Writing & Editing

I write and edit both formal and casual copy for web and print. My goal: copy that is conversational, clear, concise, scannable, targeted to its audience, and maintains a voice consistent with my client’s marketing style.
 
In marketing copy, I stay away from hyperbole—instead, I rely on verbiage that specifically addresses what the user needs. In instructional materials, I pay particular attention to the logical flow of the presentation. I break the content into chunks and make use of white space and other elements so that the material is easy to absorb.
 
As an editor, I forge partnerships with my writers, making sure I understand their message and always being on the side of helping them be as effective as possible.

 
(Only primary examples are listed below. For more examples, click the categories in the left column.)

Corporate Case Study for Zetron (editing job)

Zetron Case Study: Installation of MAX Call-Taking system for Cook County, Illinois. Click to view the case study as a PDF.

Zetron Case Study: Installation of MAX Call-Taking system for Cook County, Illinois. Click to view the case study as a PDF.

Zetron Corporation designs and manufactures municipal and rural emergency-response systems. They asked me to edit a case study about an installation of their new MAX Call-Taking system for Cook County (which includes the city of Chicago).

I was able to suggest a number of changes to the content structure, resulting in a more readable, scannable piece. I also found several grammatical redundancies and minor misuses of words—things that had been missed by several writers and editors. Read more

Exhale! Pilates & Yoga Brochure (rewrite)

Editing Sample for Exhale Pilates & Yoga

Tri-fold brochure for Exhale! Pilates & Yoga, by sibyl.com

My task was to rewrite a brochure for a pilates & yoga studio. Marsha Dorman, the owner and operator, holds an MBA and is a strong writer. But she didn’t have time to edit and rewrite copy for her new brochure.

I met with Marsha and had her articulate her services, clientele, and marketing objectives. Marsha and I established a goal of reducing word count in order to allow more white space and a larger font that would be more legible to vision-impaired and older clients.

Using a concise but conversational style, I reduced the word count by over 25%. Read more

Writing Sample: Digital Audio Primer

These frogs are creating audio samples—regular measurements of a sound wave's volume over time.

These frogs are creating audio samples—regular measurements of a sound wave’s volume over time.

Both high-tech professionals and lay people tend to confuse the terms and concepts of internet audio, which is digital in nature.
 
I used interactive Flash animation and an audio voice-over to demystify this highly technical subject and make it understandable to both geeks and non-geeks. The use of metaphorical characters—frogs—helped keep the topic light and fun. I’ve since delivered this presentation many times. Here’s an excerpt from my narrative: Read more

Article for Homeland Security Today (editing job)

Zetron Corporation article for Homeland Security Magazine

Zetron Corporation article for Homeland Security Magazine. Click image to read the PDF.

Zetron Corporation designs and manufactures large-scale emergency-response systems. They asked me to edit an article for Homeland Security Today (http://www.hstoday.us/magazine.html) that explains important technical requirements when government entities shop for new equipment. Read the article here.

My edits lowered word count while increasing intelligibility of the article. Read more

Grant-proposal Writing Sample: Gender Personal Project

A 124-word description of the Gender Personal project, for grant-writing purposes.

A 124-word description of the Gender Personal project, for grant-writing purposes. Click for a larger, more legible version.

In 2013, I joined the steering committee for Gender Personal. I played a major role in writing and editing web and print copy for the organization, which uses art and poetry exhibits to raise awareness of gender—in particular, transgender issues. Read more

Blog Post: Crow-Mind

American Crow. Click for larger image.

American Crow, photo by M. Hoffman. Click for larger image.

I publish a blog on my photography website, SongbirdPhoto.com. It’s a way to promote and disseminate my work and to help others connect with nature. I usually cross-post a synopsis to Facebook and might post a photo now and then to Pinterest.

Here’s a blog about crows:

“Seattle is a city of crows. And they have a nasty reputation. Folks here know them as picnic terrorists, garden plunderers, and (on garbage-collection days) maniacal strewers of trash. Read more