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Englewood Cliffs Coach Helps Writers Conquer Publishing

Barry Sheinkopf. Contributed photo.
Barry Sheinkopf. Contributed photo. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ – Barry Scheinkopf is opening the doors of The Writing Center in Englewood Cliffs tomorrow, Sept. 22, for another 12-week seminar to help local writers not only perfect their work but also navigate publishing.

“We find out where they are with their writing, how long they have been working on it, if it is in the bottom of their drawer waiting to get out there," Sheinkopf said.

A member of the Authors Guild and Mystery Writers of America, Sheinkopf brings more 30 years of experience to discussions of story structure, dialogue, punctuation and grammar with essayists, bloggers-turned-book authors and memoir writers.

“People with my training don’t exist anymore," he said. "Nobody goes to college to become a line editor.”

Some of Sheinkopft's students have dozens of published works. Others are novices lacking know-how.“In my groups, they get individual attention,” he said. “They are not in competition with each other.”

"I don't believe there is the prestige in self-publishing," said Robert Bly, who has 85 works but who retusrn for feedback on new projects. "But I believe in continuing education."

"I learned how not to repeat myself in my writing,” added Lily Grinsberg who is finishing a book and raising three children, two of whom have special needs.Grinsberg turned to Sheinkopf to make the project less daunting. She became friends with his wife, Eugenia, who also attends the sessions and offers opinions.

“One woman is writing poetry about her late daughter; another is writing about her experiences in the Army and as a narcotics cop; and another is writing science fiction," Grinsberg said. "It’s stimulating.”

Peter Levy, who comes from a computer program background, began freelancing after writing a technical blog Now, he's producing an alternative version of the third chapter of Genesis with a touch of science fiction.

“He has an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and line editing that is phenomenal,” Levy said of Sheinkopf. "He's a really kind person."Sheinkopf is conducting a self-publishing workshop with consultant Carol Karels on Oct. 1 at the Leonia library ( CLICK HERE to read more).

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