Writing Coaching and Editing

I love working with authors, and I can help you write better and more economically, saving you time and aggravation at every step of your writing!

I can:

  • Consult about your main character, setting, and plot.
  • Provide motivation and suggestions to help get you writing if you’re stuck.
  • Consult and brainstorm on specific problems with plotting or other issues.
  • Review and critique excerpts as you write.
  • Recommend research sources, reference works, books on writing, and novels that may serve as exemplars.
  • Provide a critical analysis of your completed manuscript, with comments and suggestions on plot and structure, character, period setting and believability, dialogue, narrative, and mechanics.
  • I can also provide developmental editing for non-fiction and copyediting for fiction and nonfiction.

Please email me to discuss how I can help you! gillianbagwell@hotmail.com

Bona Fides

I’ve written three acclaimed historical novels, The Darling Strumpet, The September Queen, and Venus in Winter, published by Berkley (Penguin Random House). The first two were also published in the UK by Avon (HarperCollins). The Darling Strumpet was published in Czech, Turkish, Polish, and Hungarian, as well as in a large-print edition in the UK, and was an RWA RITA finalist for Best First Book.

I have several years of experience in writing critique and various levels of editing for authors and publishers.

I’ve completed three of the four courses in the University of California Extension’s Professional Sequence in Editing, and expect to take the fourth course in fall 2017.

I’ve taught Writing Great Historical Fiction online for the YA and OIRWA chapters of the Romance Writers of America and at the Gold Rush Writers’ Conference, and presented many workshops at the annual Historical Novel Society Conferences in the US and UK. Most recently, I taught writing dialogue for historical novels in the inaugural Pre-Conference Academy at the 2017 Historical Novel Society Conference.


 “Your suggestions are priceless. I will look at the entire MS from beginning to end with different eyes, thanks to you.”
– Victoria Saccenti, Destiny’s Plan

“Writing dialogue, especially for historical fiction, is always a challenge, and Gillian’s spot-on advice for dialogue that’s witty, apt, and historically correct helped me write more effective ‘conversations’ that also moved the plot along.”
– Mary F. Burns, Portraits of an Artist

 “Ms. Bagwell’s perceptive, professional, and honest appraisal will immensely improve my manuscript. She knows writing. Hire her!”
– Greg Michaels, The Secrets of Casanova

“Gillian has an unbeatable combination of a reader’s instinct and a writer’s heartunderstanding and conveying both perspectives from a place of honesty and joy. It’s as if she can reach inside my head to read my thoughts. Then she tells me, eloquently and constructively, what it is I’m doing and why, reminding me of what inspired me to begin this work in the first place. I can’t tell you how highly I value Gillian’s advice and encouragement. Even when there’s more bad than good about my writing, Gillian conveys her notes and reasons for them with such aplomb that I still feel validated, valued, and, most importantly, ready to get to work on some revisions!” 
– Amy Watkin, We Were Once

 “Gillian Bagwell’s critiques are both wonderfully generous and insightful. It’s like Mom setting out a platter of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and then going over your homework with you for the next day. She sets things to rights.” 
– Stuart Chapin, Welcome Gamblers

 “As an editor, Gillian started that process of revision that made me rethink how I approach the writing process and seeing process. I enjoyed getting her specific and positive feedback on my work, which had me reach deeper into my understanding of what I was actually trying to convey.”
– Brian Thomas, Bright College Years


I charge an hourly fee for writing coaching. I charge by the word for editing, depending on the scope and complexity of the project.

Please email me to discuss how I can help you! gillianbagwell@hotmail.com