I teach writing, primarily at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and Stanford Continuing Studies, and primarily memoir writing and personal essay. I also teach and coach one-on-one, and offer intensive editorial consultation, when I feel I’m a good fit for the particular writer and his or her sensibilities and project. If you are interested in one-on-one work, you can contact me at rachel dot howard at gmail dot com.
On this site, you can find information on my teaching philosophy and current classes. And–since I think the most revealing thing about a writing teacher is the books she loves–a list of my favorite books. I hope you’ll explore those links to learn more about me as a teacher.
I was beyond fortunate to gather a core group of thoughtful, incisive, dauntless students in my Summer 2017 Writing About Spirituality course for Stanford Continuing Studies. Below are their anonymous, unedited, unexpurgated comments on the teaching evaluations:
Rachel Howard went above and beyond my expectations for a professor. She offered her valuable time and insight to every students’ writing submissions. Her feedback was practical and balanced giving both encouragement and constructive input to sharpen our writing skills. Each week’s assignments built upon the previous reading and writing assignments cohesively, taking the student deeper into the subject matter.
Her manner is gracious to the various beliefs of students, creating a safe environment to hone our individual goals. These ten weeks have been worth every moment and dollar invested. I highly recommend this class and this professor.
Rachel was amazing. Thoughtful, articulate and sensitive, she guided all of the participants through their strengths and gave phenomenal feedback on improving. She was always encouraging and was very effective in bringing the class together in a community. She navigated through multiple spiritual traditions deftly and encouraged cross cultural learnings as well. I.will miss Rachel and this class. Its helped me re start my desire to write.
I really enjoyed this course. It allowed me to explore my writing voice and my own spirituality in a safe and tolerant environment. All of the classmates and the instructor were respectful of all the different religious traditions and beliefs, and that was very refreshing in today’s political climate!
Rachel was a very knowledgeable and thoughtful instructor throughout the course. Always well prepared yet open to suggestions for discussion with a keen understanding for what makes writing work and how to improve our in-class pieces. I learned a lot from her comments and suggestions on my work.
Rachel is compassionate and encouraging. Her comments were timely, thorough, and astute. She has great editing skills and a sharp eye. She guides the course with openness and clarity. Her presence on the boards is very human and she shares vulnerabilities while at the same time. It’s poised and curious. I thought she did an excellent job and would be happy to take another course with her and would recommend her highly to others.
Rachel is an incredible instructor. She is kind, knowledgeable, and always willing to go the extra mile to help the students. She is always commenting and giving solid advice to us all. She is amazing is every way and compassionate and insightful. I really enjoyed our interactions and Zoom calls.
This course was fascinating and Rachel was engaging, informative, inclusive and encouraging. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in deepening their understand of spirituality. It had a profound impact on me.