Testimonials

Michael has been a trusted ally and a critical sounding board in developing all my work.  His grasp of story development is unparalleled.  Our intensive dialogue when I was writing my first feature was a vital part of making “ESL: English As A Second Language”, a successful first film. Youssef Delara, Screenwriter/Director/Producer – Cima Productions, Los Angeles, California – Filly Brown – Opening September 2012

Most novel writing workshops share a failing inherent in their structure.  Each participant is permitted one or two 10-20 page submissions for critique by the class, and at the end of the workshop we have lovely paragraphs like highly polished unstrung pearls, no closer to a necklace than before the workshop began.  Michael Catlin’s two workshops, What a Concept! and Plotting the Plotted Plot are different.  Here we do not submit bits for discussion, rather we submit ideas, whole stories, stuff we haven’t written, but what we want to write, that is, we consider the necklace, not the pearls.  The two workshops cover similar ideas but from different perspectives.  Exercises force participants to confront those flaws we usually avoid:  those hazy bits we thought would be revealed that are becoming no clearer,  those gaps in the story that gape more widely than we thought.  Sometimes bringing new life into the world really sucks, but Michael says he really wants to see us succeed, and he acts like it part Maternity nurse, part coach, part Charon, supportive, sympathetic, but permitting no nonsense.  At the end of either workshop, the writer has a full picture of the story he wants to write.  Still, if you’re thinking about it, take both workshops, probably Concept  first and Plot second. With triangulation comes depth.  And, now I’m ready to revisit those fragment novels that clog my hard drive.  I think I can figure out now what when wrong and how to fix it.  Tim Correll – Novelist – Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Michael’s no bullshit approach, with his deepest desire to truly support me as a story teller, is profoundly refreshing, sometimes frustrating as hell, and the best guidance I have ever received, EVER, from many writing coaches and teachers over the past 10 years.  If you are a serious writer, you will learn the true craft of writing so you may delve deeply into crafting your unique story. Nicolette Vajtay – Playwright

I’ve been working on my novel with Michael since 2011. Michael taught me the ABC’s of becoming a good writer. After each session with him, I feel inspired, smarter in terms of knowing my project, but most importantly heard. Michael also gives me the type of space indicative only to me on how to finish larger projects, in this case, a novel, something other writing coaches sometimes don’t know how to do. Michael Catlin taught me the ABCs:
Always
Be
Communicating
For this simple yet foundational wisdom I’ll be forever grateful.  Dan Manzanares – Novelist – Lighthouse Writers Workshop

2 responses to “Testimonials

  1. I have just entered Michael’s sphere, as a participant in one of his workshops. It is probably the best money I’ve spent as a writer. In four weeks he helped me completely redefine my characters and their relationship to the story. His screenwriting background gives him a unique perspective in how writing should come to life, and his teaching and mentoring skills make it easy to listen and learn from him. I hope to engage him as a coach as his schedule permits.

  2. I have worked with Michael both as a writing teacher in the classroom and in one on one sessions and he is a joy to work with. He is the type of teacher that can push you without it ever being harsh and can add just that hint of an idea that helps your whole story suddenly unfold in your mind. What I particularly appreciate is how action oriented he is. Everything he does is geared toward moving you forward in tangible ways. It’s great to talk philosophically with him, too, but in the end he moves you forward and that’s what it’s really all about.

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