It takes a great team to tell a great story and I offer an integrative approach to the publishing process, from story concept and design to writing, editing, and publishing. There’s been no greater time in the history of publishing for writers who strive for excellence. New opportunities crop up every day, and I help these kinds of writers make the best-informed choices they can about seizing the opportunities that align with their highest vision. I work with healthy-minded, motivated, grounded, entrepreneurial people.


Through Skywriter Books, I offer private writing coaching, editorial reports for completed manuscripts, editorial support and publishing strategies for people serious about creating an excellent book. We believe the most effective stories come from an authentic voice and we offer the support and skills to develop that voice and ground it.


We’ll talk about immediate, actionable ways you can improve your story and strengthen your writing skills—and consequently increase your chances of a successful publication. I provide notes for every page you write and help you discover and develop the narrative structure of your book be it fiction (including screenplays) memoir or creative non-fiction. Phone consultations include e-email correspondence follow-up to help implement or further clarify the notes or other feedback from our conversation. Phone calls are typically two hours and include email follow-up support.

Contact to Schedule a Phone Consultation


Tired of hearing the vague rejection letter? We dig in and investigate the work to find out why it’s not been accepted (yet!) then present you a thorough set of notes to help guide you through a revision, including a two-hour phone consultation to review, clarify the notes and brainstorm. We have no script. No formula. We simply work with honesty and read only to serve you best and improve your book.

Today’s authors understand that their ‘submission’ has to be as publication ready as possible and they make the appropriate investment in editorial feedback—no matter what path they choose: traditional publishing or self-publishing. A writer has one chance to make a first impression. Savvy writers make sure their book meets or exceeds industry standards. They understand that there is another job beyond the writing desk and they invest in embracing it to ensure a successful publication.

Contact to request Editorial Report


Determining the narrative design or “structure” of a book is undoubtedly the most challenging part of the writing process, and, as a result, is the most misunderstood and overlooked. It’s daunting to have so many characters and plot points floating around in your mind without some way to organize them. I can help you quickly get clarity on what your story is about and define the story elements that excite readers. We will chart a story map to guide you through the writing process so that you can complete a book that makes you proud and that readers will buy and love.

Contact to Request Proposal for Story Development

by invitation. Join me and a small group of 8 writers once each summer for a week-long, playful yet rigorous, fully customized writing retreat in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.


Holly Payne is the quintessential writing coach and novelist. She is intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially connected to her art of teaching the craft of writing. If you’re serious about learning the craft, Holly is worth the investment plus she’ll throw her heart in for free.


Bill Fox, former team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers