About Me

Looking for a writing coach? Someone to help you write a book? Need professional editing and proofreading services? I do it all!

Things helpful to know about me …

There are few things I love more than helping writers in the craft of fiction. Storytelling is a passion for me, and if I can inspire you to get passionate about the stories you long to tell—and help you gain the skills to creatively bring your vision to life—I’ve done my job!

While I live in California, between San Francisco and gorgeous Lake Tahoe, I work with writers in six continents. In fact, I’ve edited and critiqued manuscripts for more than 1,000 writers around the world, and I’ve taught fiction writing to more than 5,000 writers online via master classes, Zoom critique sessions, and my online school (Writing for Life Workshops).

I do more than 200 manuscript critiques a year. I’ve been doing this for about 18 years now. I have a lot of insight and experience to bring to your manuscript, and since I write in many genres (and read widely as well), I can help you nail genre, which is crucial in today’s publishing market. Oh, and I’ve written and published more than 30 books (fiction and nonfiction), some self-published and some published by traditional publishers.

C. S. Lakin, writing coach, professional copyeditor and proofreader.
Me and Coaltrane

One of my favorite things to do is hold writing retreats in beautiful homes. Nearly every year for the last 8 years I’ve done various retreats in the South Lake Tahoe area. If you’re interested in immersing in a retreat, be sure to get on my mailing list so you can be notified when these retreats are scheduled (and my online master classes)!

Things I bet you don’t know about me …

I had a commercial pygmy goat farm for more than 10 years, and I’ve delivered about 100 baby goats. They are probably the cutest animals on earth—just sayin’… I love the outdoors and have done a lot of backpacking, scuba diving, and snowboarding (yes, even in my “older” age). I love dogs and fostering/rescuing labs. 

I have two beautiful daughters and two wild and crazy grandkids. I’m attempting to master biblical Hebrew (why not?), and I just finished a master’s program in biblical and theological studies, which stretched me a lot. I am seriously addicted to chocolate (who isn’t?), and if I couldn’t do yoga four times a week, I would probably shrivel up and die (shout-out to The Yoga Dive in Grass Valley).

If you’d like me to teach or speak …

Are you interested in having me speak at your conference or online to a group of writers in your area? Just drop me a line! I’ve taught workshops and master classes at prestigious writers’ conferences and was the keynote speaker at the international writers’ conference in Dublin, Ireland (and I’ll be keynoting in Alaska in 2024!). I coordinated the fiction track at the San Francisco Writers’ Conference for many years and have set up and run critique groups at other conferences in California. I’ve participated in many online summits for writers.

I can design a tailored multiweek Zoom course or offer a single workshop for your writers’ group. My topics range from fiction-writing craft to marketing and promotion to editing. And if you want to pay me to come to your locale, I’m game! I love to travel. 

I also love engaging on podcasts, so invite me on! 

What My Clients Say About My Services

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My own unique methods…

I hadn’t meant to write a dozen or so nonfiction books on writing craft and productivity, but I had to. Over the years I’ve seen way too many aspiring writers struggle with the craft and their writing life. So in addition to sharing more than a million words on my instructive blog, I decided to do what I could to make writing books as easy and clear as possible.

And while there are lots of books on how to write a novel, I have my own methods. Over the last thirty years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work for me and for other writers. I want to help save writers time and aggravation by providing blueprints that lay out a clear framework for structuring novels. Check out the books in the Writer’s Toolbox series below.

Watch and learn about some of the important elements that go into crafting the perfect scene!

The Writer’s Toolbox Series

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