In the Woods Editing! is an editorial, coaching, and consulting service for writers of nonfiction (or creative nonfiction, see below), be it literary manuscript, essay, memoir, book proposal, magazine article, term paper, personal family history, business flyer—even query, or cover letter. Before delivering up your work to the outside fates, boost your chances of success with a professional polishing. The process involves a combination of traditional hard-copy editing and phone consultations. Unless, of course, you live in western Montana and then we can go for lunch.

Feedback can range from general manuscript evaluation and banishing wordiness to advancements with structural continuity, clarity, and line-by-line editing for syntax, grammar, punctuation, tone, and rhythm—always with careful attention to furthering your writing confidence and cultivating your own voice.

For the aspiring author, I offer one-on-one developmental edits that serve to strengthen a range of skills at a pace faster than can be accommodated in the atmosphere of a classroom. And, without the commute. Fees vary with the extent of feedback required.

In addition, I mentor in aspects of the writing life, the art of researching, the function of serial drafts, the secrets of self-editing, capturing cadence and flow, and writing great beginnings.

With longer works, I’m happy to provide, gratis, a careful edit and critique of your first few pages, along with an informal estimate. From there, we can decide together if we make a promising team, and then firm things up.


Yearning to advance your craft?

Trust in your voice?  Develop confidence?

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About Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is frequently referred to as the lively and fashionable “new genre,” but I prefer to think of it as a “cross-genre” or, as others have suggested, a “movement.” Additional appellations, such as “new journalism,” “new nonfiction,” and “literary journalism” are invariably offered as mollification for the people who view the term “creative nonfiction” as a dangerous oxymoron. Whatever the evolving title, any newness in the form resides largely in our contemporary labels, because its origins stem from the French essayist Michel Eyquiem de Montaigne of the late 1500s.

Creative nonfiction is written most often in a first-person point of view—though, one hopes, not egotistically so—and with a voice that, to varying degrees, is personal.

Writers in pursuit of creative nonfiction should (plainly a judgment) plan to embrace in earnest one of its more exacting modern-day definitions: factual literary prose. In other words, the creative part does not come with license to invent, as do the fiction forms of the novel or short story, but rather with the idea to take the facts sought in journalism and steep them imaginatively in the techniques of fiction (e.g., scene, dialogue, intimate detail, flashback, metaphor, and so forth), the analytical explorations of essay, and the lyricism of poetry. The goal is to enliven writing, short of straying into concoction and deceit.

Lee Gutkind, who is considered the founder of modern creative nonfiction and who is also the founder and editor of the journal Creative Nonfiction (, has this to say about it:

We are attempting, as writers, to show imagination, to demonstrate artistic and intellectual inventiveness and still remain true to the factual integrity of the piece we are writing.

[Creative nonfiction] allows a writer to employ the diligence of a reporter, the shifting voices and viewpoints of a novelist, the refined word play of a poet and the analytical modes of an essayist.

Whether your interests lie in nature, humor, travel, or adventure writing; personal essay or memoir; journalism; science writing; war correspondence; exposé; poetry; or, perhaps, some hybrid of the preceding; you can incorporate the techniques of creative nonfiction. Thus, the “cross genre.”

Send off an email today!


               — a brief synopsis of your project.

               — a short description of your writing background and career goals.

               — a time-frame for completion (if on deadline).


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