When people ask me about Word Artisan VT and what I do, I offer this simple explanation: “I write and I help people write.”
Why is writing my passion? Great writing is powerful. Finely tuned language resonates.
It strikes the deeper tones of human experience. It helps us to shape our impulses, desires, and goals into understandable patterns. Effective writing unfolds knowledge; it increases compassion and changes minds; it can change the world.
Collaborating with my writing clients as an editor or developmental editor to help their creative ideas and ambitions unfold is so exciting, and a great honor.
With an MA in Writing, Fiction, from the University of New Hampshire, and an MFA in Writing, Poetry, from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, I can support you during the creation or revision of your work. I offer in-depth and thoughtful comments, questions, and suggestions based on quintessential elements of craft. I have been editing for many years—books, newspapers, graduate student works, journal articles, marketing materials, and the list goes on.
Are you working on a book?
Developmental Editing, Line Editing, and Manuscript Feedback
As an editor and manuscript coach, I’ve collaborated with a wide range of national and international clients on works of fiction (Adult, YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy), nonfiction (Memoir, Informative, Self-Help, Spiritual), and poetry. My own writing practice informs the way I support my clients. I understand the joys and challenges of the creative process. My years of teaching taught me how to give feedback that enlightens and motivates writers, but is also honest. I believe that fearless revision is the heart of the writing process.
Do you have a finished piece of writing that needs copy editing or proofreading?
When I am copy editing a piece of writing, the outside world disappears and time floats by unnoticed—I am “in flow.” To me, editing is like solving a puzzle. How do the words best fit together to communicate what this client needs to say?
For proofreading, I have developed a technique I call “chunking.” I chunk phrases together in order to spot the missing words or punctuation marks and other errors that even seasoned writers might miss after working on a document for so long. Yet, even with a careful proofreader, it’s always a good idea to have at least two people read through the final draft. Proofreading requires perfection. Humans are not perfect and even famous literary figures have errors in their books! The more eyes on a document, the better!
Having been a production editor for a newspaper and as an editorial assistant for a local book publisher, I have experience with the Chicago Manual of Style. For manuscripts, it’s my go-to guide for punctuation, capitalization, and other style standards. Even still, the finer points of punctuation can be nebulous. Well-known newspaper editors have had vigorous arguments over the placement of a comma. My practice is to research for consensus and to consider the intended meaning and fluency of a line.
Are you completing an advanced degree and need support with academic writing?
Let’s face it—writing a thesis or dissertation is a daunting task. I’ve coached students and edited final documents in a range of academic disciplines such as education, literature, psychology, environmental studies, and philosophy. After over 20 years teaching secondary school English in my first career, and as a college English teacher, I’ve developed numerous strategies to support unique learning styles that are also informed by my experience as an academic and disabilities support specialist.
I’m familiar with the different components of final documents for MA or PhD programs, such as the methods section, or the literature review. I can help you to best support your thesis with solid, well-explained evidence within the style guideline for your discipline such as MLA or APA. Usually what is tripping students up is knowing how best to organize one’s ideas, and how to bring in the strongest evidence from outside sources in a way that flows and is accurately cited. I can help you to manifest a confident, analytical, scholarly voice. And if your graduate discipline is outside of my subject areas, I have references to other organizations who help graduate students so that you can find a good match and get the support that you need!
The Editor–Writer Collaboration: A trusting, comfortable, friendly relationship between me and each client is paramount, along with some humor and fun.
It’s my priority to listen carefully to what you wish to say and why, so that my contribution works to elevate your voice and helps your ideas to ring out. There is quite the cacophony in our technological world. I fine-tune language and offer feedback so that you can find the readers who will be inspired by your knowledge, narrative experiences, or poetic vision.
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”
—Enid Bagnold, British author and playwright who wrote National Velvet