Collaboration helps us:

  • Develop original material from already existing knowledge
  • Connect with audiences
  • See how creativity depends upon structure, not magic
  • Approach a project from a new perspective
  • Trust our skills in innovation
  • Learn to self-edit


I collaborate with:

  • Professionals who write reports, briefs, articles, or presentations
  • Fiction writers who want to write non-fiction
  • Non-fiction writers who want to write fiction
  • Writers who want to expand into another genre or format
  • Individuals interested in self-publication
  • Anyone who has a story to tell, but wants to explore how to get started or how to end or how to fill in the middle.


The Mentor

  • A six month personal writing program, based on a writer’s experience level, style, and goals
  • The book, This Sentence is a Joke
  • A customized program manual of writing exercises based on storytelling and humor principles and theory
  • A three-hour, one-on-one video chat, two times per month
  • Writing assignments based on the program, followed by in-depth review and recommendations

The Self-Editor

  • An initial review of material intended for scholarly or professional, or popular self-publication
  • Six two-hour video chat sessions outlining the principles of effective narration and story editing
  • Detailed developmental analysis of and recommendations for assistance the proposed submission
  • Program materials designed to help the writer develop self-editing skills

 The Group Meeting

  • A 60 to 90 minute introduction to storytelling principles--tailored for either fiction or non-fiction, professional writers
  • Exercises designed to demonstrate how to expand cognitive processing toward the creative narrative
  • Program materials, including the book, This Sentence is a Joke
  • Substantive programs for retreats or periodic sessions available

Substantive programs for retreats or periodic sessions available upon request


Every writer deserves a good first reader--the person you can go to when you think you have nailed it, but aren't sure; or the person you go to when you feel stuck. Catherine Berlin is the best at this that I have ever seen. She goes deep into the intended meaning of whatever she edits, pulls out the bits that distract from the message, and brings out the strengths of the piece. She doesn't re-write: she improves what is there with suggestions that are sometimes so subtle that the only way you know that there's a change is that the piece suddenly works; or changes that are so dramatic that you wonder how you didn't see what was necessary in the first place. Perhaps her greatest skill is that the writers she works with never feel as though she has hijacked their writing. On the contrary, she enhances the feeling of authorship by showing you what your best work looks like.

-- William C. Altreuter, attorney and professor, New York.


Catherine Berlin has been one of Buffalo Spree’s most valued contributors for over ten years. Berlin understands the difference between witty and snarky. She favors reasoned analysis over channel surfing, and that’s what makes her writing as substantive as it is entertaining. Her essays for Spree come under the heading of fashion, but they cover much more, including relationships, societal norms, and human behavior in general. There are not many writers still capable of making startling original observations. Catherine Berlin is one of them.

-- Elizabeth Licata, Editor, Buffalo Spree Magazine.


Catherine is like a therapist for your writing. She is high energy, encouraging and honest. I’ve never had anyone read with such depth and intuition. She helps me craft every word into the perfect piece.

-- Kirby Bowles, Freelance Writer & Editor


From the State University of New York, at Buffalo students:

"Loved this course. For someone who has always wanted to write but just couldn’t put things to words, this was a great class."

"Catherine recognized that I had a very busy brain. That’s what she said. She could see it in my writing. I knew exactly what she meant. I am a science student in the University’s marching band, with a interest in the humanities. My ideas always seem to be competing for attention. I learned to channel my ideas and began writing so much better." 

"Dear University at Buffalo: Keep including it this course."

"This was my favorite class this semester. It was low key with an emphasis on creativity and quality. I learned more about writing than I ever had before, and it improved my creative skills as well as my academic writing for other classes. The homework was something I actually looked forward to doing every week." 

"Catherine focused on a different kind of writing that is never included in typical writing classes, and taught me how to incorporate these concepts into scholarly papers." 

"I wish that Catherine lived in the United States so I could meet her in person, but I am extremely thankful of her willingness to teach us through video conferencing, and give us her feedback. I’ve learned so much, and I count this course as my favorite of any I have taken at university." 

"Catherine has a passion for the course which makes me want to learn the material even more."

"Here is a copy of my homework. I know it is too late for a grade, but I wanted to write it anyway."