Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Aaron Raz Link has been teaching for twenty-five years. As a writer, his credits include independent press columns, book reviews, label texts for major museums, public information flyers on topics from California wildlife to street art, three books for the games industry, memoir, and essays. As a writing coach, he helps writers discover what they are really writing about, and find themselves and their readers through their subject. You can find his memoir What Becomes You in Tobias Wolff’s American Lives series from the University of Nebraska Press; it was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His essays have appeared in journals including Brevity, Prairie Schooner, Parabola, TriQuarterly Online, Water-Stone Review, and Fourth Genre, and anthologies including GenderQueer andFamily Trouble; Memoirists on the Hazards and Rewards of Revealing Family. As a reviewer for the professional journal Book News, he sees what many publishers are looking for. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA in the History of Science, and is a proud graduate of clown school (Dell’Arte International). Currently, he is an assistant professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Aaron’s Book Coaching Statement:
I believe in helping people do their own best work. As a writer working with me, you have my unconditional respect and support. I have worked with nonfiction writers and poets, writers who are or aren’t seeking publication at this point, writers with many books in print and writers who have never published before. Any writer who chooses to find a writing coach has committed to growing their work. I will focus with you on the text. I see my job as collaborative listening. In every draft is the seed of finished work. My greatest strength as a book coach is that I’m a very good listener to your writing at any stage. The writing tells me what it’s trying to say, so I can tell you, so you can hear your own work more easily and revise more effectively. I’ll point out key words or passages. Sometimes I’ll ask questions so I can understand the text better. I’ll say in my own words the themes I’m hearing in the piece. When I offer suggestions for revision, I’ll say why. I will often suggest particular writers or pieces of writing that I think you’ll find helpful. I’ll often give you an exercise to try, because in my experience, people learn by doing. So I can’t tell you the answers (you’re the writer), but I can show you specific places and ways to find answers that work for you, now and for the future. And I’ll be with you in the trenches.
My background includes writing about science, nature, history, minority experience, theatre, and the visual arts, as well as coaching cross-genre writing and illustrated texts. My influences include E.B. White, Suzan-Lori Parks, Annie Dillard, Idries Shah, Quentin Crisp, Archie Carr, James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, W.G. Sebald, Jan Morris, and Dinty W. Moore. I think we write to discover–and then revise to communicate with readers about–questions and moments we cannot forget. They may happen at home or across the world. They may bring up every idea and feeling human beings can have. I will never judge you or the experiences you write about. I will always challenge your writing to help me and other readers understand those experiences more fully. I won’t try to impose my culture or point of view on your work; I will help you use your own to communicate with the readers you want to reach. I’ve worked with professors, scientists, soldiers, service workers, border crossers, teachers, hustlers, emu ranchers, Cirque du Soleil clowns…
I am here to help you make your work speak in ways readers will truly hear and understand. I do it by helping you find, clarify, and strengthen words and structures in your draft that carry the meaning. Many writers have told me this process also helps them understand who they are and what they have to say.