Frank Matej Cernik

Readers should be just as unable to forget you as they are to put down your book. More to the point, they shouldn’t just be readers: they should be fans. They should grab your book by the title page and demand “Who wrote you?” I can help you with that.

You want your readers to be engrossed in your world and to care about the characters who live there. A strong emotional connection is key to creating and retaining an audience. With my training in the philosophies of mind and emotion, I use my training in the philosophies of mind and emotion to give books staying power. Within every book is a kernel of something remarkable, something that readers will have never felt before. I find that seed and bring it to the fore, and help authors to focus in on the resonant core that only they could have made. Along the way, I guide my clients as they deepen their scenecraft, the relationships between their characters, and other structural components that contribute to their manuscripts’ emotional richness. These clients each work to expand our society’s compassionate imagination, and include activists, marginalized writers, social and community workers, and academics, to name just a few. Together, we deepen the local- and big picture-level structures in their texts for greatest audience impact, whether publishing independently or through small presses.

I am at my best with speculative fiction and with works that uphold the dignity and humanity of the people whose stories they tell. Perhaps paradoxically, the fiction that most engages me is horror, which as a genre is by no means devoid of warmth or compassion. I am fascinated by horror and other speculative fiction’s strength in using conceit and allegory to illuminate aspects of daily life and to make them new and fresh. Many of the works that draw on this strength are ‘high engagement’ fiction, as opposed to ‘high escapist’ fiction, but they can be something else entirely.

In addition to being a Fulbright Alumnus, I hold a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona (Dean’s List with Distinction, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. You can view my résumé here.

Burnaby, British Columbia


Years in the field: 5
Years freelancing: 5


Frank Cernik