My goal is to help you map out your journey—where to begin, where to focus, and how to progress. I am interested in brainstorming new ideas, describing and offering possibilities for what already exists, and exploring ways in which writing into the mystery can lead to pattern-making and structure. I am also attentive to the unconscious and the way in which it surfaces the surprises in our work. I believe that when the head and the heart are in synch, the process will lead to writing that uses specificity as a pathway to what is universal.
How I began: It wasn’t a lightbulb moment; it was a gradual awakening in my late 20s. I was in a living situation in which the space to speak was taken from me, and so I began to talk through creative writing. Writing became a refuge. Then, a passion. It became what I lived and breathed, and it helped me to find my community and my voice. Soon after, it became my vocation. In this process, I had mentors who helped me increase my confidence, develop a critical eye, and realize my goals, so I understand the power of mentorship and consider it my charge to pass on what I was given. I feel privileged to have helped creative writers realize their dreams in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid forms for over twenty-five years.
Working with Writers: For your new idea or a work in progress, I will first listen deeply to your vision. I look for the electricity in your words—the places with spark, calling to be expanded, deepened, and developed. My questions are designed to help you mine the work. I will describe what I see in a way designed to create more sparks, to inspire you to take your ideas further. For a complete manuscript draft, my feedback will be structured to do two things at once: help you to focus on the moments where your pages might be sharpened and refined; and offer you a broad response on the manuscript holistically, including a variety of ideas and choices for approaches to revision and polish.
Small group intensives
Manuscripts in Process
“Once I was young, somehow I knew to head for Charleston, Vanessa Bell’s home in East Sussex. The moment I stepped into the garden, history in all its wide-brimmed genius and its unmovable sorrows came alive, murmuring Welcome, welcome. Angelica Garnett wrote, “the garden here was not a gentleman’s garden or a gardener’s garden, it was always an artist’s garden.” Elena was that garden for me. I gave her my work in awful shape, yet she persisted. Without her constancy, vision, and heart, I have no doubt my book would have been lost on the vine.” – Jane Summer, author of Erebus
“Elena is a wonderful writer and generous person. She helped me find and strengthen my voice. Her close reads helped me to move my work forward, to revise with a clearer vision. Her feedback allowed me to re-see my work, and gave me inspiration to fully realize the final draft. I will always appreciate the role she played in my own journey as a writer.” – Chera Hammons, author of Maps of Injury and Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom
Work With Elena
Elena offers individual Coaching Sessions, and Manuscript Development and Review. You will also find her name popping up in our generative workshops and an occasional small group intensive. Check out the WRITE WITH US tab in the menu for sessions you can sign up for today. If you are interested in individual mentoring, first take a look at the descriptions of our coaching and manuscript services in the drop down menu above to find out what to expect and decide which process is right for you. Then come back to the Personal page for the mentor of your choice and Send Her A Message in the contact form at the bottom of her page. Each of our mentors will work with you to customize your plan to your project, schedule and needs. Each is available on a limited basis, depending on her own writing schedule. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Immigrant's Refrigerator
Elena Georgiou is a dazzlingly good writer. The thirteen stories in The Immigrant’s Refrigerator are stirring, wise, and keenly alert to the longings and contradictions that impel their beguiling characters. (John McManus, author of Fox Tooth Heart and Bitter Milk)
Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants
Elena Georgiou comes to us beautifully and unabashedly exposed. In writing that is remarkably brave, she sends us her “enclosed everything.” (Jenny Boully)
mercy mercy me
Whether her speaker is buying lunch at a falafel stand or bumping into the ghost of Marvin Gaye in a supermarket, Georgiou’s zesty clarity prevails, sweetened by her impeccable ear and fired, as it always is, by her burning heart. (Molly Peacock)
Elena Georgiou is the author of the short-story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator, and the poetry collections Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants and mercy mercy me. She is also co-editor (with Michael Lassell) of the poetry anthology, The World In Us. Her first book won a Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award. Her third book of short fiction was a finalist for the Vermont Book Award and the New American Voices Award. She has also received a NYFA fellowship, a VCCA fellowship, and an Astraea Foundation Award.
Elena was the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College in Vermont and Washington. She has also served as a judge for a number of literary organizations, as well as serving as the poetry editor for two literary journals. She is currently an editor at Tarpaulin Sky Press, and an affiliated faculty member at the Rubenstein School of the University of Vermont.
Elena spent the first twenty-seven years of her life in London, England. Since then, she has lived in the US — first in New York, now in Vermont. To read more about Elena, please visit her website at elenageorgiou.com.