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"He has been a wonderful mentor and friend." See All
"He has been a wonderful mentor and friend."
“When I was stuck with my writing, not knowing how to move forward, Peter Montfound gave me the personal coaching I needed. He took me from being an aspiring fiction writer with a lot of ideas, to a focused and skilled writer who could get them clearly on paper and into the world. I particularly benefited from his approach of reading my work aloud and commenting as he went. It allowed me to directly observe his reaction to my writing and ask clarifying questions in the moment. Peter’s in depth knowledge of literary arts and the publishing industry are a gift to anyone who works with him. Peter tells it like it is. Working with Peter is an incredibly efficient and direct way to grow as writer. He has been a wonderful mentor and friend.” -Maggie Orth
“I approached Peter because I was tired of getting uninformative rejections from agents - sometimes even after partial and full requests. My first 1-hour session with Peter did more good for my manuscript than a year of revisions with beta readers and critique groups. He zeroed in on specific phrases that could be red flags to agents, and then he gave me concrete advice for moving forward. In addition to his own talent and knowledge of craft, Peter has two qualities that make him an excellent writing coach. He doesn't tell you things you could read online or in a book on writing - he responds very specifically to your manuscript. Secondly, he is ferociously efficient in his reading and feedback, making sure that you get great value for the time he invests. (And he doesn't blow smoke up your ass.) I regularly recommend him for writers who are struggling to take the next step in genre or literary fiction.” -Jessica Hardesty Norris
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It’s an old saying suited to the talented instruction and consultation of Peter Mountford. As a writer, he knows the process and pushes you to develop your own. As a reader, he devours your material giving insightful feedback and suggestions of books or articles to inform your own work. I’ve taken several classes from Peter because his knowledge, spontaneity and intellect are exactly what I need. If you are ready, the teacher has appeared.” -Mary Anne Moorman, Public Radio Storyteller
“When I first started working with Peter, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I couldn't have told you anything about structure, voice, or story tension. I repeatedly came back to Peter as a teacher and later as an editor not only because I love his work, but because he isn't scared to say the hard truths about what a story needs. He is always on the side of the reader, as every writer should be, and my work is better for it. As a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, I consider Peter a mentor and a favorite editor.”
-Paulette Perhach, pauletteperhach.com
Some authors who studied with Peter (in class or in mentorships) before their books were published include:
• Tara Conklin
• Shannon Huffman Polson
• Elissa Washuta
• Nicole Hardy
• Therese Huston
• Gail Hudson
Peter Mountford has taught creative writing—fiction and nonfiction, primarily—to thousands of writers at all phases of their careers. An accomplished and widely published author in his own right, Peter teaches from a place of practical application, and from personal experience.
Peter’s first novel A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) won the 2012 Washington State Book Award, was a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novel Award, and is currently being developed as a television show by Campanario Entertainment. His second novel The Dismal Science (Tin House Books) was a finalist for the 2015 WSBA, and was a New York Times editor’s choice.
Peter’s short work has appeared in the New York Times (the ‘Modern Love’ column), the New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, The Atlantic magazine, Granta, Guernica, Southern Review, Best New American Voices 2008, and dozens of other magazines and newspapers. In 2012-14 Peter was the prose writer-in-residence at Hugo House, where he has been teaching since 2008. Since earning his MFA from the University of Washington in 2006, Peter’s work has won awards and grants from 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, Seattle Magazine, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Recipient of the 2016 Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award for a fiction writer in Washington State, Peter has also held fellowships to Bread Loaf and Yaddo, and is currently on faculty at Sierra Nevada College’s MFA program.