My name is Denise Shekerjian. I am a writing coach, editor, and a writer. I am also a lawyer and published author of books, literary essays, narrative nonfiction, a blog, and the occasional short story.
As a writer, I specialize in nonfiction and am skilled in the storytelling arts. As a lawyer, I know a thing or two about the art of persuasion.
Need some help? I work with:
- College-bound or graduate students on those all-important personal essays for admissions.
- Fellowship applicants who need to create compelling narratives in support their applications.
- Medical school graduates who need essays for residency placement purposes.
- Memoir writers who have decided it’s now or never!
- Creators of all stripe who need artist statements, brief biographies, or monographs.
- Seasoned and new writers who have something to say but do not know where to begin, or how to proceed, or need a fresh set of eyes, the imposition of structure and a timetable, or just some encouraging company in this sometimes lonely, often frustrating business of putting thoughts on the page.
- Corporate leadership who seek their company’s story told, whether a feisty new start-up or a centuries-old enterprise.
I can help with:
- College and graduate school admission application personal essays.
- College and graduate school admission application short answers.
- Transfer student application essays that explain objectives and reasons for the change.
- Fellowship and grant application personal essays, statements of objectives, and proof of competency.
- Cover letters, resumes, CVs, brief biographies, and statements of purpose.
- Corporate histories and significant reports for new or old, for-profit or non-profit businesses.
- Artist statements and introductions of work.
- I work one-on-one, if you’re local, or by phone or Skype if you are out of state.
- The amount of time I spend with your work depends upon the needs of the material and the help you seek. My clients report that I work efficiently and am very generous with my time and comments.
- For college-bound and graduate students, I work with you to pull out your best ideas, show you how to give them shape and voice, oversee your writing progress, and help you make your admissions materials memorable. The goal is to be authentic and interesting, and I’m with you every step of the way.
- For transfer students, I help you identify your objectives and explain why you’re making a change.
- For fellowship and scholarship applicants, I help you present your talents in the best and most compelling light.
- For medical school graduates, I help you create the personal and compelling statements you need for residency placement.
- For memoir writers, I read your work through several times flagging areas of confusion, inconsistencies, tonal concerns, structural issues, chronology and characterization problems, and awkward phrasing. I note things from a macro to a micro level, hear your concerns and challenges, and issue a detailed written report that lays out an action plan for improvement.
- For artists, I help you describe your work, methods, inspiration, and process and create the statements you need to present your material.
- For corporate histories, I work with senior leadership to understand goals, set a timetable, interview key personnel, explore archives, create an outline, then a first draft and a final draft.
Have something you want to accomplish? Shoot me an email and let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
Nothing makes me happier than to see your work progress.
What Clients Say
~ Adult Services Librarian, 2017
“In late summer, I finally began writing my memoir The Seventh Child, which has been steeping in me for years. In September, I had around thirty single spaced pages to my credit and the awareness that I needed structure and support. My work life as an educational therapist/ special educator was about to lurch into full speed. With that awareness and my thirty pages, I began looking for someone to offer me that support and structure so I could continue writing throughout the year. This is where Denise Shekerjian steps onto my stage.
What a gift! Denise has not only offered me structure, she has brought me a boatload of inspiration, encouragement and constructive criticism. Denise possesses both the capacity to nourish and the commitment to honest and straightforward criticism where needed. In addition, she has the requisite finesse and delicacy of expression so that the vulnerability of the writer is soothed rather than agitated when reading or listening to her feedback.
Denise has all of these qualities together with a keen intelligence and a quick insight response. Of course, she also has the grammatical and syntactical expertise, a necessary skill set of a developmental editor. Denise has been exceptionally prompt and flexible with her time; she has generously accommodated my exacting schedule. My manuscript has inched its way to ninety pages and has acquired more unity and grace under Denise’s watchful eye. Denise has become an inextricable part of my writing life and should become a part of yours. I cannot recommend her enough! Thank you Denise.
~ JoAnna B. Easton, Fall, 2016
Songwriter Bobby Gosh’s great memoir, Confessions of a Marijuana Eater, Red Barn Press, Spring, 2016.
“I would like to thank . . . Denise Shekerjian for giving me a mini-master class in writing; for her early editing help; and for her encouragement that my story was worth writing about. She was there for me every step of the way. Without her help, this book would not be the book it is.”
~ Bobby Gosh, from the acknowledgments page
Copyright © 2017 Denise Shekerjian, www.soulofaword.com. All rights reserved.
Photo of Denise by Michael Metz. Other photos: Google images.