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Fast First Drafts

A three-month book incubator with author, poet, and writing mentor, Dawn Leas.

How Long Have You Dreamed of Writing a Book?

A year? A decade? Forever?
It’s time to stop dreaming and start writing.

Fast First Drafts is a 3-month virtual group during which you’ll write your dream into reality.

Weekly office hours: struggling with character development? Questioning your poem line breaks?  Schedule an appointment, and we’ll talk through it.

Bi-weekly Zoom meetings: Check-in to talk wins, work through stumbling blocks, give and receive encouragement

Accountability + Support: To keep you moving forward

Resource Library: A list of craft articles and books selected by me

Weekly Video Series: Craft tips + inspirational interviews with authors

At the end of our journey, you’ll have:

– a first draft of your manuscript
– Momentum to move into revising
– Ongoing access to resource library
– A connected + supportive writing community


Fast First Drafts is for you if you…

  • ✓ have a book idea begging to be set free from your brain (poetry or prose)
  • ✓ want this year to be the year you say yes to getting your story down on the page, no matter how rough or messy the first draft might be
  • ✓ love to connect with other writers in a welcoming and encouraging online space
  • ✓ believe in saying no (sometimes to really fun things) to make space for your writing
  • ✓ want to stop dreaming and start writing

Fast First Drafts is NOT for you if you…

  • ✓ aren’t ready to fully commit to writing your draft in three months
  • ✓ aren’t willing to say no (even to the really fun things) to make space for your writing
  • ✓ are looking for revision suggestions (this is a group to support you in moving through writing the first draft without worrying about revising and editing – save that for your next draft!)

Hey! I’m Dawn. Author. Writing Coach. Mom of grown sons. Salt-water lover. Back-of-the-pack runner.

I love writing grooves that are hours long but seem like minutes. Grammar doesn’t make me break out in hives. A good detour to find just-the-right synonym.

I also love reading, running, visiting my sons, and mashed potatoes. Not necessarily in that order.

Words are my thing. My own and others. For the past four years, I’ve helped clients jump start their writing practices. I’ve guided clients through revisions (and then celebrated with them when they found publishing homes for their books). I’ve taught students, ages 5 to 99 how to boldly face the blank page to write their hearts out.

I have 10 years of copywriting experience, two years teaching middle-school English (hello, grammar lessons), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

I’m also the author of two poetry chapbooks, A Person Worth Knowing (FootHills Publishing, 2021), I Know When to Keep Quiet (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and a full-length poetry collection, Take Something When You Go (Winter Goose Publishing, 2016).

And I used to be queen of the “after” statements…

After I finish grad school.
After my sons finish college.
After the winter/spring/summer/fall.

I used to make future plans

I’ll start that poem on Monday. 
I’ll spend the weekend writing.
I’ll go back to that novel next summer. 

I used to dream of when…

When there’s less stress. 
When there’s more time.
When there are less family obligations. 

Sound familiar?

While these used to be my go-to excuses for putting my writing on hold, they aren’t anymore. Now I practice writing. Every.single.day.

Deadlines will loom.
Obligations will pull at your attention. 
Life will happen.

There is no just right. There is no perfect. There’s just now.

Are you ready to say no to your go-to excuses?

Are you ready to say yes to writing your book? 

Fast First Drafts is a 3-month book incubator that will help you turn your dream into reality. Let’s get writing!


“Dawn is knowledgeable, professional, and organized. She held me accountable and focused with deadlines. After working with her for three months, my characters became more rounded, my writing became more vivid and descriptive, my short-story manuscript is stronger, and I was able to fine-tune my writing voice.”
~Janine D., fiction writer


What if I can’t attend the Zoom meeting live?

All meetings will be recorded so you can catch the replays whenever is best for you. 

What if I only have a story idea, but no words down on the page yet?

Then, this is the program for you! Fast First Drafts is meant to  be a place where you write your story from beginning to end. 

Why doesn’t Fast First Drafts include revision or editing feedback?

Fast First Drafts is a space for you to move the story from your head to the page quickly so that by the end of it, you’ll have a solid draft to use as a starting point for revision. It is an accountability  group  with resources and encouragement to keep you writing through the messiness of getting the story down on the page. The time for revision will come later.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

I welcome the opportunity to provide accountability, support and guidance while you write your way from beginning to end in Fast First Drafts. I encourage you to say yes to writing your book in the course of three months of the program. This will take a commitment of time, talent, and financial resources. If you are 100% ready to make that commitment, I look forward to working with you.

Because  I expect us both to show up fully on this journey, I do not offer refunds for Fast First Drafts at this time.

I will consider applying the investment to future work together should an extenuating circumstance arises in the first six weeks of the program.  These requests must be in written form and will be considered on a case by case basis. Decisions for these requests are at my discretion.

What are the payment options?

You may pay in full by clicking one of the red buttons on this page.

A three-month payment option is available upon request.