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Editing & Coaching Services

About Me

My name is Neil Aitken and I’m a professional creative writing coach and editor, as well as an award-winning author and translator. I have a really odd background which you read about here.  For a full list of publications, honors, and prizes, please refer to my CV.

I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside and a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from USC.  I’m also a Kundiman poetry fellow and serve as the co-director of De-Canon, as well as the editor-in-chief of Boxcar Poetry Review.

I have 14+ years experience teaching creative writing in universities, in the community, and privately.  I’ve helped current and past clients get published in literary journals, successfully apply to MFA  and PhD programs, and find homes for their book manuscripts.  

I enjoy working with writers wherever they are in their writing journey—whether you’re at the start, well on your way, or somewhere in the middle, I can help.  I’ve worked with poets, fiction writers, creative non-fiction essayists, and even the occasional lyricist and a screenwriter. 

The son of librarians, I grew up reading fairly omnivorously and continue to read pretty much anything that interests me:  contemporary poetry, literary fiction, sci fi, fantasy, western, historical fiction, steampunk, mystery, spy novels, travel literature, paranormal history, comparative religion, mythology, history, biography, science, geography, art, architecture, typography, design, literature in translation, etc.  

I read quickly, see patterns, and usually can quickly and accurately identify inconsistencies and weaknesses, as well as strengths and load-bearing elements.  

Whether you’re looking for a writing coach, a mentor, a manuscript editor, 

or a workshop facilitator, I’m ready to work with you.