We adapt our methods to your unique personality and strengths.
We help you understand the "why" behind the "how" of writing.
Students, we help you master the martial art of scholarship!
Authors, we help you tell your story well, and publish wisely!
The Wordsmith Team:
Nic Nelson has a bizarre love for the bizarre language of English— its twists and turns, its nooks and crannies, its etymology and linguistic structures, its clarity, vitality, and power. Nic has taught creative and academic writing to children, teens, and adults for many years, focusing mostly on graduate and doctoral students. He has been a dissertation coach since 2004 and has led seminars on academic reading and writing, self-publishing, article-writing, rhetoric, exegetical research, servant leadership, ideational leadership, and maximizing human capacity.
"I have worked with Nic for several years now, and have found him a patient, helpful, and very knowledgeable editor. Nic looks beyond the immediate story to improve overall composition and content. I highly recommend him to you as a valuable resource."
I have been writing and editing all of my professional life, including time spent working on Capitol Hill (in Congress) as a legislative correspondent and legislative aide and for a prominent pollster. I have also worked as an editor for a national daily newspaper and as a writer for a renowned nonprofit run by Steven Spielberg and hosted a cable show in which I interviewed well-known authors. I hold a strong interest in world and public affairs and politics, take my work seriously, but I also try to maintain a balance in life by being active: I am a runner, dancer, and hiker.
"I had the honor of working with and learning from Heather as she served as a copyeditor for three of my books and countless articles/reports. She is a hardworking, insightful professional. Her extraordinary knowledge of language goes beyond editing and into the craft of meaning-making. She has my highest recommendation."
—N.C. Walker, Ph.D
Deanna Brady is a highly versatile freelance writer and editor with more than three decades of experience in both fiction and nonfiction literature. She edits, rewrites, and ghostwrites novels and stories (literary and genre fiction), self-help books, biographies and memoirs, cover and query letters, proposals, articles, scripts, textbooks, business communications, marketing material, and Web content. Her many happy clients greatly appreciate her expertise, gentle guidance, meticulous care, and ability to preserve their individual voices and help make their work shine.
Known as an “editor’s editor,” Deanna is adept with ESL, dialects, and translated text. She specializes in speculative, YA, romance, and women’s fiction, historical and creative nonfiction, as well as spirituality, ecology, Native American Indian and other indigenous cultures, psychology, and complementary medicine. For ten years she was the editor of an internationally published monthly inspirational magazine. She has written and edited numerous children's textbooks and is an award-winning author of short fiction and poetry. She taught for a dozen years in the Continuing Education Department at California State University and speaks frequently at literary conferences.
Deanna works with a broad spectrum of clients in widely varied fields. She has written and edited advertising and marketing copy, prospectuses, and training materials for such diverse clients as IBM, AT&T, Omnicom Group Worldwide, George Marciano/Guess, Learning Tree International, Crabtree Publishing Company, Canon Communications, and the RAND Corporation. She has volunteered her services on behalf of various charitable organizations, and her grant proposals have garnered nearly half a million dollars for nonprofit groups.
dbwords at gmail.com
“You were a godsend - your never-ending support, willingness to take me on, work with me, teach me, and your ever-present patience with a newbie. I will forever be grateful and in awe of your talent. Thanks again for your encouragement, inspiration, and most of all, helping make me a writer.”
– Joanie Ferree, The Ring
Samuel Kelly is a freelance line editor, copy editor, and proofreader. Sam has earned a double BA in English and biblical and religious studies at Fresno Pacific University and an MA in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he continues to support graduate students with editing expertise. In addition to his work at Wordsmith, Sam does research for pastors and churches at Docent Research Group and teaches writing skills to middle school students at New Covenant Academy. Although Sam specializes in theological writing and biblical languages, his cross-disciplinary curiosity and familiarity with multiple style manuals make him an ideal partner whatever your current project is. Sam blogs and does business at jotortittle.com.
Beth Kilpatrick, located in Central Texas, has invested the last twenty years educating and coaching students with dyslexia and ADHD and has succeeded in moving them from devastated students to college success stories. Trained in English writing, social work and theology, Beth has taught graduate research courses, social work community practice and internship seminars and mentored seminary students. In these roles, she has coached students toward writing succinctly and powerfully. Beth has also published poetry and in academic journals. Her primary goal is to create a hospitable environment where each individual can celebrate their own narrative and learn to articulate themselves in a way that will transform their lives and powerfully impact others.
Sarah Anne Fox
Sara Anne "Saran" Fox, a former development executive with a major Hollywood producer, played a vital role in the conception and development of over 25 screenplays, three published novels, and three produced films ("My Favorite Year," "Nosferatu," and "Quest For Fire"). For over 20 years she has used her skills as a writing coach and story editor—not only with screenwriters but also with novelists and memoir writers—to strengthen character development, clarify motivation, and improve story structure and plot. Sara Anne's strong empathetic and intuitive gifts, combined with her editorial talents, provide her clients with a comfortable creative atmosphere in which to realize their artistic goals and visions. She also passes on her extensive knowledge and experience via the screenwriting workshops she conducts, and in classes at community colleges and university extension schools where she guest-teaches.
A native of Massachusetts, Sara Anne is a graduate of Brandeis University. Known to her friends as "Quiz Show Queen," she was a winner on five television game shows, including both versions of "Jeopardy." She currently resides in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles and is busy working on her forthcoming book Climbing Mt. Everest in My Underwear: My Treacherous and Exhilarating Ascent into Womanhood, a view of life from her quirky and unique perspective.
You'll find more information about her at www.fox-editswork.com
Alycia Crane’s love of storytelling stems from childhood – the world craft that brings the story to life, the characters that make it real, and the problems and conflicts that the characters run into that make the story believable and relatable to anyone who picks it up. She is a writer of flash fiction, short stories and novels. She is also a winner of the 2020 Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story competition. She is in her last semester of her graduate program at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, within arm’s reach of an MFA in Creative Writing.
Mike Rumley-Wells has loved books for as long as he can remember, even longer than he has loved dinosaurs. He is a writer who practices what a friend dubbed "reckless transparency." He writes about the intersection of the spiritual and secular.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Pomona College and a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary (which, despite his graduating Summa Cum Laude, somehow left him neither masterful nor divine).
His books include Something Like Faith, a profane coming-of-age novel; Authentic Faith: Feeding the Soul in Politically Divided Times, an encouragement to seek justice and offer grace in our rancorous, politically divided nation; and God Enters In, a book of reflections on Advent. His upcoming book, Greif, the Desert, and Survival Spirituality, is both a memoir on the death of his son, Isaac, and an offer of solidarity with those who have suffered the death of a child. Mike also writes a blog, Grace is Greater: Reflections on a Ridiculous Life.
In a former life, Mike served as a pastor and then lived in Nicaragua for seven years, doing community development and playing ultimate. Though he no longer has the title, he can't help being pastoral. It is this, and not his ability to mix drinks, that has also earned him the nickname "The Bartender." His children claim he holds the World Record for hearing strangers' life stories in parking lots. He still plays ultimate.
Mike understands - very personally and perhaps better than most - how daunting, intimidating, and overwhelming the journey from "I want to write" to "I am a writer" can be.
Shannon lives in Minneapolis and loves administrative work! She does much of the behind-the-scenes work for Wordsmith Writing Coaches. She started a virtual assistant business in 2019 and works with entrepreneurs and small business owners around the country, helping take care of the administrative side of their businesses. Before starting her business, she was an administrative assistant to financial advisors at a large firm, but she's been enjoying learning the ins & outs of other kinds of businesses.
Kathryn Nelson is a wise and creative educator with more than two decades of elementary and junior high experience. She has also worked with adults in continuing education, counseling, and mentoring contexts, and developed and taught teacher-training curriculum for teachers in Zambia, and ESL curriculum for Syrian refugee families here in Southern California. She enriches Wordsmith Writing Coaches with her vast experience and a dedication to individualized instruction.