Youth Mentorships & One-on-One Consults

Have you finished a writing project and need a pair of professional eyes to help you polish it? Or are you feeling stuck in a draft and would like some professional support? 

For our ambitious young writers, we’re pleased to offer personalized, one-on-one consultations and coaching with our esteemed faculty members. From first chapters, to college applications, to full novels, these instructors offer a wide range of services. Instructors can help with line edits, big picture ideas, structure, and more. The items below must be emailed to A credit card will be held on file in case we are unable to reach a client at time of payment.

Short Synopsis + Excerpt

Please send a short synopsis (3-5 sentences) of your project and what you’d like the faculty member to help you with and, of course, a sample of the manuscript or pages you would submit for review. Please send up to 5 pages.

Author Choice

Next, please send a ranked list of three (3) authors you’d like to work with. Please note: author availability can change, even temporarily. If your first choice is unavailable, we will move to your 2nd or 3rd choice.


Finally, we will ask for a payment capture form to be filled out before you begin working with a consultant. This will be securely kept in case we are unable to reach you once an invoice as been sent.


We’ll screen your application and coordinate with your requested author(s) over consultation possibility. Once all parties are in agreement, we will connect you with your author and you two can set up your dates, times, and any other necessary information to conduct your consultation. We will also send you details about the deposit and credit card capture. At the beginning of each month, we will bill you for the appropriate amount of hours worked in the previous month, after which time you will be required to pay via PayPal or check within 7 days. Each month will be billed for the hours worked, though the consult can last for as long as both parties are willing.




Services: Full manuscript reads, partial reads, line-editing, one-on-one online or in-person meetings.
Genre: Fiction (YA fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, and Picture Books)
Rate: $120/hr
Jessie Ann Foley is the Printz honor-winning author of the novels The Carnival at Bray, Neighborhood Girls, Sorry for Your Loss, You Know I’m No Good and Breda’s Island. Her work has been named to best-of lists by Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, YALSA, Bank Street, Entertainment Weekly, and many other outlets, and has been featured on school and library recommended reading lists across the United States. Jessie lives with her husband and four children in Chicago.


Services: Full manuscript reads, partial reads, written feedback, line editing, one-on-one online meetings.
Genres: Fiction (Sci-Fi, Speculative, Fantasy)
Rate: $120/hr
Zac Ginsburg, from Chicago, is a writer, teacher, and sci-fi/fantasy nerd. He has designed and taught youth creative writing courses for StoryStudio Chicago, Commonpoint Queens, and WriteOn NYC, which have been attended by teens and tweens from across the U.S., Mexico, India, and China. He is a graduate of The New School’s MFA program in Fiction and is currently teaching Composition at Pace University. He is passionate about helping students bring out the best in their writing and discover their own unique voices. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Wired, The Adroit Journal, Public Seminar, Midway Journal, The Corvus Review, and The Writing Disorder. His flash fiction story, “Dust,” was nominated for the Best Small Fictions Anthology.


Services: Application essay consulting, brainstorming, coaching, and refining; Personal narrative story brainstorming, crafting, coaching, consulting and editing for page and stage; In person/ zoom meetings
Genres: Personal essays and applications; Personal narrative short stories
Rate: $120/hr
A writer, producer and personal narrative storycrafting coach, Suzy’s personal and professional career center on the power of storytelling.  Suzy is currently a co-producer of a monthly live storytelling series called ​Is this a thing?​ featuring true personal tales told on stage. Working with writers to craft their story for page and stage is her specialty. She has been an active mentor and volunteer with Chicago Scholars, helping students from underserved communities in their college process. Big Shoulders Stories​ is Suzy’s latest venture harnessing her skills, talents, and deep commitment to better lives in Chicago into a focused offering: partnering with Chicago’s nonprofit organizations to identify, nurture, and showcase storytellers and their stories in live, and recorded events.


Services: Full manuscript consultation reads; partial reads; line-editing; online or in-person coaching, brainstorming, idea generation
Genres: Fiction (middle grade and young adult; all genres), personal essays, plays
Rate: $120/hr
Denise Santomauro is a writer, editor, author coach, and teaching artist. She has over a decade of experience in arts education working with young people of all ages. As an arts educator, she’s worked with the Auditorium Theatre, Columbia College, Northern Illinois University, Imagination Theater, and more, and has taught fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting classes, as well as used the performing arts as a way to help young people tell their stories. In her own writing, she has written middle grade and young adult novels, developed plays and scenes for young people, contributed content to many blogs, been published in the Dear Sister anthology, and performed live lit around Chicago. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is open to working with 2nd graders through high school seniors. 


Services: Poetry/spoken word consulting, application consulting, personal essay consulting, line editing, one-on-one online coaching
Genres: Poetry, spoken word (5 poems OR 10 pages maximum, whichever comes first), personal essays, applications
Rate: $100/hr
Czaerra Galicinao Ucol (they/she) is a Filipino writer and educator from Chicago. Their debut chapbook Pisces Urges is forthcoming from Sampaguita Press in 2023. Their poems have appeared in The Offing, Just Femme & Dandy, and beestung. They are a Best New Poets 2021 and Best of the Net 2021 nominee, and received their B.A. in Asian/Pacific/American Studies from New York University. They are also the Programs and Communications Director of Luya, a local grassroots poetry organization centering people of color founded in 2018.