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About Me


Who I am as an editor:

Even for those of us who love it, writing is hard; for the rest of us it's hard and painful. But we all deserve support. My role as an editor is to help you clarify your argument and prose, no matter where you are in the process, so that you finish with your sanity and ego intact. An equally important part of my job is to reflect back to you your ideas and help you to see again how good they are (because maybe you've forgotten or maybe you're just so done).

As a former (recovering) academic, I understand the stress of writing, tenure deadline or no. Whether helping you integrate reader reports for a publisher or supporting your foray into publishing in English with a multilingual writer, I bring fresh eyes and perspective to your work, along with a commitment to enhance your voice (and meticulous grammar). I am your cheerleader--without the excessive cheeriness.


I've published articles about Black diaspora and African literature, and in addition to my research areas I bring to bear contexts of US Black women's and transnational feminist theory; Filipinx studies; and gender, queer, and cultural studies. I primarily work with writers in the humanities and qualitative social sciences, but I welcome writers from all fields!

Choosing an editor is a big decision: you are entrusting your ideas to someone you may not know, inviting that person into your intellectual and professional journey. But working with an editor is an investment. Financial, yes, but also in the quality and clarity of your writing. I want you to be a better writer going forward because you have worked with me.

How I got here:

I completed my dissertation at the University of Michigan. After five years in a teaching-intensive tenure track position, I earned a postdoc that enabled me to complete my monograph. At the end of the postdoc, I chose to leave faculty life. I then worked in higher ed in a staff role and in nonprofits. (You can see my c.v. and resumé here.) Along the way, friends (and friends of friends) asked me to take a look at this chapter or read that article draft. At the same time, I served as the Editor of the Center for Art and Thought, a web-based nonprofit creating a space of dialogue and convergence amongst students and scholars. Through working with the amazing scholars and artists there, I realized how much I love using my editorial eye to bring writers fresh perspective and clarity.

When I'm not editing, I act as executive assistant to my cats George Orwell and Margaret Atwood (aka, George and Maggie), fight the losing battle with my garden's endemic poison ivy, and practice yoga. Oh, and I read.




Photographs of me: Shelley Gist Kennedy

Logo: Paper Hat Design Co

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