Mark Dery:
Writing Coach

“Every writer should be wary of the ways they seek approval from an audience.”
— Alexander Chee

Let’s Get Started

As an author, essayist, and critic, I’m passionately dedicated to the art and craft of writing. As a writing coach, I’m profoundly invested in my clients. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, I can help you take your writing to the next level. I’ve worked with nonfiction storytellers of every kind—memoirists, essayists, biographers, journalists, academics, even copywriters and speechwriters—to bring their ideas into sharp focus, strengthen their grasp of structure, and guide them to a mastery of clear, concise, compellingly readable prose style. Drawing on my deep knowledge of craft, honed over a lifetime of writing and teaching, I’ll work with you to demolish mental roadblocks and unlock your creativity. Let’s get started!

My Background: I’m a book author, freelance journalist, and magazine editor. I’ve taught narrative nonfiction, literary journalism, aesthetics, and the essay at NYU, Yale College of Art, and The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. I’ve written criticism, commentary, trend pieces, profiles, and personal essays for The Daily Beast, Elle, New York, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Salon, and Wired, among many others. I coined the term “Afrofuturism.” I popularized the media activism movement known as “culture jamming.” I’ve written or edited five books. My most recent title, Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice; Mental Floss, The Guardian, and NPR included it in their Best Books of 2018 lists. 

My Services

My editorial analysis and writing-coaching packages are designed to help you clarify your goals as an author, bringing your vision into sharper focus. I’ll identify the strengths and weaknesses of your concept and, crucially, your execution of it—your writing, but also the overall structure of your work-in-progress.

  • Quick Fix
  • An Evaluation of Your Concept / Critique of Your Writing
  • Deep Dive
  • An In-Depth Analysis and Line Edit of Your Sample Chapter
  • Full Monty
  • An Exhaustive Analysis, Inline Critique, and Line-By-Line Edit of Your Book-Length Manuscript