so I asked Carolyn for her help. You can imagine how relieved I felt when she sent me a perfectly edited and personalized program the next day! Carolyn really is an expert at editing any sort of document – I also have had personal assistance from Carolyn with, essays, term papers, bibliographies, and college and graduate school applications. She is an excellent writer and editor, and her work reflects the intelligence, attention, and professionalism she devotes to each assignment. Carolyn’s outgoing and cheerful personality make working with her a very enjoyable experience. I would highly recommend taking advantage of Carolyn’s services!

— J.C., Bride and nursing student