David Burr Gerrard
Your Writing Mentor David Burr Gerrard
Get expert advice from US-based fantasy and science-fiction writer and creative writing teacher, David Burr Gerrard.
David Burr Gerrard is the author of ‘The Epiphany Machine’ —named one of the five best science fiction/fantasy novels of 2017 by The Washington Post —and ‘Short Century’. He has taught fiction at The New School, The 92nd St. Y, The Yale Writers’ Workshop, and Catapult.
Specialises in: Fiction of all genres.
David provides tuition for our Mentoring Service.
Why we love David
David has over a decade of experience teaching creative writing. He approaches mentoring by putting you in control and helping you clarify what you want to achieve from the sessions.
As a novelist himself, he strongly believes that the best teachers are also students and will use the lessons he’s learnt over the years to help guide you, placing importance on the basics that writers of all levels should be constantly rediscovering.
What David says about Mentoring
You’re being coached every time you sit down to write, whether you’re aware of it or not. Stray remarks made fifteen or thirty years ago by an English teacher or your mother or your best friend or your worst enemy (assuming those are different people) will intrude and tell you what you’re “supposed” to write, or even what you’re supposed to write about.
My goal as a coach is to put you in control of how you’re being coached. As we work together, I’ll ask you lots of questions about what you’re trying to achieve as a writer and why you make certain choices, and in doing so we’ll help you clarify your own tastes and intentions, and to identify aesthetic assumptions or fears that might be standing in your way.
Writing is a constant negotiation between vision and craft, and it is crucial to always be aiming higher in each realm. As we progress, we’ll keep returning to the basics that writers, no matter how advanced, are always rediscovering, as if for the first time: voice, character, plot, structure, dramatic stakes, and—shh—how you can ignore some of these aspects entirely so long as you make other aspects sing. In over a decade of teaching creative writing in both classroom settings and one-on-one, I have worked with hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds, so whatever problems you’re having, I’ve probably seen versions of them before, and I’ll use what I’ve learned to help guide you. You might hear me say “Show, don’t tell,” but I’ll show you what I mean, not just tell you.
The best teachers are also students. I won’t simply be shouting principles at you; I’ll be putting them into practice, and thus refining them, every day. I might devise a possible solution to a scene you’re struggling with while I’m struggling with a scene of my own, and make a note to discuss it with you at our next Zoom meeting. Creating powerful, enjoyable, meaningful fiction is the great mission of my life, and I consider the fiction that I help my students and clients create a part of that mission.
Start your mentoring today
Get expert one-to-one advice from David Burr Gerrard as you write and edit your manuscript.
Need some extra help?
Get in touch with our Writers Support team who will be happy to help!