About Me

“I write only because there is a voice within me that refuses to be still.”
~ Sylvia Plath

It is said that you should do what you love and be passionate about your work. My passion is language, the written word - writing. I have been writing my whole life: Poems, songs, stories, plays, magazine and newspaper articles, screenplays...I have tried my pen with all.

My more formal training in literature and the arts began with my pursuit of my B.A. from the University of Florida, and then continued at the University of Virginia where I received my M.F.A. Over the years I have taught theatre, dance, and film and have been a Guest Artist for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as a Guest Lecturer at Harvard Law School. I worked in the film and television industry for over 20 years, as a Casting Director, Development Executive, and a Producer. For the past several years I have concentrated on my career as a Freelance Editor and Writer's Coach, as well as a facilitator for writing groups and workshops for local writers. Through it all, writing has remained my heart's channel of expression. William Wordsworth so perfectly said, "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."

I currently live on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with my husband, three children, and sweet dog. There I revel in the beauty and serenity that surrounds me, and am inspired to write something every day, filling my paper with the breathings of my heart.

Jill Alman-Bernstein

Writer's Coach

Being a Writer's Coach is a lot like being a cheerleader.

My job is to inspire and motivate. The most important thing that I can inspire a writer to achieve is to trust their voice and have the confidence in their ability to write with fluidity and perspective. Whether you are a novice or seasoned writer, or somewhere in between, I can help you discover your voice, write with your own personal and unique character, organize and structure your project, and stay on track.

Coaching is about hearing the writer's voice.

To be a good coach, you have to be able to listen, you have to be able to hear someone else's voice, hear the intonation, hear the laughter, hear the heartbreak, hear the pain, hear all the nuances of the writer and help them see how to translate that into the character of their story, their work.

Working not only as a coach but as a Content and Development Editor, I look at the whole of a project and look at all elements of the work, insuring that there is consistency, and that it all works together. Whether you are writing screenplays, fiction, or nonfiction projects, it is important to see the arc of the piece and know how you are getting from one point to the other, from the beginning through to the end.

Coaching is a collaborative process.

Coaching is really about the discourse, the dialogue, and the exchange of ideas between the coach and the writer.

Working with a Writer's Coach opens up your writing process to a discussion with someone who is thinking critically about, and analyzing the elements of your material. Often times the best critical analysis and constructive leaps happen in the course of a discussion when the writer and I are both thinking on our feet. We will be talking about character or story, and then organically, a reflection or insight is discovered, and a new perspective emerges, one that encourages the writer to dig deeper and find something that they had not had originally thought about for their story.

In the words of John Guare, American Playwright, "writing is a record of what it was like when you were alive." He challenges, "You think you know the world...let me show you the world from my eyes." That is the essence of writing - to delve into the unknown, to illuminate a new path of thought, and to reflect the world you see - whether it is imagined or real.

I Must Be A Mermaid

I have always loved the sea. From my tender years, I would feel the salt-spray on my skin, taste the warm Biscayne Bay waters that would come to help soothe me, and inhale the air that filled me with energy and perspective. Boating, sailing in particular, has always been an important part of my life. I was my own master on my sailing vessels, pointing to catch the wind so that I could race as fast as I could, feeling the strong and subtle breezes surround me, moving me forward. Owning my independence and solitude, I could navigate my world at hand.

It is then no real surprise to me that I was lured by the idea of being a mermaid... especially the mermaid of Anais Nin's literature, where she is known for "providing deeply explorative insight into her personal life and relationships". I am no stranger to diving deep into my soul, my inner self. The water was my playground and I could be found in its depths. Writing, too, has always been a part of who I am. From a very young age I have been putting ideas to paper - poems and songs, speaking of all the things in the world that touched my heart. In exploring the worlds of journalism, short stories, plays, and screenplays, I continued to weave rich threads into my writer's tapestry, my young voice experimenting with mediums of language and imagery.

Life, like the ocean is a constant ebb and flow. We are in perpetual transformation. This journey is not always easy or comfortable, and in the efforts to bolster and inspire myself to persevere, weather the storms, stand in my power, in my light; I discovered that I was bolstering and inspiring others to do the same.

I Must Be A Mermaid is the blending of my own personal soul searching with the inspirations and insights that I first found in the community of like-minded writers, healers, and teachers on Facebook. I dove in, created my page, and found the courage to swim through whatever was in my path, giving voice to my feelings through my personal observations and writing, as well as of those that spoke to me. With my I Must Be A Mermaid blog, I will fearlessly dive deeper into the realms of my heart and soul, swimming through their waters as a mermaid immersed in the sea of life.


Get In Touch

Send me an email through the contact form below,
or at: contact@jillalmanbernstein.com