Get help improving your writing skills.
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”
― Margaret Atwood
While there is no need to wait for perfection to start writing, there is a lot to be said for working to improve your writing skills or simply getting another reader’s feedback on your work-in-progress. Sometimes, that means seeking a little help or guidance from a tutor or ‘Wordsmith.’
As part of our commitment to supporting students, auditors, and others in their academic and literary pursuits, Signum University offers Writer’s Forge to help anybody who wants to up their academic writing game, get feedback on their creative writing approaches, or talk through a particular project. This program is open to all members of the Signum community, including current M.A. or Graduate Diploma students, auditors, Path clients, SPACE explorers, and participants in any of our public programs like Signum Symposia or the Mythgard Academy. Members of the general public, too, are encouraged to hire a Wordsmith to assist them with revising academic, creative, personal, professional, and popular writing of all kinds.
Assistance offered through Writer’s Forge includes (but is not necessarily limited to):
- Strengthening sentence structure, stylistics, and standard writing conventions
- Addressing issues with syntax, diction, or quote integration
- Reviewing sources and citations in academic writing
- Clarifying logic and argumentation
- Brainstorming together to develop ideas
- Suggesting re-organization strategies
- Thinking about audience, tone, and rhetorical situation.
Interested authors should contact Writer’s Forge via email. The Coordinator will set up a one-on-one video chat; then the client will share their work with their tutor through Google Docs. Both writer and tutor will thus be able to see the document and read it over together as they talk through the writing process, and the writer will be able to mark it up, ask questions, and make suggested revisions alongside the Wordsmith.
In all of our courses, preceptors are available to provide feedback on individual papers (and other assignments) and work with students on their revisions.
However, in the event that a student needs help with more fundamental writing skills not directly related to the course content, the preceptor for the class may recommend that the student make an appointment with a tutor.
Furthermore, writers of all genres and experience levels can benefit from another pair of eyes on their work and a thoughtful reader devoted to examining their piece carefully.
So please consider making use of the Writer’s Forge!
Writer’s Forge Pricing
$30 per half hour
At most schools, students pay high tuition and fees in order to cover the costs of all the services the school offers to all students. Because we do not want to charge high tuition or levy general fees, we have chosen to take an a la carte route for additional services; we only want students to pay for what they use rather than for something they may not need.
Furthermore, we want this service to be available to all our Signum community and the general public, not just a subset of students paying tuition and fees. Private writing tutors can charge extremely high rates, making Writer’s Forge a more affordable option for many authors.
In line with Signum’s commitment to keeping costs fair and reasonable, we are offering this writing assistance program as a way to support students, auditors, and others who may not be confident in their writing skills, need assistance with their writing, or simply want to make a project as polished as possible—without passing on unnecessary costs to all students.
Writer’s Forge Wordsmiths
Sparrow F. Alden is an experienced advisor for teen writing groups, instructor of college composition, and writing coach for professionals seeking to improve their written communication. She is a preceptor in Signum’s SPACE Creative Writing Sector with a focus on worldbuilding in speculative fiction. Sparrow uses author inquiry, character interviews, and positive critical feedback to help you move your creative project forward. Do you need to develop an Editing Toolkit for academic writing? Let Sparrow give you a hand.
Sara Brown was an English teacher to ungrateful teenagers for over twenty-five years until coming to work full time for Signum University, where she is the longest-serving preceptor in the Lang & Lit Faculty. She’s also an editor, currently serving on the editorial board of Mallorn, the academic journal of the Tolkien Society, and co-presenter on the Tolkien Society Award-winning podcast, The Tolkien Experience.
Sørina Higgins has taught writing for two decades now, including academic and creative writing in developmental, introductory, and advanced courses; to primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students. She also has editorial experience in both academic and creative writing, as well as inky fingers from the authorial side, too, with two volumes of poetry, five peer-reviewed articles, eleven general-audience essays, and a myriad of blog posts. She is able and eager to assist you with all stages of the writing process in many genres, especially scholarly work for pedagogical or publication purposes.
Jenn Rogers has been teaching and tutoring writing for more than ten years. Her experience covers middle-school to graduate-level creative and critical writing skills. Helping students improve their research writing technique is Jenn’s special delight.
Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
If I knew how the books were going to end before embarking on them, there would be little reason to write them.
Lois McMaster Bujold
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.
Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.
Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.
A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing.
I write only because I find it easier so to say such things as I really want to say.
Skill in writing frees you to write what you want to write. It may also show you what you want to write. Craft enables art.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.