“I’ve known Joan Gelfand and gone to her readings for several years. She is a steely compatriot and wise nudge. Being a working writer is about the need to persist. I can’t think of hiring anyone else more plugged in and supportive. Joan is with you in the trenches, helping you, grabbing your collar when you falter and gently prodding you on.”
Eric J. Silverman, Writer
“I’ve been meeting with Joan for several sessions now, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She has given me insight, direction and motivation. I am jazzed about my project and have gotten more done in the past few months than I have in two years.”
Abby Caplin MD, MA
“Thanks, coach for your time today – I’m just so glad I’ve hooked up with you. Feels like the right thing to be doing for me and my work.”
Kathy Barr; Founder of Small Plot Press, publishing limited and unique editions and Director of Old First Concerts
“I have had the honor of seeing Joan Gelfand present to large groups on several occasions. Each time I marvel at her uncanny ability to “own the room” while being explosive and elegant simultaneously. Her talent, wisdom, and humor comes from a deep well of soulfulness and practical, real-world experience…thus making her mesmerizing to watch and riveting to listen to.”
Kelly Sullivan Walden (Doctor Dream); Author of Amazon.com’s #1 bestselling book, “I Had The Strangest Dream”; Recent Past Present of the Woman’s National Book Association (Los Angeles Chapter)
“Joan Gelfand is the grande dame of practical pedagogy for contemporary poets seeking success. For the past several years, Ms. Gelfand has inspired me to say no to creative compromise and write verse from the heart, and then, what’s more, Joan has guided me through the convoluted (and daunting) layers of today’s literary publishing in order to get my best poems in print”
Brad Henderson; Poet, Novelist, Memorist, & Professor in Writing at UC Davis, www.bradhenderson.net
“Joan gives straightforward and direct feedback, always delivered in a warm, encouraging manner. She’s very personable and enthusiastic and conscientious about the details too. I was a pleasure to work with her!”
Clare Ramusen, Writer
“Joan helped with my book “Burned: A Memoir” by offering a healthy does of encouragement, inspiration and most importantly concrete suggestions and professionalism introductions that will help to get my book out to a wider community.”
Louise Naylor, Author
“During our meeting Joan provided me with practical, targeted advice for which I am very grateful. Joan not only generously builds community, she is a poet well-versed in the business and promotional side of our craft. I highly recommend her consulting practice to poets at any stage in their careers.”
Christina Lloyd, author
“I really appreciate Joan’s feedback on the first chapters of my novel. I was struggling with voice, and she helped me get it right!”
Harriet Rohmer, author
“Again, having you around to bounce ideas off, to benefit from your sage advice, to help organize my thinking, and to have a just plain enjoyable and sane-making time on the phone with is invaluable to me. I couldn’t do it without you, Joan. (I know the last sentence is a mess, but you get the idea, I hope).“
Tom Parker, author
“Joan Gelfand has a generous spirit and fun attitude about her work, but more importantly in our work together she has helped me to set goals and meet them. Joan is a fantastic networker and is eager to share those skills. Through Joan I have met many writers and a variety of new and exciting career opportunities have opened for me. I am grateful to Joan for all her guidance.”
Jenny Overman, author
“Joan Gelfand’s help and encouragement are invaluable and her strong networking skills are on point. She helped me get a piece published in a new area of my writing which is opening doors for the success of the project.”
Rabbi Pam Frydman Baugh
“Joan is a natural mentor and teacher — eager to support others’ growth, thoughtful and specific in her suggestions, generous and passionate about sharing what she knows and loves.”
Nancy B. , poet and artist
Joan inspired and provoked me at a time when I really needed it; She was a godsend to this atheist.
Ms. Gelfand sprung to the aid of the incipient Lycidas pulsing within my breast, bridging the schism between my warring internal spirits of striving artistic ambition and pure lassitude and doing so with aplomb.
More from the heart:
I thank Joan for her encouragement and criticism; her experience, judgement and amiability kept me writing and improving. I’m better because of her.
– Dave S., financial services professional
“I really thank Joan for getting me started on my writing plan. I’ve been writing on and off but with Joan’s help decided to get serious. Thank you, Joan!”
– Joan R., breast cancer advocate, green building activist and frequent contributor to NPR.
“With Joan’s support, I have committed to finally putting together a book of my poetry. The submissions group has provided a great support for me to do something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.”
Kit, Poet and Director of a popular Reading Series in San Francisco
“Without Joan’s inspiration I would never have put my chapbook together – nor would I have started my blog. Thanks Joan for leading the way. “
– Karen H. Magazine editor and poet.