Cathleen Rountree
Consultant and Coach for your Personal & Professional Writing Needs

As a Writer's Mentor, I work with a very few select authors or would-be authors in an exclusive hands-on coaching program. If you are working on either a nonfiction or fiction project or book or would like to, you may be eligible for this unique mentorship program. I work with people who are passionate about their subject matter and serious about writing a book and/or improving their writing skills. If you have a message you want to bring to the world, and are willing to put in the time and energy to realize your dream, The Writer's Mentor offers support and guidance to assist you in achieving your goals.


The Writer's Mentor Coaching For Writers is a consulting/coaching service operated by a successful writer for other writers. Cathleen Rountree, the Writer's Mentor, takes the best practices of personal coaching and integrates them with her professional experience in writing both fiction and nonfiction. As a writer-coach, she takes the traditional goals of coaching--personal support, positive feedback, structure and organization--and applies them to the writer's profession.

The Writer's Mentor Coaching for Writers process begins with a "diagnostic" to determine where you stand with a writing project and what you want to achieve. The diagnostic process helps to define your creative objectives and goals. We then build a framework within which to work together.

Weekly one-on-one telephone calls are the basis of the coaching relationship. Cathleen is available to listen to you, to read and help develop your new work, and to assist you through writer's block or other process issues. Weekly contact with your coach assures that you take your work seriously and focus on the weekly assignments. Clients are astounded at the amount of work they accomplish and the level of improvement they experience working regularly with a writing coach/mentor.

The relationship I aim for with writers is an alliance of artistic peers to enhance and support the writing process and to help my writer clients reach their creative goals and creative potential. The Writer's Mentor Coaching For Writers is suitable for any writer and at any stage of a project. I work with all levels of writers and all stages of projects, from broad concept to finished manuscript in need of editorial polish. I handle both fiction and nonfiction.


Coaching is for writers who:

  • Require assistance in developing a new project
  • Want to keep a project on track, to structure their writing time & meet deadlines
  • Need to re-energize a project with guidance and support from another writing professional
  • Desire to improve their writing skills & descriptive writing
  • Want to work on their writing habits to make their work time more effective & make writing a practice
  • Need help identifying "problems" with a work in progress and who want help with creative solutions to those "problems"
  • Want to work through habits of procrastination and/or writer's block
  • Desire constructive critiquing
  • Want to increase and sustain creative motivation over a longer project
  • Crave the give & take of high-quality creative feedback that is vital to a healthy writing process
  • Want to create in the context of a supportive relationship that is professional, dependable and dedicated
  • Need help developing early-stage strategies for getting a work published

Need assistance & support to write the following:

Novels & short stories
Memoir & family oral histories
Proposals & outlines
Research papers & dissertations

The Writer's Mentor works with all levels of writers and all stages of projects, from broad concept to finished manuscript in need of editorial polish. I handle both fiction and nonfiction.

A sports coach takes athletes with raw talent and desire and turns talent and desire into a winning combination by using their professional know-how and expertise. The Writer's Mentor does the same for writers.


The Writer's Mentor Coaching Program

The Writer's Mentor Coaching For Writers Program is designed to achieve movement and results in 16 to 24 coaching sessions. Each session is held once per week and includes two stages: a thirty-minute period for reading/reviewing your work and a thirty minute coaching period by phone at a pre-arranged time. There are four coaching sessions per month. All calls are one-on-one, writer to writer. I recommend that you make your coaching call from a quiet place where you have access to both your writing and some note-taking materials.

Manuscript Review

Before the coaching sessions begin, you are asked to submit the writing material or project you are working on for a Manuscript Review. This submission can be anything from a one-page book or story concept to a completed manuscript. After evaluating the submission, I will offer my suggestion of how we might best proceed to work on your project. (See "The Diagnostic Process" below.)

Manuscript Evaluation

If you are bringing a substantial writing project into the coaching relationship to work on, TWM requires a Manuscript Evaluation performed separately. Your coach reads your work and provides a 2-page evaluation of the project from both creative and commercial perspectives. This helps us both in the initial diagnostic and goal-setting process.

Or you may wish the TWM to do a Manuscript Evaluation only.

Beginning the Process

The coaching relationship formally begins once the Project Review/Diagnostic is complete and an initial call is scheduled. The first coaching call is then spent on the Writer Diagnostic. The Writer Diagnostic is a questionnaire to assess your attitudes, experience, and writing habits. I use both the Review and the Diagnostic to define your overall goal for the coaching relationship. Often the progress made during coaching itself causes this overall goal to be revised and the coaching relationship may be re-directed.

Initial Commitment

The Writer's Mentor/Coach asks that clients commit to a minimum of 16-20 sessions initially. A contract, submitted to the client by the Writer's Mentor, is signed by both parties.

The Typical Coaching Call

The first few minutes of a coaching call are devoted to a review of the previous week's goals. The next twenty-five minutes are used to discuss new issues. Issues cover the gamut--from deciding on which direction to take in your project, to problems finding time to write or dealing with "page fright." Together we try to develop the best possible creative responses to those issues. The last five minutes of a session are used to define reasonable goals for the following week and to close the session. The weekly goal varies from writer to writer and project to project. Sometimes the goal is a certain number of new manuscript pages, or further work on an outline. Other times your weekly objective might be to polish a section of manuscript, develop a character study, or research material for your project.

New Material

There are four coaching sessions in a month. Any new writing to be discussed during a coaching session must be delivered electronically to your coach by 4 PM the previous evening. Otherwise I cannot guarantee that it will be read ahead of your call.

After the Call

Writers are encouraged to use the energy of their coaching call to continue work on the day of a session if time permits. I have found that this practice helps ensure every writer the maximum opportunity to accomplish his or her current week's objective(s).

Special Note

Coaching is conducted on the phone but, for an additional fee, can be conducted in person if the client is in--or willing to travel to--the northern California region.

Special private coaching intensives can be arranged. These consist of two or more days containing four separate hour-long coaching sessions per day and editing or other written feedback by your coach in between sessions. See Rates & Services below or discuss the option with your coach if this possibility interests you. Private coaching intensives can be very productive for a busy person who wants to jump-start a project (or push to the finish). Please note, however, that they are very physically and mentally demanding and are best done in person.

For those interested in a group intensive, for a reduced individual fee, up to six participants may arrange for a coaching intensive or a "break-through" writing retreat.

There is a 24-hour cancellation policy.




Cathleen Rountree is a nationally-renowned author of eight books, including "The Writer's Mentor: A Guide to Putting Passion on Paper," the acclaimed series "On Women Turning 30, 40, 50, 60," & "70," for such publishers as Random House, HarperCollins, Jossey-Bass, and Conari Press. She lectures throughout the US and teaches writing, cinema studies, multicultural studies, and personal development courses at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Ext. and at the UCLA Writer's Program. Rountree received a B.F.A. in Art History & Painting from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology & Mythological Studies.