“Elizabeth Merrick has written an ambitious and moving first novel, an intimate family epic.”
Tom Perrotta, author of Little ChildrenElection, and The Leftovers

This Is Not Chick Lit is important not only for its content, but for its title. I’ll know we’re getting somewhere when equally talented male writers feel they have to separate themselves from the endless stream of fiction glorifying war, hunting and sports by naming an anthology This Is Not a Guy Thing.”–Gloria Steinem


Hi, I’m the author of Girly, creator and editor of This Is Not Chick Lit, and writer of Boys for Pele which is coming soon. I had my own little writing school, Elizabeth’s Workshops, in Brooklyn from 2003-2008. While I don’t have regular classes anymore, I still do one-on-one writing coaching and book editing for people I like. I have a BA from Yale, an MFA from Cornell, and an MA in Creativity and Arts Education from San Francisco State.

My actual deal with writing/publishing:

I pretty much can’t deal with the contemporary US literary world and I stay far away.  My life focuses on creativity rather than ambition, literariness, or even activism. My writing coaching and editing is in the school of creating the most truthful and beautiful and efficient and transformative piece of art/magic, not in getting a publishing achievement notch ticked off. I’ve found that in these past years many of my most talented writer-students and writer-friends often don’t get published and the whole thing is just so icky to me. There should be like, billboards of their faces celebrating their achievements up and down I-95 as far as I’m concerned. Publishing and talent/beautiful incredible writing are really far apart right now in many cases so far as I can tell–I peek in every once in awhile and it looks increasingly toxic. Fortunately, there are ways to just keep writing and focusing on what is real, substantive, and inspiring without taking on the misery and doom of the industry.

As far as working with me: I’m here to help you be a better, happier, stronger, clearer, more visible writer. I don’t do the “get published” emphasis although dozens of my former students have been published.

The Ineffable Thing of writing a book is: really tuning in and pulling in a real book, something palpably alive, from whatever dimension these mysterious creatures come from. This is something I specialize in. 

In the past, I had very limited time for 1-on-1 consultations so I only offered them to clients I already knew as students in my classes. Right now, I provide writing coaching and book editing for select writers. (Note: currently there are no openings for new clients.)

The urge to write something palpably real, to pull in the Ineffable Thing, is so beautiful and I wish you all the luck and love in the world if this is what you are trying to do. Not easy. Totally worth it. Who knows what will happen?

Love, Elizabeth

boom! woke up like this!