I am a freelance writer, author, editor, instructor, and writing coach. I have a bachelor’s degree in History, a Master's in English, and completed all but thesis towards a Master's in Medieval History.
I currently teach Life Stories through the city of Scottsdale and I offer private writing instruction for those who prefer a one-on-one format. I am available to teach or present in groups and at events in the Greater Phoenix area, and via zoom out of the area.
My first book, Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, won the Grand Prize in the Writer’s Digest 20th Annual Book Contest. It is housed in the permanent collections at Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the National Library of Israel, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum based in Skokie, Illinois. My recently released second book, Jewish Girls Gone Wild, has been featured on NPR's The Morning Show, on the podcast People of the Book, and in multiple media outlets. My freelance writing has appeared in numerous venues such as Newsweek, Kveller, the Times of Israel, and Motherwell.
In 1973, Linda Pressman’s Holocaust Survivor parents pack up their seven daughters and move cross country, from idyllic Skokie, Illinois, to the wild west – Scottsdale, Arizona – in a time of horse trailers, feed stores, and a church on every corner. A Jewish family plunked down in an alien world, her father transforms quickly into a Polish cowboy and the proud owner of a produce market, while her mother becomes a real estate agent trying to change the world, one house at a time. In a coming-of-age story that is funny, tragic, and universal, Pessman recreates her teenaged world filled with angst, silent crushes from afar, and an eternal pull towards home, wherever that is.
Written by a child of two Holocaust Survivors, Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, tells a story of growing up with parents who have survived the unsurvivable and, post-war, land in Skokie, an idyllic northern suburb of Chicago. They're suddenly free to live their lives, yet find the past has arrived with them.
In a book that’s both funny and somber, and a story universal in its scope, Linda Pressman creates an unforgettable portrait of adolescent angst and traumatized parents amid the suburban world of the 60s and 70s, ultimately finding that her parents' stories are her own.
I teach a popular Life Stories class through Scottsdale Arts. Through twenty-plus years of writing classes, including workshops ranging from the UCLA Writers Studio, Hugo House in Seattle, the SUN Magazine Workshop at Esalen, and my studies towards a Masters in English, I always hope to bring the best that I've learned in each class to the classes I teach.
I've created what I believe to be the quickest path for a writer to find their voice, to avoid writer's block, and to become immersed in their story, one scene at a time. I approach teaching with the belief that every story is important and worthy of being written.
Linda teaches spring sessions and fall sessions of eight weeks each, and shorter sessions in the summer. The spring 2023 session is beginning on February 17 and will run until April 14th, skipping April 7th. All classes are via zoom and on Friday mornings from 10 am to noon MST. Students participate not just locally but from across the country.
Please see Scottsdale Arts' website for more information or use this link to sign up for the class. https://scottsdaleartslearning.org/event/life-stories-11/
I teach memoir via zoom one-on-one for those who prefer personal instruction and guidance rather than a classroom setting. As an experienced developmental editor in the Memoir/Nonfiction genre, I have a great eye for detail, consistencies, flow and rhythm. The coaching can involve personal writing instruction, help with organizing work, with finding the story within the story, in overall structure, further development of the piece or book, or just how to begin to write when you feel you have a story and don't know how to get it on paper.
Please contact me directly to schedule a free 20-minute zoom session to see if private coaching would suit your writing goals.
Fees for book and story coaching are as follows:
$75 per 1/2 hour zoom coaching which includes reviewing a 500-word piece beforehand.
$150 per 1-hour zoom coaching which can include instruction, organizing, editing of up to 1200 words and discussion afterwards.
$500 special price for 4 hours of individual writing instruction, a savings of $100.
I have appeared at many venues in different roles, as part of panel presentations, as a keynote speaker, as part of a reading, and in a teaching role. I'm an experienced book club presenter.
The following list is a sampling of some of the venues at which I've appeared:
The Writer's Digest Book Conference
Hadassah Valley of the Sun
Hadassah of Charlotte, North Carolina
Hadassah of Sun City book club
Holocaust Education Day at the VOSJCC
Congregation Beth Israel Women of Valor book club speaker
Honored as one of the Chicago Jewish United Fund's Remarkable Jewish Women
Illinois Holocaust Museum
Skokie Public Library
Phoenix Public Library
Local High Schools and Middle Schools
Bar Flies reading in Phoenix
Mothers Who Write readings
Limmud Day of Jewish Learning
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Daughters of Survivors, Chicago
Hadassah Scottsdale Conference
Bureau of Jewish Education
Smile on Seniors
Jewish Community Center Scottsdale, Meet the Author and Book Launch
Congregation Beit Tefillah Book Club
Shayna Maidels Book Club
Retired AZ Teachers Book Club
Brophy Catholic Women's Book Club