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There is no mentor I can credit with a greater, more positive influence on my writing life than Heather Madden. She has an uncanny gift at deeply seeing writers and their work—not as problems to be solved, but as beings to be nurtured and strengthened into the truest versions of themselves. Under her tender, intelligent care, I witnessed my writingand myself—bloom. I could not have wished for a more dedicated, skilled teacher to help guide me into being the poet I'd always wanted to be. 

GennaRose Nethercott
Author of The Lumberjack's Dove
National Poetry Series Winner

Heather is a dream writing coach and master editor.  I'm so grateful for her exercises, reading suggestions, brainstorming tips, etc. From big picture to line edits, her feedback parts the clouds so I can see my writing more clearly. She knows when to point out what's working, what's not, and when to ask questions that take me deeper into a story/character. She's also one of the kindest, warmest people I've ever met. Anyone who works with her will end up with tremendously improved writing and the motivation to keep going. 

Bernadette O'Callaghan
Fultonville, NY 

Heather Madden is one of the most discerning readers I've ever known, of any and every kind of writing, from research papers to novels to cover letters to poetry--there's no form or genre she can't handle. Her objectivity is absolute. She has an uncommon ability to be both compassionate and forthright in her delivery of constructive criticism, and she's always on point. A masterful editor and teacher, she has a sense of what each individual writer needs to hear in order to do their best work, and she shifts gears seamlessly in order to tailor her feedback to writers at all stages of development. My first book is coming out in print this year, and I can honestly say that book wouldn't exist if not for the consistent, high quality feedback I got from Heather Madden when I was still very green. If you are wondering if it's worth your while to hire her, do it. You'll be glad you did.


Kathleen Balma, author of Undelivered Notes from Birds of Passage (Black Spring Press Group, 2021)

As a language arts teacher, Heather is a virtuoso, equally adept at helping formulate a thesis in an analytical essay as she is at critiquing and organizing poems to collect in a chapbook. As coach, as teacher, as editor, as counselor, she will meet you at your individual skill level, whatever the genre, adjusting her instruction to your learning style or differences, tailoring her suggestions to your unique needs and predispositions as a thinker and writer. A dedicated, patient and encouraging presence, she instills in her students an atmosphere of trust and respect, and most importantly, an empathic understanding of writing as a process, one of trial and error and inevitable revisions. She is very smart, but very kind and inspiring. If you’re blocked or dithering, dogged by procrastination or insecurities, whatever the issue, she has solutions that come from her firsthand experience as a teacher and writer. If teachers were rated like restaurants, Heather would merit five stars. 


Deb Gorlin, Emeritus Senior Faculty Associate,
Writing Program, Hampshire College



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