Do you have a story you’re burning to tell? Do you want to write a book, a memoir? Send your blog soaring? Pen a riveting YouTube video or feature film script? Sharpen your writing and take it to the next level?
You could suffer the journey alone (and likely hit the wall many times over!) or write happier, faster and more effectively with the guidance of me as your writing coach.
Writing has a lot in common with distance running, as I have discovered in my 20+ years as a professional writer, editor, writing coach and university teacher of writing — and now runner. When I set a goal to run a marathon, I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I needed support, a training program, a coach. I went out and got all three, trained smarter and happier, and qualified for Boston on my second marathon.
As well as teaching writing at a university (see below), I offer personalized coaching to both aspiring and experienced writers. Every writer has a different starting point, skills and goals, and so I respond with individualized support. That could be a one-time consultation to test drive an idea or help perfect a pitch. Or it might involve designing a “training program” with on-going guidance to help you produce a major work, such as a book. As a published (and award-winning) author, I know what it takes to successfully write and sell a book. I also know strategies that will help you unblock your creative flow, gain confidence and skills, and move from idea to action. As well, I can edit your manuscript, and pitch in with revises, rewrites and even ghosting if that’s what you want. In other words, I customize my coaching to help you achieve your creative dream.
Poke around my website, and you’ll see I’ve been a teacher and student of writing for most of my life. I have an M.A. in Creative Writing and English, was a Literary Journalism fellow at the Banff Centre for the Arts, won a Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship and did TV and screenwriting residencies at the Canadian Film Centre. I’ve written books for major North American publishers and edited and written on a wide range of topics as both a freelance journalist and senior editor/writer at national publications. I am also a screenwriter with a feature film to my credit and several optioned.
Scroll down to read what a few of my students have to say about me. Some of their comments are pretty amusing!
And if you’re interested in working with me, click the contact button on the top right corner and send me a note about your writing dream.
I teach “Writing for Magazines and the Web” at Ryerson University, part of the Magazine and Web Publishing certificate program, which is considered by many as the major training school for magazine professionals in Toronto.
Many of my students have gone on to great success, writing books (fiction and nonfiction), and editing and writing for magazines, newspapers and the burgeoning web industry. Many have taken my course simply to improve their writing and test drive the writing dream.
I love helping students discover their unique voice, acquire skills and develop talents.
I have also taught feature writing at McGill University in Montreal and the Ryerson School of Journalism in Toronto.
“When I first met Margaret, I was a guy with a laptop and a bunch of disconnected paragraphs that made no sense in isolation, and even less sense in sequence. When she was done with me, the paragraphs were intelligible and, mercifully, there was evidence of structure, form and narrative. Margaret can’t be blamed for what I’ve written since, but the fact that I get paid for it is in no small part attributable to her.” — Richard Poplak, author of The Sheikh’s Batmobile and Ja, No. Man
“Margaret is a fantastic writing coach. Not only can she clearly convey the techniques that good writers possess in a concise way, her years of experience as a writer across several mediums have taught her the “tricks” of the trade. Her anecdotes of what it’s really like to make a living as a writer help develop the skills that so many of us need to stay dedicated to such a demanding craft. I highly recommend her as a teacher and a mentor.” — Michelle Kelly, Executive Editor, Cottage Life Magazine
“One of the smartest things I’ve ever done is study with Margaret Webb. She has an unerring knack for getting to the heart of a story and a flawless understanding of the techniques that make a piece stand out. While she’s merciless with words that weight a narrative down, she’s unfailingly kind and generous with her students. I can’t recommend her highly enough.” — Hilary Davidson, author of Blood Always Tells, The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises
“Margaret Webb is an outstanding writer and teacher. Her gentle but thoughtful and insightful style of coaching brought out the very best in my own hidden writing abilities, and provided a safe and supportive environment to learn the craft and take creative chances. She is just one of those people you never forget and who teaches so much more than the basics. If you have the opportunity to work with Margaret Webb I strongly encourage you to jump at it!” — Jane Kidner, Assistant Dean Professional Legal Education, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Margaret Webb knows her stuff. Whether writing books, articles, magazine features or screenplays, she’s invested decades of time and energy in learning both literary craft and industry standards across genres. She is a gifted communicator of her knowledge. I’ve watched her present her work both as a writer and educator and I am always inspired by her honest, her sense of humour and her generous intelligence. — Karen Connelly, author and poet, Come Cold River, Burmese Lessons and The Lizard Cage
“I came to writing from an environmental background, after I realized that convincing people to care about nature was perhaps just as important as doing conservation work. I took Margaret Webb’s writing class at Ryerson and it was like a springboard into the writing world — inspiring, creative and practical all at the same time. Her teaching played a large part in kickstarting my writing career.” — Fraser Los, Communication Manager at Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and freelance writer, editor and communications consultant
Several years ago, I took a magazine writing course with Margaret Webb. She always went above and beyond what was required. Her writing students benefit from her extensive writing experience and sharp eyes. Margaret continues to be a formidable and generous presence in my writing life. I don’t hesitate to turn to her to consult about my work or career. — Laure Baudot, author of the short story manuscript, This One Because of the Dead (stories published in The Danforth Review, The Fertile Source and Found Press)
“I was a student in Margaret’s magazine writing class and I learned a great deal! She is kind of what I imagined it would be to work with “Lou” in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. She’s tough on words that don’t earn their place in a sentence, offers spot-on substantive suggestions, turns into a copy editing Stasi when necessary and, yet, is strangely encouraging — and fun to work with! Just what every aspiring writer needs!” — Petra Kassun-Mutch, Founder Eve-Volution Inc., Chief Impact Officer & Imagination Catalyst, Strategic Advisor, OCAD U
“Margaret’s many years of experience as a magazine writer gives her insight into how to navigate this industry. When I took her writing course, I was impressed with the level of individual feedback she gave us on our pieces — both structural edits and fine-tuning. She coached us on finding our voices, nudged us towards appropriate topics, and made suggestions on where and how to pitch our ideas.” — Liann Bobechko, Senior Associate Editor, Cottage Life Magazine