Working With Me

My goal as a memoir coach is to help you break through in your writing from doubt to self-confidence. I guide you through decisions such as whether you write in present or past tense, or a mixture of both. Or how to structure your memoir: in a patchwork structure or braided, experimental or conventional.

I help you to:
  • find your voice
  • develop the skills and confidence needed to craft a compelling and moving life story
  • engage with questions of voice, themes, story arc, structure, character development, dialogue, and pace
  • re-create your memories on the page
  • resolve questions of how much to tell of your story
  • create a research plan for the background to your story and for interviews (if needed)
  • create a roadmap and timeframe for the completion of your project
  • discuss the deeper issues and themes underlying your work.
I provide a range of different services:
  • a free half-hour video call to discuss your project and ideas
  • an introductory coaching package
  • a package of 3, 5 or 8 coaching consultations
  • in-depth critique of a completed manuscript.

The decision to write your memoir is a huge step. It’s hard to know how to begin, and sometimes, how to maintain momentum. In your free half-hour video call, we can talk about what you want to do and the sort of help you need. I will explain how I work with clients and how my methods could help bring your project to life. In this initial chat we discover whether we will make a good team. The steps forward become clear.

“After reading Paula Keogh’s poetic and moving memoir, The Green Bell, I invited her to be a guest author for my writing classes. My students were impressed by Paula’s professional workshops, her caring teaching style and inspiring writing exercises.”
Tania Chandler, author of Please Don't Leave Me Here and Dead in the Water.

“The task is to harness language to your purpose,
play with words, and critique what comes.”

Schedule a free half-hour video call to discuss your project and ideas

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1. Introductory package

This package is for people just starting their memoir. The sessions will be guided by your intentions and the needs of your particular project. You will clarify why you’ve decided to write your story and who your audience is. We’ll look at themes, the structure best suited to your story, and your timeframe. We could consider your experiences of remembering and your writing practice. Reviews of your writing explore the craft of storytelling and venture into issues such as themes, narrative arc, structure, character development, voice and pace.

The package includes 3 video conferencing calls of 1 hour and a review of up to 10 pages of your writing each call.

2. Consultation Packages of 5, 8, or 10 consultations

These consultations are for those who are already on their way. Guided by your intentions and questions, I will mentor you through issues arising from your project. In the initial half-hour free call, we discuss your particular situation, where you are up to and where you’re heading. These packages include:

  • a thorough read-through of up to 10,000 words of writing and comments/review of that work per call
  • discussion of themes, structure, voice, story arc, character development, dialogue, and pace
  • discussion in each call of up to ten pages of your manuscript plus a copy with comments
  • reflection on your practice of remembering and writing.
3. Manuscript Assessment

If you already have a substantial manuscript and want an assessment, this service is for you. It will give you direction and constructive feedback on your work. In the initial free half hour call we can discuss your intentions for your memoir, the theme(s) and the story arc. With the assessment you will receive:

  • a full read-through
  • a copy of the manuscript with comments
  • suggestions on theme development, and overall structure
  • a 3 – 5 page written critique including encouragement on what is working
  • two one-hour phone or video calls to go over your manuscript
  • time frame is 3 weeks from receipt of manuscript, or as otherwise agreed.

“Reading Paula’s assessment, I could see she really understood my story. In three weeks after sending her my manuscript, she returned it to me with typed notes in the margins, along with a seven-page written assessment. She was quick to point out what was working and why it was working, both in the assessment and in her commentary. She also brought up what wasn’t working, what she saw as structural problems, and she included suggestions for possible solutions. After a zoom call to discuss her feedback, I was ready to dive back into my manuscript with renewed vigour to address her suggestions.”
Priscilla Harvey

Schedule a free half-hour video call to discuss your project and ideas

Schedule Now

Introductory Package


Consultation Packages
5 one-hour video calls and review of writing $1100
8 one-hour video calls and review of writing $1500
10 one-hour video calls and review of writing: $1800

Manuscript Assessment
$895 per 100 pages of a manuscript, with a minimum of 250 pages.
A 300-page manuscript will be $2,685.
Further consultations can be negotiated.

“I mentor you to break through to courage,
memory by memory, word by word.”

Schedule Now