In response to your queries: Yes, I do take on clients for private study and editorial consultation. E-mail me at bill@​ for more information.

"Bill Roorbach is a gifted book doctor. He has that rare talent for what's called developmental editing. I had been working on my memoir for three and a half years, and had produced three versions, when I hired him to help me. He not only gave me a detailed a line-by-line edit, he saw the big pictureómore clearly than I did. He saw what I was trying to do, and what I could do. Bill asked good questions and made extensive comments and suggestions that helped me transform my book. What's more, he viewed me and my messy manuscript with such generosity. Hiring Bill was the best money I have ever spent in my continuing education as a writer. He was a better investment, and a lot cheaper, than getting my MFA." --Richard Gilbert (http:/​/​​)

Writing a memoir or personal essay? Here's a good place to start.

Editing, Consultation, Manuscript Evaluation, and Private Study

A dose of confidence.

"I would never have written word one without Bill Roorbach. It's as simple as that." --Abigail Thomas, author of AN ACTUAL LIFE, GETTING OVER TOM, and HERB'S PAJAMAS.

Your fearless editor with the CEO of Let's Get That Writing Right, Inc.

Now that I'm out of the university, I do a certain amount of consultation, editing, and private study. Fiction and nonfiction. My clients tend to be good writers who've hit a snags in their careers: first book's been published, second book blues. Or, MFA in hand, and nothing's happening: why not? Or, your agent seems to have given up selling your new book. Or, you've gotten a disappointing reading from your agent or editor, and want a second opinion. Or, you've got a good book manuscript written, but no one's biting. Or, you've got all these stories (or essays) and can't seem to fit them all into a saleable (or prize-winning) book. Or, you're applying to MFA programs or residencies or grants, and want a sharp look at your application. Or,you're looking for the cure for writer's block. Or, you've decided to self-publish and know you need a real editor. I give a complete, close, heartfelt reading, offer content and line edits, structural analysis, written commentary, phone consultation, blunt but compassionate advice, all on a fee basis, short work or long (including collections). I can also design a private correspondence course tailored to the needs and experience of newer writers. For all consultation, note that I'm selective, taking on only about one in ten requests, and only when the fit seems good, and I genuinely think I have something to offer. Also, I want to keep my turnaround time at about thirty days. Email me at bill@​ for more information and current rates.


Get some writing done!

"After ten years writing for film, Iíd finally gotten through a first novel - and had pretty much lost control of it, trying to adapt it to comments from prospective agents and other readers more learned than I - when I contacted Bill. Mercifully, he agreed to read the novel and help me. Well, it turns out that the generosity of spirit and insight you glean from his fiction can be yours. His line-by-line edit helped me with everything from grammar (I admit it) to dialogue, helped me focus the characters and scenes, and find my way to the heart of my book, which it turns out was a way back down to a part of my heart and isnít that why we write, really, to find meaning or our heart. Heís witty and wise and a lot of fun to correspond with. And still now, when Iím writing, I hear sometimes his tips and suggestions or questions pushing me deeper and along." --Donnaldson Brown, screenwriter, urban gardener, Brooklyn, NY

Books by Bill Roorbach

Now in Paperback
Nature Nonfiction
"A Marvel in a genre that's tough to master." --National Geographic Explorer
"One of the best novels of this or any year... A flat-out funny, sexy, and poignant romantic thriller." David Abrams, author of FOBBIT
Stories, forthcoming from Algonquin in 2017
New Down East Books edition, 2016
Counterpoint Press, 2001 (paperback 2003)
(Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction)University of Georgia Press, 2001, paperback: Counterpoint Press, 2003
Memoir/Nature Writing
Houghton Mifflin, 1992. Paperback: Ohio State University Press, 2000.
The Best Instruction Book on the Market
The Best Creative Nonfiction Anthology on the Market
Widely adopted, loved and admired. Oxford University Press, 2001