Austen Wright

Austen Wright.jpg

Being a book coach almost feels like being an editor plus a therapist.


What is your favorite part of the coaching process?

That scary, exciting moment where they say, "I'm done!"

What's your coaching style like?

Encouraging, hopeful, and resourceful. I like to edit like I'm solving a puzzle – how can I take these puzzle pieces and put them together in the best way possible?

What genres do you love to edit?

Everything! But I suppose I love editing stories with magical realism the very best.

What do you love most about editing?

I love comparing a polished finished draft to the rough first draft. It's amazing to see how much progress one story can make, and what parts of the story transformed over time.

Who's your ideal writer match? What are you looking for in a coaching client?

Someone who can take constructive criticism and run with it, and who has a lively sense of humor!

What was the moment when you felt like a real book coach?

The first time I worked with a writer all the way through to the end of their draft. It was a big accomplishment, for both of us!

What do you believe the most prominent difference between an editor and a coach is?

Being a book coach almost feels like being an editor plus a therapist. I'm with you for the highs and the lows, and not only do I help your writing, but I help identify mental blocks and how you can work through them. 


What genres do you love to read?

Sci-fi, fantasy, and horror

What are some of your favorite books?

  • Peter Pan

  • The Abarat

  • The Time Traveler's Wife

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

  • Winnie-the-Pooh

  • Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

  • Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Who are five of your favorite authors?

  • Neil Gaiman

  • Stephen King

  • Three other authors I haven't met yet. (I dabble with many writers.)

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

Ray Bradbury, because he seems like he was so kind and giving as a writer and person. I just know he'd have some good advice, both for writing AND for living in what sometimes seems like a dystopian world. And Edward Gorey, just because he's a personal hero.

What are you most excited about right now?

All the books that are being adapted into high-quality television! You get to experience a book in a whole new way, and it's so fun to see how stories are adapted to the TV format. Examples: "Game of Thrones," "American Gods," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Preacher."

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A coffeehouse waitress, like Rachel from "Friends," OR someone who just reads books all day. That job doesn't exist, but editing comes pretty close!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up and hiss at the morning sun. I go to my 9-5 job in academic publishing, and use my (very long) commute to get lots of reading done. Once I get back home, I tell my cat how much I missed him, watch some great TV, then turn my attention to my wonderful Accelerator writers!