PROFILE: WRITING FOR YOUR LIFE
from IE Magazine, 2016
You're a writer. Or you want to be. You've got a great concept or a work-in-progress and just need guidance. Or you've finished a novel, a screenplay or a non-fiction book proposal and need help finding a publisher or agent. Or you want to write more creatively, be more in touch with yourself--not for publication, but for a journey of inner growth. Or you already write as part of your job, but you want to be more confident, better at it, have more fun doing it.
In any case, you need a guiding hand and can't imagine you can get it all--writing coach, mentor, editorial consultant, and publisher/agent liaison--in one individual, especially 3000 miles from New York and only an hour from Los Angeles.
The truth is, you can. One of southern California's premier writing coaches, publishing consultants and agent liaisons is Bruce McAllister. After three decades of experience in a wide variety of writing fields, writing genres and workshop teaching, McAllister is now a full-time consultant, writing coach and mentor to new and established writers of fiction, screenplays and non-fiction, and to individuals who simply want to discover how powerful a role writing can play in their lives.
McAllister has taught all forms of creative and professional writing, and has published or been employed to write in nearly all. "The keys," according to McAllister, "are pretty simple, but we can spend our whole lives looking if we don't get help along the way. The first is confidence. Most people have been told they're lousy writers when it's just not true--or if it ever was once, it doesn't need to be. We all have the potential and we can all make dramatic growth with the right guidance. We just get blocked--by fear, old voices, old habits, self-doubt. I've never seen a writer who couldn't, and in a relatively short time, become a dramatically better writer--even an excellent one. The second is voice. We all have our natural 'voices' in writing and if we don't find them we can't write as well as we should. I found my own natural voices through mentors I had when I first started writing. Now I get to help others."
"Every writer--and I'm serious about this--is a joy to work with," says McAllister. 'No matter how pessimistic she or he might be at first, I know the miracles that are possible and that are, in fact, inevitable as long as the individual is willing to make the commitment. Because I know them--I've seen too many not to believe--it's easy to celebrate every writer. It's very rewarding to help make miracles happen--whether that writer is a high school student wrestling with college application essays, an attorney who wants to break into screenwriting or thrillers, an engineer or fundraiser who wants to write better proposals, someone who wants to work on an autobiography for the family, or a scholar or scientist with a university press book who could use help with structure, style, even theory and methodology. Writing is microgaming online casinos writing. It's magical in the way that anything creative is, but, like any magic, it's also a craft that can be learned; and it has more power to affect people's lives than they can possibly know."
McAllister is also an "agent finder" for authors of books and screenplays and has agency contacts in New York and Hollywood. "There are all sorts of myths about agents and publishers," he says, "and the realities are constantly shifting. What Americans want to see in film or in books is constantly changing, too. Having a guide through these myths and changes--whether it's a coach or a professor who's in the industry or a published writer willing to take the time--is important,' says McAllister.
McAllister taught at the University of Redlands in southern California, helping build a Writing Program there that offered both "creative writing" and "professional writing" tracks. His clients include professionals of all kinds and creative writers of all ages and experience, hailing from as far away as New York, Washington D.C., and Miami, as well as Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. He has published novels, poetry, short stories and articles, been a consultant to writers on film and TV projects for studios and production companies, and also, over the years, consulted in a wide range of scholarly and scientific fields.