DSC_0320_CROP_Sq_CloseThe Short of It

Writer-in-Residence at Wellspring House and Editor at GrubWritesI spend my daily life either writing, talking about writing, or with my nose deep in the latest literary treasure. The rest of the time, I’m reviewing fiction for literary magazines, helping writers develop and publish their personal essays, or interviewing authors. I consult on short stories, flash, the novel, and the personal essay, plus I help debut authors master social media and book promotion. Click here to find out more.

Sarah-1The Long of It

Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Sarah defected to the States in the winter of 2011. She was educated at Leeds University, where she received her BA hons in English Language and Literature (International), with stints at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the Kansas State University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, where she was awarded the Seaton Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. Most recently, Sarah completed an MA in English Literature at Boston College, where she was awarded an MA fellowship and the Henry Blackwell Essay Prize.

Sarah has worked behind a bar, in a restaurant kitchen, as a door-to-door makeup saleswoman, as a call-centre operative, in a newsroom, as a fundraiser, as a writing instructor, and in a record store, on both sides of the Atlantic. She has played the saxophone at a German jazz festival, the flute in a French winery, and the bass guitar in every rock-n-roll venue on South Yorkshire’s toilet circuit.

In Boston, Sarah organized arts festivals as Events Manager for the Boston College Arts Council, and spent several blissful months as a bookseller for the wonderful Newtonville Books before finding a professional home at GrubStreet, the nation’s leading creative writing center, as their Marketing and Community Engagement Manager. Sarah kept Grub’s large community of writers, readers, and industry professionals connected via e-communications and  key social media channels; developed and executed  digital campaigns for the national Muse & the Marketplace conference, GrubStreet’s advanced programs, an ongoing series of free community-based workshops, and 500+ creative writing courses annually; and worked with the program team to create the richest possible learning experience. She also oversaw the creation and maintenance of website content to uphold brand standards and ensure quality and consistency of copy, supervised the production of marketing collateral including image, video, and print materials,  and contributed to the organizational marketing strategy.

Now, Sarah is Writer-in-Residence at Wellspring House, a retreat for writers and artists on the edge of the Berkshires in Ashfield, MA. There, she manages social media and marketing strategy for the retreat while working on her second novel, set in her native Yorkshire and following the struggle of four generations of women as they fight against a misogynistic land grab designed to rob them of their matrilineal birthright.

Sarah is especially proud to call herself a founding member of the Back Porch Collective, a Boston-based group of writers. Hailing from Cuba, India, Albania, Atlanta, Miami, Jamaica, and the UK, they connected over a common passion for global narratives and literature’s potential to create empathy and understanding across all geographical, political, and cultural borders.

Her creative work has appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, The Conium Review, Poetry & Audience, and other places, and her essays and interviews have featured on Dead Darlings and GrubWrites. For a full list of publications and editorial positions, check out her publications page. She’s served on the editorial team for Post Road magazine and The Conium Review, and is Consulting Editor at Solstice and Fiction Editor at Pangyrus magazine. Sarah is a graduate of the 2014-15 Novel Incubator program at GrubStreet.

Sarah is represented by Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Work With Me

For more information on rates and services offered, email me at sarahcolwillbrown@gmail.com.

Manuscript Consultations & Coaching

  • Short & Flash Fiction
  • The Novel
  • Personal Essay

Editing Services

  • Copy-Editing
  • Intensive Line-Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Ghost Writing
  • Book Research Assistance

Social Media & Book Promotion

As a literary marketing professional, I provide guidance and support to debut authors preparing for their book launch.

Services include:

  • Social media coaching & support
  • Web copy & site maintenance
  • Consultation on site design

I also offer book publicity support, including:

  • Compiling and contacting press lists
  • Placing book reviews and interviews
  • Organizing author appearances
  • Curating venues for blog tours

Whatever you need to kickstart your campaign, I want to hear from you.

I currently work with GrubStreet, the nation’s leading independent creative writing center, as an editor, private consultant, and writing coach. My clients are writing literary fiction, personal essay, and memoir, and I also advise on agent query letters for novelists. See below for a full list of services, and click here for client reviews.

As a copy-editor, I work largely on book-length projects, readying them for publication or for submission to agents. Most recently, I have worked on a collection of short stories set in Miami and Jamaica, a historical novel centering on the Civil War, a memoir exploring racial identity, and an illustrated inspiration guide for adults.

As a writing coach and consultant, I love character- and voice-driven narratives, off-beat stories, and dark humor. I’m particularly interested in international, and cross-cultural stories; pieces that deal with class, feminist, and identity issues; literary criticism; and pop culture (especially music). I have a keen eye for both sentence-level detail and big-picture editing, and work on projects ranging from flash to book-length. Hailing from Great Britain, I’m particularly adept at authenticating settings, characters, and stories associated with the UK. Having worked on the editorial boards of several literary magazines, I also offer guidance in submitting fiction to magazines and journals.


Past Appearances

Reading at Four Stories



An installment of the long-running Four Stories reading series at The Middle East in Central Square, Cambridge on Thursday, May 18th, 2017. My fellow performers were Jonathan Escoffery, Patrick Gabridge, and Suzanne Berne. 6:30-8:30pm, at the Middle East’s corner bar.

Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.


If You Build It, Will They Come?

Association of Writers & Writing Programs National Conference, Washington D.C., Saturday, February 11, 2017, 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm.

Literary communities contain readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, publicists, and booksellers with unique needs and goals shaped by their neighborhood, city, and regions. How can literary organizations and writing centers increase participation in and by their community? This panel will offer strategies for creating a more inclusive literary scene that is valued at the civic level just as visual arts, music, ballet, and opera are valued as a vital part of a city’s cultural heritage.

The Art of Perspective: How Narrative Strategies Reflect Contemporary Culture

Association of Writers & Writing Programs National Conference, Washington D.C., Friday, February 10, 2017, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm.

How can the novel respond to a culture dominated by the microform interactions of social media? Increasingly, we experience the world as a series of information fragments, a mode of communication that seems at odds with the long form of the novel. Five novelists, whose books explore multiple perspectives, discuss the narrative strategies writers use to explore the composite structures of contemporary storytelling and reflect the fractured nature of everyday narratives.

Back Porch Performance: Unlocked: Reconsidering Home and Place


The Middle Gray, 6 Station Street, Brookline, MA, June 18, 2016, 7 pm.

An evening with the Back Porch Collective, in collaboration with world-class musicians Giuseppe Paradiso and Jussi Reijonen.

Back Porch Collective: First Ever Appearance


The Middle Gray, 6 Station Street, Brookline, MA, Feb. 6, 2016, 7 p.m.

With special guest George Clements of the Lonely Heartstring Band


“When it came time to reach out to agents about my book, I felt confident in my project, but had only a vague idea about what my query letter should look like. After just a few exchanges, Sarah got me up to speed on the structure of a query letter and helped me flesh out what makes my project stand out. When I finally sent out the query we had worked on together, I received two requests for the full manuscript within two hours, and received my first offer of representation within a week. I wouldn’t have gotten an offer if the project wasn’t strong, but I wouldn’t have gotten these agents’ attention without the query Sarah helped me write.”

Jonathan Escoffery, writer & instructor.

“Sarah’s line- and copy-editing of my articles was excellent. She’s really helpful in bringing to the front what I was trying to say while strengthening my overall presentation.”

Milo Todd, freelance writer.


For information about consultations, readings, publications, workshops, email me at sarahcolwillbrown@gmail.com.

Click here to apply for the WellSpring House retreat, and here to submit to GrubWrites.

Connect with me on: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Social Media & Marketing

Dear ,

Thank you for spending some writing time with us! We hope your stay at Wellspring was a happy and productive one. Until you return, stay connected via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and send us your good news to be featured in the community newsletter.


If you enjoyed your time here, we’d be most grateful for a review!


We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Keep in touch!

Sarah and Jonathan


Jonathan Escoffery and Sarah Colwill-Brown
Writers-in-Residence, Wellspring House

Please note our office hours below:
Mon-Tues, Thurs-Sat



As a literary marketing professional, I provide social media and marketing guidance and support to debut authors preparing for their book launch. Services include social media set up and coaching, marketing copy and site updates, and consultation on website layout and design.

I can also offer  publicity support, including compiling and contacting press lists, placing book reviews and interviews, organizing author appearances and curating venues for blogging tours.

Whatever you need to kickstart your campaign, I want to hear from you. For more information on rates and services offered, email me at sarah@grubstreet.org.