Coaching and Mentoring

I mentor fiction authors, helping with character, structure, setting, plot, dialogue and revision. I have worked as a substantive editor on novels and short stories and have helped both emerging and mid-career authors publish in Canadian and international literary and genre markets. I’m passionate about working with emerging voices and established authors exploring new territory. It’s work I’ve done all along, but the pandemic brought increased interest, and I’m taking on new clients for late fall and winter. Feel free to get in touch.

I have taught or co-taught creative writing for decades at Trent University, Loyalist College, and at community and artist-run centres and literary festivals including the San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference. My extensive experience as a workshop instructor, anthology editor, and internationally published short fiction author has deepened and expanded my coaching. I have never forgotten how much courage sharing can require; my commentary is gentle, enthusiastic, and focused. My clients have published in paying genre and literary venues in Canada and the US, have won awards, and have received Canada Council grants.

Giuseppi Arcimboldo The Librarian 1566

Bio:
Ursula Pflug is author of the novels Green Music, The Alphabet Stones, Motion Sickness (a flash novel illustrated by SK Dyment); the story collections After the Fires, Harvesting the Moon, and Seeds, and the novellas Mountain and Down From. She edited the anthologies They Have to Take You In, Playground of Lost Toys (with Colleen Anderson) and Food of My People (with Candas Jane Dorsey). Her short stories and nonfiction about books and art have appeared for decades in Canada, the US and the UK, in award-winning genre and literary venues including Strange Horizons, Postscripts, Lightspeed, Fantasy, Leviathan, LCRW, Now Magazine, Bamboo Ridge, The New York Review of Science Fiction and many more. Her books have been endorsed by luminaries including Matthew Cheney, Charles De Lint, Candas Jane Dorsey, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Heather Spears, Jan Thornhill, Jeff VanderMeer, and Tim Wynne-Jones.

Her short stories have been taught in universities in Canada and India, and she has collaborated extensively with filmmakers, playwrights, choreographers, and installation artists. Pflug has won small press awards in the US from Dark Regions and Rose Secrest and has been a finalist at home for the ReLit, Aurora, and KM Hunter Awards, as well as the Three-Day-Novel and Descant Novella Contests. She is a Pushcart nominee. Her work has been funded by The Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and The Laidlaw Foundation. Visit her on social media @ursulapflug

Testimonials

Ursula Pflug’s insightful and intuitive teaching methods helped hone my work. Her feedback transformed me from an amateur explorer of creative writing into a published author and poet. My work has appeared in several paying pro and semi-pro markets in Canada and the US, including a speculative short story that received several glowing reviews.
– Tapanga Koe

Ursula Pflug agreed to take me on for coaching even when the first chapters I sent her were barely readable. With immense patience, thoughtful suggestions, and meaningful pointers she guided me from a nascent book idea to a complete first draft, then a fully realized second draft. Her skilled coaching brought out the best in my writing and gave me confidence. With that confidence, I successfully applied for a Canada Council grant which has led to a streamlined third draft. With Ursula’s help, my novel is richer, more streamlined and something I’ll be proud to share.
– Esther Vincent

Much appreciation to Ursula Pflug, who brought engaged and wonderfully balanced energy to work with me on story evaluation and editing. She is candid, clear, and encouraging. I cannot recommend her enough and will seek her skilled and thoughtful guidance in future projects.
– Lynn Hutchinson Lee


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