My most recent book, Jillian in the Borderlands: A Cycle of Rather Dark Tales, is described by one reviewer as "marrying the social-justice novel with magical realism." Another reviewer writes: "Alvarado’s use of many voices not only showcases her talent for dialogue but also challenges the tendency to make stories and histories of people and places linear and from a single perspective."
In my nonfiction, I have written extensively about marrying into my late husband's family when I was 19 years old. My essay collection Anxious Attachments was long listed for the PEN Art of the Essay Award and won the 2020 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Taken together as a larger narrative, these essays are about the power of love to revise who we are, what we believe, and what our story is. It is now available on Audible.
Much of my work is set in Tucson Arizona, where Fernando and I grew up and raised our children. My lyric memoir Anthropologies layers scenes, oral histories, portraits, dreams, and family myths from both his family and my own. My first story collection, Not a Matter of Love, won the Many Voices Project Prize for work that the final judge called "wise and witty and unflinching."
I taught at the University of Arizona for many years and now am on the faculty at Oregon State University-Cascades Low Residency MFA Program. I am on the Advisory Board of JackLeg Press.
I have decided to work as a consultant with a few writers a year. If you are interested, please see the final page of this website for information and then feel free to email me with questions at email@example.com.
Consultations: Nonfiction, Fiction, Memoir, and Hybrid Prose
I am interested in working with a few writers a year. I have forty years of experience teaching writing at the university level and can assist in all stages of the writing process from generating material to shaping and polishing it. I can also suggest and supply helpful readings and provide guidance on placing your work once it's ready.
If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will ask you to send a sample of your work to see if I think I would be a good fit for you. I do not write nor do I read much genre fiction, for instance, and so I would not be very helpful if you are writing suspense or science fiction unless it is character-based and rather literary. After I read your sample, we can talk about what shape a mentorship might take and how much it might cost.
As a general rule, I charge $300 a session which includes reading 6500 words (of clean prose), providing both marginal and end comments, and an hour of conversation. This charge is a ball-park figure for both one-time consultations and on-going mentorships, but I can be flexible depending on factors we can discuss. One of those factors, of course, is my teaching and writing schedule. I want to be sure to have quality time to devote to your work.
I have also facilitated small-group workshops on-line. If you are interested in something like that, let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!
"Beth Alvarado is part teacher, part mentor, part oracle. If you’ll recall, the latter’s role is to provide guidance that helps the seeker unlock their next steps. Beth is a practical guide, providing feedback that helps a writer look at their own work from a different, more concrete and more expansive, angle. She communicates clearly and brings a depth of experience to mentoring writers. She helps me make my work better. Period."
-Brigitte Lewis, author of Origin Stories and the forthcoming memoir, Speculative Histories
"Beth Alvarado brought a voracious curiosity to my project resulting in a much deeper exploration of my second novel-in-progress than I could’ve imagined. To work alongside someone truly interested in your own vision yet expertly capable of expanding that vision is a rare treat. I’ve enjoyed her small group sessions as well as our one-on-one discussions. Highly recommend!" - R. Cathey Daniels, author of Live Caught