WORK WITH ME
I’ve worked with writers of all ages and all stages, bringing more than two decades of writing, editing, and mentoring experience to our work together. My experience includes workshops and discussion groups for Concordia University, the Quebec Writers’ Federation, John Abbott College, Festival Blue Met Bleu, Los Parronales (Chile), and many individual mentorships. I've helped people craft great copy for webpages, event listings, festival programs, and more, and edited short- and long- form prose for a variety of markets.
A little about me: I’m a poet with four books (Yellow Crane, The Rapids, Volta and Swimming Among the Ruins), several chapbooks (Obelisk, Twenty Views of the Lachine Rapids), a solid collection of award nominations and reviews, and a side gig as a collaborator with three other poets in the group Yoko’s Dogs (Whisk, Rhinoceros). I talk with poets and write about poetry and the writing life at Concrete & River, and co-curate (with Mary di Michele) the online micro-poetry journal HALIBUT.
I also give talks, host workshops, and guide reading for poets and non-poets alike.
Please use the form in the dropdown menu on this page (top left) or email susan[at]susangillis[dot]ca to ask questions and find out if we will be a good fit for each other. We can work by email with phone or video discussion, or in person meetings where circumstances allow.
See what people have said about working with me.
MENTORING & MANUSCRIPT SERVICES
For copy editing and related work, please contact me.
Our work together focuses on you: you will be heard, encouraged, challenged and supported as you develop your writing your way, according to your goals. Our conversation may include everything from suggested writing prompts to discussions of work we admire (or are challenged by—because that’s productive too). See more about my approach to mentoring here.
We can work on one, two, or many poems at a time, as determined by your
needs and our schedules. Fees will always be established in consultation,
so you will never be left wondering what a project might cost. We can also work on prompts, reading and responding, and other aspects of a creative practice involving poetry.
Please note poems are normally submitted one per page. Fees for very short poems or multi-part long poems are set by consultation.
If you don’t see what you are interested in here, contact me to discuss designing something just for you.
$90 A Handful of Poems: up to 5 poems, max. 5 pages
What you get: A one-page written response on what I find stimulating, surprising, evocative, memorable, meaningful, challenging, etc about the work, and the elements that contribute to those effects. I may make suggestions or raise questions intended to spark your imaginative response and can, if you wish, suggest directions for further development. Please note: I do not copy-edit for grammar or spelling.
Follow-up: feedback on one set of revisions at the rate of $20/poem or page.
$120 Close-up on Poems: up to 3 poems, max. 3 pages
What you get: A detailed reading of each poem, focused if requested on specific questions or aspects of the work. I may include questions and suggestions for further development. Feedback includes considerations of form and structure, image, metaphor, lineation, sound patterning, word choice, etc. Please note: I do not copy-edit for grammar or spelling.
$250-$300 Putting It Together: A detailed response with close reading of a chapbook-length manuscript
What you get: A detailed written response plus one follow-up. The initial response offers my perspectives on your specific concerns and / or what I see in the manuscript: what is stimulating, surprising, evocative, memorable, meaningful, challenging, etc, and how elements of craft including structure work together to contribute to those effects. I may suggest directions to develop or other ways to ready the manuscript for submission or to develop it further as part of a longer work. The follow-up addresses your questions and revisions arising from my initial response (normally within a six-week time frame; this is negotiable). The fee varies by manuscript length and particular needs and is determined in consultation. Please note: copy-editing and fact checking / source verification are not part of this service.
$300-600 and up The Long View: Editorial or developmental guidance on a longer work or book-length manuscript
Services and fees vary by manuscript length and the particular scope of the
project, and are determined in consultation.
$60/hour (3-hour minimum) Field Work: Mentoring and developmental guidance in the practice of poetry
This service is determined by your interests and needs. My role is to guide, champion, and enable you in your practice, whether through individual poems or manuscript development, renewing a practice that feels stalled or beginning a new practice, exploration and discovery of how poetry lives and moves, or other area of interest in poetry. Services and fees vary by project, and are determined in consultation.
Copy-editing, proof-reading and related services are available by request.
"Susan is a receptive and perceptive reader who knows when to suggest and when to sit back and let the writer do the heavy lifting. It is a privilege to have Susan help me with my manuscript, and I wholeheartedly recommend her services."
"The care and intelligence of the service Susan provided surpassed my expectations, it was a form of gift-giving, truly."
"Inspiring, constructive, effective!"