Photo of Naomi standing during class in Siena, Italy. Blackboard to her right lists Decameron-inspired writing prompts (e.g., "forbidden love," "handling a corpse").
Naomi teaching in Siena, Italy, November 2022, with Ashland University program. (Writing prompts on blackboard inspired by Boccaccio’s Decameron.)


I have many years of experience working with writers at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as with people of all ages and experience levels in the community. I’ve taught at Saint Mary’s College, Ashland University, UC Davis, Sacramento City College, the Davis Arts Center, and various writers conferences, as well as privately.

If you’re considering an MFA in Creative Writing, please do check out the programs I’ve taught with:

  • the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University, based in Ashland, Ohio: We are small, inclusive, supportive, and passionate about writing and writers. I’ve been teaching there, both remotely and during the marvelous summer residencies, since 2018.


I also work one-on-one and with writing groups as a coach, editor, or manuscript consultant. I take on only a few clients at a time, and only writers I believe can benefit from my input. I’ve worked with both fiction and non-fiction writers, and I’m open to projects both literary and commercial. My goal is always to help writers realize and achieve their vision for a project. My rate (as of April 2023) is $100 an hour. If you’re interested in my services, please fill out the Contact form on my About page.


In recent years I’ve occasionally accepted a “sensitivity read” job. I’ve consulted on both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. I’ve done a few “general” reads for writers who wanted me to look in a broad way for potential problem spots in their manuscripts (e.g., unintended racism or sexism or cultural bloopers, etc.). But most of my clients have been individual authors (or their editors) who were neither Japanese nor Japanese-American and had manuscripts that dealt with Japan or Japanese people or Japanese-American characters in some way. That’s obviously my wheelhouse.

Sensitivity reads are controversial. Just Google it and you’ll see the arguments on all sides. (Here’s a measured piece on the usefulness of sensitivity readers.) I’m incredibly careful about who I work with in this way, and have turned down manuscripts after an initial consult because they proved problematic for me. Usually, however, my feedback is more on the order of, “I think you’re misusing this Japanese word; x might be a better choice,” or “This woman from 1750 Edo sounds super-American; I’ve highlighted some phrases that particularly contribute to this effect,” etc.

If you’re a white writer looking for an Asian woman to rubber-stamp your novel about Asian people, I’m not your gal. If, however, you’ve done a lot of research already and see this step as part of your “due diligence,” feel free to fill out the Contact form on my About page, and we’ll talk. My rate (as of April 2023) is $100/hour.