samples of work
In general, we choose not to provide samples of work done for private clients—outside a few examples that appear below with permission—so most of these samples reflect work done for public agencies. They are, nonetheless, a fairly broad reflection of our styles and methods—and capabilities.
SUBSTANTIVE REVIEWS & COPY EDITS
As the-freelance-editor, I feel most of my talents and strengths lie in helping others to improve their writings, so I seldom take the opportunity to write from scratch. Occasionally, however, I do get and take the chance. Below are some samples of materials I have authored . . .
an article for middle-schoolers
As editor of Tar Heel Junior Historian—a magazine produced by the North Carolina Museum of History for, primarily, the state’s fourth-grade geography students, eighth-grade history students, and eleventh-grade government students—for several years in the 1990s, I typically wrote supplemental and filler text, definitions, timeline entries, credit lines, and acknowledgments for each issue. This old, low-res scan (PDF) features an entire article I wrote to fill a gap in an issue on agriculture. The scan also includes an illustrated piece (“The Olds Report”) with text I wrote to fit a storyboard developed in collaboration with a contract illustrator; in addition, a short biographical “recollection” appears to embellish and reinforce some of the article’s information. Finally (as in each issue I edited), I crafted the captions, definitions, and other supplemental text in this scan.
an entire book, concept to submission
In 2007, I was contracted to outline, research, and write text for Orlando, Then and Now, one in a series of pictorial histories of cities in the western hemisphere. The hardback coffee-table book eventually contained scores of vintage “then” images that I located alongside “now” photographs (I mapped out locations, then escorted the London-based photographer around town) of the same building or block or area. Each spread consisted of the two images and a lengthy caption that I wrote to note the location’s historical significance. Since I do not have an electronic copy to show those spreads, I proudly present my introduction to the book as a sample of my writing.
While that sample demonstrates nonfiction writing abilities, the-freelance-editor team also has writing experience with fiction, novels and short stories, as well as historical fiction for general audiences.
a musical exhibit
“Turn the Radio On”: Carolina Bluegrass was the first of three exhibitions mounted at the North Carolina Museum of History to draw visitors from International Bluegrass Music Association annual conference sessions that were being held nearby in downtown Raleigh. In addition to editing this first installation, my initial role was to fact-check and expand on text originated by the exhibit curator. This document, then, can be used as more of a writing sample than an example of my editorial skills.
additional writing samples:
- Jim Crow Days, part of a chapter in the African Americans in North Carolina Educator Notebook (mentioned, below, in the section on Educational Resources);
- draft text for the North Carolina timeline component of First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare (mentioned, below, in the section on Miscellaneous Projects);
- social media content for the-freelance-editor (visible at any of our listed outlets); and
- the text throughout this website (and our accompanying blog, which is currently undergoing revisions and reformatting), all conceived, arranged, written, and revised over the years by me!
SUBSTANTIVE REVIEWS & COPY EDITS
As you scroll through these samples, note three trademarks of reviews done by the-freelance-editor:
- in the running text, we place red-lined changes (note that, besides grammatical corrections, our changes are never mandated—like your old schoolteachers’ marks were—but are suggested changes or merely indications that some of the wording might not be saying quite what you intended it to say in the best way possible);
- in brackets within the running text, we occasionally place notes and reminders;
- in the comments sidebar, we place queries (some addressed to specific individuals, by name, and some addressed more generally and designated with three question marks), additional notes, possible options for rewording or rephrasing, and ideas for improving organization, logic, and intended meaning—as well as compliments and praise!
While serving on exhibition teams over the past few years at the North Carolina Museum of History, I have reviewed and edited label text for dozens of in-house and traveling exhibits. Below are a selection of progressive substantive reviews and copy edits from an exhibit that was a hybrid of the two. Scent of the Pine, You Know How I Feel: North Carolina Art from the Jonathan P. Alcott Collection was a traveling exhibit that came to the Museum of History with label copy we found to be inconsistent, wordy, and sometimes incorrect. As editor for the exhibit, I worked with the museum curator to help improve the traveling exhibit’s packaged text by fact-checking and adjusting grammar and by reorganizing text to make the presentation more uniform and logical.
- Out of respect for the collector and the curator of the packaged portion of the exhibit, my initial substantive review of the text had a very light touch.
- Two additional document files arrived, or were created in-house, to complete the exhibit’s raw text. These reviews were initially handled separately, then merged into the main document.
- This file of final text has been edited (by myself and the museum’s editor-in-chief) and approved (by all originators and reviewers) and is ready for the next phase of work by a graphic designer.
These samples—to one exhibit out of dozens the-freelance-editor team has processed over the years—demonstrate most of the steps involved in techniques we use to review and edit any sort of text, especially when projects are done as part of a team collaboration.
As an editor at the North Carolina Museum of History, I was sometimes asked to provide reviews of grant applications. These two files illustrate substantive reviews of parts of two separate applications.
organizational reports and company histories
Preparing monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and other record-keeping and historical type publications for nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and even corporations are somewhat similar productions. Contact the-freelance-editor to see how our team can work with you and your team.
From Farm to Factory: Agriculture and Industry in North Carolina is one of a series of notebooks and kits created by the North Carolina Museum of History that is distributed on-demand to classrooms across the state. Notebooks contain lists of resources and lesson plans; kits contain reproduction objects, sample images, and period maps that provide a hands-on learning experience for students. Most of the lesson plans in From Farm to Factory were created as part of an earlier grant by educators at the museum. Lesson 8, “The Great Depression,” was added later. My role with Lesson 8 was to serve as substantive reviewer (reflected in the file named, in part, “ver1,hilited”) and copy editor (reflected in the progressive files named, in part, “ver2” and “ver3”).
- Substantive review: FromFarm2Factory- Lesson 8 The Great Depression – ver1,hilited
- Copy edit: FromFarm2Factory- Lesson 8 The Great Depression – ver2
- Copy edit: FromFarm2Factory- Lesson 8 The Great Depression – ver3
For additional information on the museum’s notebooks and kits, visit ncmuseumofhistory.org/learning/educators/history-in-a-box (note that I am not an editor for the website ncmuseumofhistory.org).
African Americans in North Carolina is the first in a new Educator Notebook series at the North Carolina Museum of History. The two files listed below provide a substantive review (A note about teaching enslavement – ver1,hilited) of some introductory text to the volume and a collaborative writing sample (Jim Crow Days – AANC 6-Intro) that introduces the Jim Crow concept to teachers. My role for the writing sample was to research background information and write the text, which was then reviewed and revised with team input. You’ll also find two examples of lesson plans for the notebook, which I edited for the team and formatted for consistency.
- Substantive review: A note about teaching enslavement – ver1,hilited
- Writing sample: Jim Crow Days – AANC 6-Intro
- Completed lesson plan: Blacks in Colonial North Carolina—“A Forced Migration”
- Completed lesson plan: African American Cultural Traditions
For more information on the notebook series, visit ncmuseumofhistory.org/learning/educators/educator-notebooks (note that I am not an editor for the website ncmuseumofhistory.org).
media releases, event calendars, and promotional news alerts
I’ll continue to revise this list, but for now, several examples are originated from the Museum of History, where I spent 15 years of my career.
- A monthly release promoting activites for April 2021: initial review, with suggested changes redlined and with changes accepted
- A bimonthly calendar of museum events and programs: my role was to assemble an established production team, gather dates and draft information, update and massage that information into promotional listings that team members reviewed and approved, then distribute a final edited document with “ready-to-go” text to appropriate staff members—here is a PDF of the final document with long versions of that text; here is a printed PDF with shorter versions of text I edited down to fit smaller spaces
Some projects we work on are so self-contained, from start to finish, that they make use of several talents, from working with teams or individuals to brainstorm topics and angles and outline goals and objectives, to writing, to performing self-reviews or collaborating with review teams to ensure substance and logic, to copy editing for errors in grammar and nuance, to packaging files for further production. The two projects below exemplify some of those types of projects.
supplementary exhibit (and trade show) elements
The files listed below illustrate most of the steps involved in creating a timeline of events that were taking place in North Carolina during playwright William Shakespeare’s time. The timeline was used to make a North Carolina connection to Shakespeare as part of the traveling exhibit First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, which stopped at the North Carolina Museum of History for a month in 2016. I submitted the concept, researched and wrote draft text, and worked with the exhibit team and a graphic designer to finalize text and space edit copy. The graphic designer’s final product is included at the bottom of this list.
- thoughts on Shakespeare-NC timeline
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver1
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver2
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver3,hilitedCUTS
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver4, for review
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver5a, inclRVWRcmnts
- Shakespeare-NCtimeline – ver6-1stSpaceEdit,redlined
Personal histories involve working side by side with a person and his or her memories, helping to place those memories into historical context, and presenting them in a style that reflects the person. From the several personal histories I’ve been a part of as the-freelance-editor, I have permission to share sections of two:
- a memoir of a World War II veteran who wanted his grandchildren to know where their family had come from; and
- a sort of fashion history/textbook that allowed a retiring teacher to continue sharing her research and insights.
blog posts and web presences
I began working on websites as a code proofreader in the middle and late 1990s, then discovered that the “puzzle” of putting HTML (and, later, XHTML and XML) together into a web module was fun! Eventually, I started working to edit text for websites, to organize and map web pages, and to manage websites—for just a few customers, and often as parts of other projects. For your review, I’ve posted links to a few examples (in addition to this site, which is currently in its fourth iteration):
- Longleaf Film Festival began as part of a large and daunting exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History—Starring North Carolina!—that ran in 2014 and 2015. The festival’s popularity with a variety of new audiences for the museum resulted in it being renewed and expanded. I have served as web text editor and webmaster for the site throughout this run. Explore at LongleafFilmFestival.com.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, programs and events coordinators at the Museum of History needed a way to post information as it was gathered and updated—which turned out to be a much more piecemeal and last-minute fashion than had become the norm. As editor of programming information at the time, I developed a “draft-calendar online site” in the free version of WordPress so wording for promotional efforts could be fetched at any time it was needed: regardless of timing, the information was edited and ready for use. The home page for this site contains (beginning at the bottom) a sequential series of instructional notes to the staff.
- In 2016, the Museum of History decided to start a blog. While the effort was short lived (largely due to a staffing transition), I did edit and post several articles during its presence.
- As mentioned earlier, I began writing and updating text for this website (along with its accompanying blog) in1997—all content conceived, arranged, written, and revised over the years by the-freelance-editor!
- Finally, this link leads to an in-progress (and slow to develop because the clients are not currently taking the time) website for a start-up alpaca ranch! A team at the-freelance-editor is working with those clients, as they can, to craft and edit text for the site and to outline and map its pages.
Find additional information and links online at www.linkedin.com/in/anEditor.
Click here for a list of references you can contact.
Click here to view an online version of my resume.
If you wish a pdf copy of my resume that you can view, download, or print,
click here for an annotated version or here for a condensed two-page version.
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