Testimonials

“I’ve learned more about the craft of fiction writing from Toni than I did in over ten years at the UCLA writer’s Program.” – James Traynor, San Diego, CA

“I’ve worked with Toni in a small group workshop a long time. At last, my first novel’s ready for submission to publishers. Toni Lopopolo coached me, pushed me, challenged me, and now I have my first completed work of fiction. Without Toni I’d still be writing silly pap that no one would want to read, even me. If you’re serious about your writing, and have committed to the life of a writer, you’d be missing out if you didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to work with this veteran of the publishing field, to begin, to revise, or to rewrite your first draft.” – Sharon Schlesinger, Thousand Oaks, CA

“I’m a business writer and blogger, and always dreamed of publishing my life story. For ten years I tried to put my experiences on paper but learned that writing a book requires a different skill set from business writing. Thank God for Tea with Toni. I’ve learned a new set of skills for writing and for editing in Toni’s workshops. Her knowledge and book-publishing background in New York offers a huge advantage to writers. Highly recommended.” – Susan Hartzler, Oxnard, CA

“Weekly sessions with Toni and a small group of emerging writers provide the motivation to keep my writing moving forward and the professional guidance to improve my writing skills. My first-draft novel gained new life through Toni’s rigorous editing, vigorous discussions, and great feedback always.” – Anita Perez Ferguson, Santa Barbara, CA

“I’ve been coaching youth and high school athletes for over 35 years. I know what it takes to get the best from kids. Toni Lopopolo is my coach. She has pushed my technique, style and understanding the fundamentals of the craft to new levels.” – Antony Villalobos, West Hills, CA

“Tea with Toni is book bootcamp. If you dream of making your novel or memoir publish-worthy, Toni’s the one to whip your book and you into shape. She’ll murder your adverbs, pump up your tension and help you flex your writing muscles, all over a lovely cup of tea.” – Toni Guy, Ventura, CA

“I thought the Fiction Intensive weekend was fabulous. I want you to know how much I appreciate your and Shelly’s time and attention.” -Mona

“Thank you for the Fiction Intensive weekend. I learned plenty from editing my work along with the work of others, receiving input from the group (fresh set of eyes), you and Shelly, the experts. Understood the weaknesses not only in those couple of pages of my story but how I can spot the same issues throughout the rest of my work–voice, evoke. We put into practice what we’d read in Stein and Browne in preparation for the intensive. By the end I was tired but satisfied, the time spent there was invaluable.” -Eva

“I recently participated in Toni’s one day writers’ boot camp and she greatly improved my writing of a story I am currently working on.” – Sadina Cooper

“Since joining Toni’s class my writing has evolved: scenes, characters, infused with life. She challenged me to expand the boundaries of my abilities, sift out dull dialog, habit words, clichés, and other common mistakes first novelists like me make. With her invaluable insight, spot-on advice and enthusiasm, I’m confident I’ll continue to grow as a writer, develop the fundamental skills to master the craft.” – Eva Gehn, Ventura CA.

“You’re the best editor I’ve ever worked with.” – Roni, Sunset Beach CA

“Thank you for the outstanding writing workshop you offered last Sunday at Los Angeles Valley College. Those who arrived hungry about crafting memoir need only to sit at your table and listen.

I especially liked the small group structure, which allowed a close working relationship with you and the five other writers. You discussed each participant’s submission and offered edits and suggestions as well as encouragement. I learned something important from each story shared, such as how to deal with description, pacing, character development, plus lots more.

Thanks for that dash of humor you sprinkled throughout the four-hour workshop. Relaxed and comfortable, I learned many do’s and don’ts from a true industry expert.” – Katherine Manley, Chapmanville, WV

“Thanks for an excellent four hour writing workshop.  The time flew by. It helped me and I’m sure others present to move forward with our writing.  The material you shared was interesting, relevant, and informative.  You injected humor into the proceedings and provided on-going opportunities for active participation.  Most of all, I was impressed with how you validated the work of each participant after you read and critiqued the first chapter of his or her work.  You were tactful in your comments and balanced criticism with positive comments.  I appreciate having had the opportunity to participate in your workshop.  In my opinion, it was the most valuable aspect of the conference along with the pre-critique of my work that you did and the recommendations of specific titles of books on how to write fiction and narrative nonfiction, and how to self-edit.” – Fran Collato

“I’m glad I took the master class last year – what a treat to have you and Shelly as the instructors.  I could not have possibly learned all I’ve learned either on my own or from writer’s classes – and I haven’t scratched the surface in terms of all there is to know.  This is a fascinating process.” – Cristina, San Gabriel

“I attended the VC Writers Weekend in Camarillo and I have to say, thank you!  The information from both you and Shelly Lowenkopt is priceless. I now see what I need to do to make my stories shine.” – Connie

“Thank you for the wonderful Tea with Toni workshop I attended several years ago in Ventura. Thanks to your input, I published my novel and recently received terrific reviews.” – Karen Gorback, Los Angeles

“Thank you for the fine workshop. I got triple value for the time and treasure I invested and a renewed feeling for words and books.” – Penelope Grenoble

“When I walked into Toni Lopopolo’s classroom, I found a powerhouse of personality and knowledge. I learned more from Lopopolo reading and critiquing a page of my novel’s manuscript for five minutes than I did in three years of grad school. She cuts to the chase and teaches her students to do the same in their work. I came home after my conference session with her and immediately started re-editing my book with her advice in my ear. And my book is already better. I only wish I’d found her 10 years ago!” – Melanie Senn, San Luis Obispo CA

“Toni’s rapier sharp eye for editorial detail hones in on POV problems, adjective/adverb abuse, dull dialogue, extraneous exposition, and a plethora of pratfalls budding novelists make. With skill and wit she’ll show you (not tell you) that lessons learned in Writing 101 aren’t selling to today’s publishers, plus ways to advance your writing to a new level of excellence.”- Marianne, Venice CA

“Over 100 reads in one day. Yikes. Writing style made possible by you…Thank you.” – Lisa Shanahan, Boston MA

“I’ve been chugging along for several years now with Toni. I have scar tissue the way trees have rings but the process seems to work. I’ve seen other folks put gold paint on horse exhaust and declare it lovely. Toni calls it horseshit and that’s what we all need.” – Gary Anderberg, Bucks County PA

“Thanks, Toni. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve done to improve my writing. You’re the best.” – Sharon, Ojai CA

“You’ve provided me with so much great information and so many ideas that it is taking me longer than I anticipated to go through the ms carefully to absorb as much as possible the first time through. And I am making notes about how to solve the issues as they occur to me based on your notes. I don’t think because you have been so clear, that I am going to have many questions about the content of the notes. And I must say, you have been very kind in pointing out the shortcomings of the ms. — I agree with you 99.99% of the time. And I’m probably wrong about the remaining fractional percentage.” – Marjorie McCown, Los Angeles

“Thanks Toni, very glad I attended. In addition to the valuable tools you taught, you opened my eyes to an entire new way to attack the book.”  – Ken Davis, Manhattan Beach CA

“I  want to commend you on the way you structured the bootcamp–so organized. Covered the salient points needed to hone a writer’s skills as well as show us how to recognize and avoid common pitfalls encountered along the way.

Loved the exercises you had us do. Very helpful.” – Margarita de Palacios, Mexico City

“Ye gads! I was so revved up at the close of bootcamp my little fingers were twitching. Get thee to a computer.

“I learned more in the 2.5  days of the bootcamp,  than I have in two SBWCs, and then some. Bittersweet experience. Gnashing of teeth, frustration, jubilation, revelation–all, and more.  I thank you both for the eye-openers, the gracious and generous opportunity. I love you both and promise to acknowledge that love when I get published.” – Sonja Ferrera, Encino CA

“I spent the last 4 weeks with your copy of the last revision, reading your comments and suggestions (implementing most of them). I wanted to thank you first of all for taking the time to do all that work. But I also want to thank you for going the distance with me and this book. I know I’m far from being done here, but I feel I have accomplished something I never would have been able to do without your guidance. You truly are an extraordinary teacher.” – Susan

“My writing shall ever more be described as BT and AT (Before Toni, and After Toni).” Mark, Camarillo CA

“If one expects to have their manuscript published, Toni will show you how to improve your chances. She’s smart, knowledgeable and will help you perfect your writing talent. Thank you Toni for your valuable help.” Alixa, Moorpark CA

“Toni, you’re a cool drink of water in the desert. I learned a great deal from your edits and the books you recommended. I feel like I won the lottery.” Karen, Oxnard CA

“Learning to edit and doing it on others’ writing has sharpened my eye for editing my own work. I’m looking for those long passages of narrative, turning telling into showing and creating conflict-packed dialog.” Kay, Camarillo CA

“You are the wind at our backs Toni. We writers have linked arms and our collective will, under your tutelage, will surely enable us to reach our individual goals. ” Roberta, Thousand Oaks CA

“I’ve learned so much, not only about writing.  You’ve given me the confidence to continue my story, even when  I have no idea what I’m doing.  With your invaluable help, I’m sure to meet my goal.” Shirley, Moorpark CA

“I didn’t notice my POV slip until you pointed it out. I bring in more POV’s as the novel progresses, so I will have to be careful with a lot of the scenes. A word on adverbs: as I edit, I’m noticing how adverbs are often redundant to whatever I already have in my sentences. You said I wouldn’t miss them. I can’t wait to learn more.” KGH, Pismo Beach CA

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One Response to Testimonials

  1. Having known Toni for more years than either of us care to acknowledge, I know she knows her stuff. An experienced professional, a loyal mentor, and an out-of-the-box marketer (ask her about the Beverly Hills Diet phenomenon”) writers trust Toni’s expertise, integrity and knowledge of the publishing industry.

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