Coaching with Lori DeBoer

“I’ve been working with Lori for almost two years. There is nobody who pushes more and is brave enough to tell when something doesn’t work and yet manages to do it while never tearing you down as a writer. I can’t put into words how special she is and what a great teacher she has been to me. I came to her not knowing a thing about writing, and with her teaching and coaching, she has helped me on this journey to turn my book into a wonderful story.” – Brenda Barry, Author of Seasons of Love and War

Lori is an amazing coach and a great teacher. She has the ability to hone in quickly on areas that are unclear, and help provide the structure and logic for engaging the reader. I appreciate her incredible intelligence and ability to see the possibilities in not only the material at hand, but for expanding and growing beyond the task we’re working on. It’s been a gift having her as my coach.” – Susan Osborn, Author and Coach at Empowered for Life

“Lori DeBoer is a gifted coach. A superb writer herself, she teaches in a practical manner, with excellent communication skills. Lori will organize you – or reorganize you. She’ll give you homework assignments. She’ll push you to market yourself and your product when it’s time.  Lori will not boss you, she will guide you. She will not take over your story or write your book in her voice.  She’ll help you find your voice and convey it with passion and action.  Lori will partner with you, be your confidant, muse, coach and teacher. I have every confidence she will do an exceptional job for you. In my opinion, Lori is outstanding.”  –Memoirist Sue Ann Dicke

“After enjoying a couple of Lori’s creative writing classes, from which several of my articles were published, I decided to write a novel and hired her as my coach.  Lori ventures beyond professional editing with an enthusiastic presentation of ideas and possibilities.  She builds an effective relationship with the writer without imposing her personal style.  Lori encourages my individual voice and enhances the discovery of the depths of my characters.  She guides me through learning advanced techniques of story telling in a personable manner.  Because of Lori’s expertise and individual mentoring, I am currently working on “The End” of my first novel.  Her approach to coaching and mentoring truly makes writing a fun experience.” –Freelancer & author Ron Mitchell, Phoenix, AZ

“Lori is a stellar coach. She gives a balanced mix of praise and practical and insightful feedback on how to strengthen weak areas in the writing. I appreciate that she also takes the time to suggest numerous and tangible references – in the form of books and short stories – to deepen the understanding of craft. I especially love that she goes through the story line by line in real time with you – incredibly generous and tremendously helpful!” – Gretchen Clark

“Lori–Thanks for your feedback on my writing. Your insights were invaluable and will help make my book into a saleable novel. Much appreciated.” – John Christenson

“Thank you for your insightful comments, encouragement and for validating my writing skills. You are my writer’s angel.” -Paula Glasscock

“Lori, I was a little nervous meeting with you, as this was my first experience with a writing coach and I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was to work with you. It was obvious right from the start, how knowledgeable you are with storytelling. You know exactly what should be in the story and where. You got me excited about getting back to my computer for revisions. I’m looking forward to another session! Thank you for working with me!” – Denise Schurr

“Our first meeting was excellent in every way and definitely exceeded my expectations! I have been looking for a writing coach for a long time and I finally found you. Not only did you understand my book concept and express enthusiasm about its subject matter, you broke down my upcoming tasks into manageable pieces that I could visualize being able to accomplish without too much hardship. So, you instilled confidence in me, in addition to assisting me with practical ways to structure the book that made sense to me.” – Mariah Rose


Teaching by Lori DeBoer

“Lori is a fine teacher and writer, and we are privileged to have her on our teaching roster. Our students continually tell us how much they enjoy working with her.” — Jed Allen, Co-director, Creative Writing Program, Phoenix College

“In the survey American history course, she helped prepare quizzes and examinations and evaluated the performance of some 130 students; she gave them counsel.  I was particularly impressed with how well she related to each student. In sum, she was one of the best five or six assistants that I have had in some 30 years of teaching a similar course.  She brought the same vitality, intelligence, and resourcefulness to my seminar; there, too she performed admirably.” — Dr. Benjamin Rader, Professor of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Thank you, Lori.  You are a wonderful instructor.  I learned so much this semester. I have always had an interest in freelancing, but had no idea how challenging and time-consuming this is.  You showed me how it is “in the real world” without sugarcoating anything. This is valuable.  I look forward to joining your creative nonfiction class.” – A.J.

“I really enjoyed the class. You not only show great teaching skills, but very good people skills. I can’t think of anything negative. You did a great job. I plan on taking other classes taught by you.” – John

“Great teacher. Helped me come up with my own ideas when I had writer’s block, instead of giving me ideas. I was able to open my own mind and pick story ideas out of my head. I liked how the class was set up. Easygoing and fun. I wish more of my classes were set up like this one.”  – Michael M.

“Our group was largely uninformed about Creative Nonfiction as the class began.  Through instruction and assignment of very good examples to read, she quickly brought the class to an understanding of the genre. When we began working on and discussing our essays in class, she guided us through insightful workshop classes that taught us not only to give useful feedback to others, but to learn from the feedback directed at each of us.  We advanced from frightened scribblers to more confident essayists, surprising ourselves with results brought about by incorporating lessons into our work. Along the way, Lori’s support and belief in our promise helped us believe in ourselves.  In addition to the assigned readings and instruction, she constantly informed the class about markets, contests, groups to join, and other aspects of the writing life, which we now felt skillful enough to make use of. I wholeheartedly recommend this class and this instructor to others.” – Karen Legg

Speaking by Lori DeBoer

“Lori has spoken at two Piper Writers Conferences. The first time, she led a talk on how a freelancer might create a business plan, estimating incomes and expenses.  The second conference, she proposed and led several panels on motherhood and writing. her talks were well received. Lori brings a tremendous energy and kindness to all her endeavors.”  –Paul Morris, Director,  Master of Liberal Studies Programs, Arizona State University



“Dear Lori. There are a couple of things I want you to know. First, your piece on the history of memoir has been the absolute best thing we’ve gotten for this issue. Second, I have also  written several pieces for this issue, and I know they are a struggle. ” – Donna Hogarty, Creative Nonfiction

“Lori has written several stories for Valley Guide Quarterly and her performance has been exemplary.  In addition to submitting well-crafted prose, Lori has initiated story ideas, performed in-depth research, and captured the voice and attitude of our publications. ” – Jeff Atwell, Senior Editor, Madden Publishing

“Lori, Thank you for your submission to our annual contest in creative nonfiction.  I found many things to admire in your piece “A Growing Season.” It contained beautiful prose and a clear style. I loved how you compare seeing your baby on a doctor’s exam table to seeing a chicken at the butcher. Out of the 80 submissions we received in the nonfiction category, your piece made it to the top 10. What held us back from accepting your work was the feeling that the topic of the piece was too potentially grave for its tone.  While I did not agree with this opinion, I felt that I should pass it along. Please submit again next year.” — David Drever, Editor, Alligator Juniper

“Dear Lori, Your story (on Maricopa Community College Chancellor Dr. Paul Elsner, which appeared in the  Community College Times) is excellent; a very difficult piece to write, I am sure. You handled the complexities of what he has to say while showing who he is, as far as one can take this in the space allotted. What a great job. You captured it all and I learned  a lot that I didn’t know. It will be a good read for many people and will capture readership.  GOLD STAR.” -Louise Gacioch, Public Relations, MCCD

“Lori is a very bright and articulate person. She is able to understand technical and complex phenomena and to translate those phenomena into images and language that render them readily understandable to a very wide audience. I was usually quite impressed by the way she was able to organize information about such subjects as the college budget, its endowment, or faculty research in ways that alumni understood and remembered.  During her tenure as editor of our alumni magazine, Buena Vista Today, we won national awards.” – James P. Daniel, former Vice President for Alumni Affairs, Buena Vista University

“One of the people–and there were many–who proved themselves most useful was Lori Rohlk, a former intern on our Des Moines-area “Neighbors” sections. When I heard  that parts of the plane had crashed near Alta I thought immediately of Lori, but I didn’t know where she was living now. The “vibes” I was throwing out must have been strong, however, because Lori called minutes later. She was home on vacation from her newspaper reporting job in Minnesota, staying with her parents in Alta ,and was ready to go to the farm where the plane parts fell. She was there in minutes, stayed until early the next morning, and returned for most of the next few days.  She built a rapport with investigators and got important information before many of the major newspapers covering the crash.” – Tom O’ Donnel, The Des Moines Register, coverage of the crash of Flight 232

“Even though your Sesquicentennial grant application was not funded, all of us who read it rated it highly. It was one we wished we could have funded if only we had more funds available. So I hope you will follow through with a manuscript submission to the Annals of Iowa.  It’s a great topic, and your proposal reflects a solid grounding in the primary sources and secondary literature and a good grasp of the  issues that should be addressed. I would welcome an opportunity to consider a manuscript from you.” –Marvin Bergman, Editor, Annals of Iowa

“Ms. Rohlk is obviously an accomplished writer who can put together a multifaceted business story.  I was particularly impressed with the story on the new Chiness Cultural Center, which Ms. Rohlk thoroughly researched. The story was well organized; she is obviously a professional.”  -Judge’s comments, Arizona Press Women Communications Contest

“Dear Ms. Rohlk, I just received the second copy of a gift subscription to the Times in the mail today and read with relish your column entitled, “Paying the Price of Freedom.” Your gentle  reminder of what freedom is all about is important and timely. AS the new year begins and resolutions are made, I need to strive for greater tolerance toward those who may experience life differently than I do, for whatever reason.  It would seem that too often we have tried to legislate those who are not like us out of existence rather than celebrating their uniqueness. Thank you for reminding me how grateful I am for freedom and how important such liberty is to humanity.  Thomas Jefferson would be proud of you! I am looking forward to reading your column and the rest of the Times every week. –R. A. Smedsta