I’M SHARON ZINK, PH.D. – A FEMINIST WRITING COACH FOR WOMEN WITH BIG THINGS TO SAY.
I’m on a mission to get more women’s books written, published and out there changing the world.
I’ve been working as a writer my entire life (I was named as Young Poet of the Year and Writers Inc. Writer of the Year and my first novel, Welcome to Sharonville, was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award and is currently being pitched as a TV series), so I know a thing or two about how to get this word shiz done.
On top of that, I’ve got a Ph.D. in English (I studied at London and Cambridge and my doctorate was supervised by the famed feminist, Professor Lisa Jardine) and, since leaving academia, I’ve worked as an editor with literally hundreds of writers, some of which are now bestselling authors (complete with billboards at train stations!) and others have got multi-book deals with major houses. A few have even gone on to successfully self-publish their work and become big hits on Amazon.
I enjoyed Welcome to Sharonville as much as Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch – perhaps there was a resonance because of the desert setting, but Zink also dusts her prose with breathtaking turns of phrase, equally as good as hers.Lorna Howarth
Whatever route they’ve chosen to publication, I’m proud of each and every one of them and my writer clients have taught me so much about providing compassionate support to deal with the ups and downs of the writing life, as well as offering encouraging, but effective editorial feedback on manuscripts and helping authors prepare kickass submission packages that rock the socks off agents and publishers.
I’ve also taught a lot of literature, critical theory and creative writing courses and basically live in a library (with a cat), so I know my book learnin’ and thus I am able to put my clients’ manuscripts in context in a way which will help them both sell their work and position themselves powerfully in the market. (Yes, I can help you form your author platform and promote the heck out of your work too.)
Oh, and I didn’t think it was enough to just mentor authors, sharing my expertise on the writing, editing and publishing – I felt I needed proper coaching skills if I was going to call myself a writing coach, so I went and got trained by Oprah’s ‘favourite life coach,’ the amazing Martha Beck. Her coaching tools have totally transformed my writing clients’ lives and creative careers.
I’ve been a feminist since I was 13 years old when I fell in love with Simone de Beauvoir, becoming so committed to the cause I snuck out of my job to see Gloria Steinem speak when I was 19. In fact, I even volunteered at the Feminist Library before I went to university, eventually ending up with a Ph.D. which explored masculinity in the Renaissance.
Issues of gender, sexuality and women’s and LGBT rights have always been a passion of mine, but with the political shifts backwards which have occurred lately, I’ve become more aware than ever that I need to do something to fight back.
Sharon is a marvel – each session has given me exactly what I needed at the time and I’m so glad I decided to work with her as her coaching has helped me achieve my long-held dream of having a literary agent.REBECCA ANN SMITH
And when I saw the research which proves that less women writers are published less than men (even though, in my experience, women fill writing courses and get more feedback on their work) and that even if their books do make it to that stage, they’re less likely to be reviewed and win prizes, I started to see I’ve witnessed again and again too how women writers doubt their talents and play small due to the way culture conditions us to stay quiet, be nice and never draw attention to ourselves because we’ll get vilified if we do – that is, we’re taught to shy away from doing the very stuff a successful writing career requires.
Add to this the two hours plus a day extra domestic work and childcare women writers often have to do and I realised it’s not just the gender bias of the publishing world we need to fight – it’s patriarchy itself which puts us an impossible bind, emotionally and practically, this making it much harder for us to thrive as authors.
Because together we can change the creative landscape and tell stories which will bring healing, inspiration and positive leadership to a world which sorely needs them.
A diverse range of voices needs to be heard now more than ever – and I want to use my skills as a writer, editor and coach to support that to happen.
You can look at why you might want to work with a specifically feminist writing coach, but you might also want to check out my manifesto too, if you’re interested in what I stand for. (Inclusion all the way, baby.)
And just in case you’re worried that feminists are a bit too serious and scary, you should also know that I love cats, vintage clothes and décor, red lipstick, CSI, Madonna, Ru Paul, taking pictures, looking at art, Americana, all things French and travelling the world.