an autobiographical sketch
My editing career actually began somewhat by accident when I started working on the campus weekly at the college I was attending in northern Indiana—merely because I admired the adviser’s expertise and well-earned reputation.
Before long, I had been named news editor, which included managing copy for the front page and the news section; I later served as that paper’s editor, as well, and I ended up graduating with a minor in journalism. (My major was in the School Media Services program—a double major that combined library science and a K–12 teaching degree.) Ironically, over the years I’ve used that minor more than either of the majors!
The Dayton years
After graduation, I went back home and was hired to be a reference librarian at the Dayton and Montgomery County (Ohio) Public Library. There, my activities focused on researching business- and science-based problems, answering relevant questions from phone-in and walk-in customers, and writing and editing a monthly annotated book review newsletter of new titles in those subject areas. I also began assisting the librarians who worked in the local history room—and with the treasures in the library’s “Dayton Collection.”
In the late 1980s, I left the DMCPL and became a staff researcher and the publications director for the Montgomery County Historical Society in Dayton. There, I was responsible for helping to research, write, and produce brochures, exhibit guides, and a variety of materials that benefited and promoted membership with the society. During this time, I also started my first business: Freelance Library Services. FLS enabled me to make my skills as a librarian and researcher available to individuals, small businesses, nonprofit agencies, and government programs that needed them. My clients were located throughout the Dayton-Columbus-Cincinnati corridor.
My first stint in Raleigh
In 1992, I moved south and accepted a position as a general editor with the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. My duties in that position included helping to research and coordinate the production of many different types of publications, from simple tri-fold brochures and promotional materials to lesson plans, audiovisual scripts, and classroom discussion guides to multi-page exhibition study guides and an eight-page tabloid newsletter. Less than three years later, I was hired to be project editor, text editor, and design editor of Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine.
Produced by the NCMOH, THJH was a history magazine for the Tar Heel Junior Historian Association, a free “club” of about 9,000 schoolchildren from all across North Carolina. My work with that publication revolved around researching and ghostwriting or fact-checking and rewriting contributions for each topical issue.
During my years as editor, the magazine’s reputation and audience grew to include readers of all ages who were interested in state history; issues were eventually even sold in the museum gift shop. Since most of the contributors to the magazine were subject specialists, analysts, and professors, I often had to work with them to review, edit, and revise their material so it could be read and understood by the magazine’s audiences.
As a result of working with them, I discovered that I enjoyed planning and coordinating projects from conception to publication; I grew to find fulfillment in helping writers whose talents were in other areas, hesitant writers, and inexperienced writers to outline, draft, and revise their manuscripts; and I found satisfaction in redirecting content, language, and structure toward school-aged readers and general audiences.
And so, in 1998, I began my second business, which has come to be known as “the-freelance-editor,” to help authors and writers to reach their audiences, to get their ideas into the heads of listeners and readers, and to ensure that their messages are understood. I moved that business with me to Orlando in 2000, when I relocated to help care for aging relatives.
My second stint in Raleigh!
After suffering through the economic recession of 2007–2008—glad for some European clients that kept me in business for a while and a few clients in Australia that helped even longer—and working to start up a small niche publisher, I made another location change: back to Raleigh and the Museum of History!
In a different role there, I used my skills as content editor and project manager to help produce issues of the museum’s membership magazine and the museum’s calendar of educational programs and other events—initially just a bimonthly print publication, I grew information gathered from sources throughout the museum into online content and marketing text that was massaged into a number of varying word counts and messaged in a ways. In addition, I served as editor on several exhibit teams and became the “official” editor and website manager for the museum’s Longleaf Film Festival.
The journey continues
Now that you know the basics of my professional journey and the winding path that led to the-freelance-editor, please take a few moments to explore short discussions on my philosophy and my techniques and to learn even more about me, the-freelance-editor, and my qualifications: you can follow links from the drop-down menus to review “Why use a freelance editor (at all)?” and “our specialties,” or you can continue with our “About the-freelance-editor” page, as well. If nothing else, I’ve posted a current resume and some samples of my work—review them as you can.
Then, if you want to know still more, get in touch! I look forward to meeting you and to hearing about your project.
At the-freelance-editor, we work with you—the author, the originator,
the content writer—and your team, to help you say what you want to say to the audience you want to reach.
So, get in touch—you won’t know how we can help you and your team until you do!
If you still have questions or concerns after exploring our site or if you’re ready to see how we can work together to reach your goals, contact us—whenever you’re ready.
the online home of
As a professional freelance
editor (which means my services
are for hire by any person or
organization that needs them),
my goal, and the goal of my team,
is to collaborate with
you—the author, the originator,
the content writer—to reach your
(1) to say what you want to say
to the audience you want to reach
(2) to have your readers
concentrate on your message,
not your mistakes.
So, get in touch—you won’t
know how we can help you and
your team until you do!