Susan Schmidt, PhD
Beaufort Writing Group Developmental Editor
I advise authors how to revise manuscripts with the same mindfulness as pruning apple trees. Among Top 10 Editors in New England. A client’s agent says, “Sharpest improvement I’ve ever seen from 1st draft to 2nd.” I polish scholarly and popular history and science, journal articles, dissertations, novels, memoirs into publishable books. In structural critique, I recommend how to shape, focus, fine-tune narrative voice, tone, trajectory to target an audience. I talk to a client so vocabulary and inflection sound like her voice. To refine an argument, I may advise moving Chapter 6 to Chapter 1, or introducing a character as trustworthy before someone accuses her. As retired English professor, I am a master stylist. As copyeditor and proofreader, I mark grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, structure, word choice. I address clarity, consistency, repetition, flow, transitions. I change passive to active voice and multisyllable nouns to a strong verb. In a popular-science book, we moved differential equations to sidebars, added topic sentences, divided 200-word sentences and eight-syllable words; reviewer praised his “crisp writing.” I copyedit for many writers who use English as a second language. I am fluent in French and German. I have a PhD in American lit; Masters in Environmental Sciences and British Lit; postdocs in botany and bioethics. My poetry books: Drought Drought Torrential, Let Go or Hold Fast, Salt Runs in My Blood; my nonfiction: Landfall Along the Chesapeake (Johns Hopkins UP); my novel Song of Moving Water. My poems won 2020 Golden Prize, 2018 O’Day Prize, 2016 Applewhite Prize, 2012 Guy Owen Prize; appear in NC Literary Trails. For 30 years in university, I taught literature & environmental decision-making. I worked as scientist, journalist, sailboat captain. I had grants from Fulbright, EPA, NSF, NEH, NEA, AAUW. I trekked New Zealand, Camino de Santiago, & Cornwall Coastal Path, paddled Alaska, surveyed birds in Kenya, Costa Rica, & Ecuador. When not editing, I row and walk my Boykin Spaniel on the beach.
Business phone: 252-269-0032
Years in the field: 40
Years freelancing: 25