What I do

Nancy Joyce,Frank Gehry,Stata Center MITAT YOUR SERVICE   An editor’s work does not warrant the adjective skillful until he recognizes that the work must be in the service of the written text. Too often, we can fall prey to treating a manuscript as an excuse for rigid conformity. Unquestionably, the easiest way to edit text is to impose “rules” of grammar, syntax, usage, punctuation, and spelling. But that approach nearly always negates the nature and purpose of the manuscript, making it a disservice to author, content and, most important, reader.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE   Audience-directed writing and editing focuses on melding vocabulary, expression, and pictures in ways that attract and engross targeted readers. By beginning work with in-depth client discussions that pinpoint who comprises the audience, I can determine up front the parameters of the work and which tools will be needed for that one specific project.

WHO USES MY WORK   With nearly 40 years of experience in all aspects of publication development and production, I now provide editorial services principally to the client whose goal is making certain her written work expresses exactly what she intends all the while maintaining her unique and authentic style and voice. This breadth of experience is unusual among editors, and it allows me to offer suggestions early on that can forestall potential difficulties awaiting the unwary author (or designer, production manager, even publisher) farther along in the process.


  • nonfiction editing (content and development; line; copy)
  • editing multi-author manuscripts (a.k.a., herding cats)
  • writing (long- and short-form)
  • manuscript development and preparation
  • blogging (attending to SEO, image selection, and audience interests and needs)
  • compiling, verifying, and styling bibliographies and other editorial apparatus
  • verifying factual information through two- or three-source research
  • compiling and editing indexes and other locator tools
  • compiling anthologies in which congruence of text and image offers insight into both
  • page design and layout

SPECIALTIES   I enjoy focusing on—and excel at—three particular multi-skill capabilities:

  1. William Sargent,Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics,Chinese export porcelainillustrated nonfiction—wedding words and images so that readers experience a seamless, apparently effortlessly told story;
  2. project direction—bringing to bear my understanding of the complete process of making a book so that in its final form its consistent, reliable presentation of information goes unnoticed; and
  3. editorial apparatus—the careful, time-consuming, eye-exhausting nit picking needed to compile, hone, and verify information relegated to the backs of books—bibliographies, appendices, indexes, end (or foot) notes, lists, etc.