Val M. Mathews
The Exit 271 Studio
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I’m a big-hearted, fun-loving acquisitions editor with The Wild Rose Press, a small traditional publisher in New York. On the side, I freelance as a developmental editor, copy editor, and writing coach at The Exit 271 Studio. My primary focus is on fiction manuscripts by authors of thrillers, suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, and romance. However, I’m an experienced developmental editor and copy editor for nonfiction as well, from the developmental stage to the galley proof.
With a knack for seeing the big picture, I can figure out the steps writers need to take even when the draft looks impossible to navigate. However, I can also spot the fine details writers may have missed. Pushcart Prize-nominee Brenda Sutton Rose explains:
“With an expert’s eye for detail, Val caught redundancies and irrelevancies, mistakes that muddled the clarity and disrupted the rhythm of the story.”
You’ll find me easy to work with (no diva here!), professional, and fast. I’m accustomed to tight deadlines and swift turnarounds. On top of that, I used to be a commercial pilot, and like all pilots, I take pride in being on time—old habits die hard!
The Wild Rose Press, Adams Basin, New York
- Recently acquired and edited seven manuscripts for a small traditional publishing house in New York, including the following selected fiction manuscripts:
- The Perfect Distance by Dianne May (Romantic Suspense)
- BIOMASS: Rewind by Terry Persun (Sci-Fi Space / Murder)
- BIOMASS: Sky People by Terry Persun (Sci-Fi / Space Murder)
- Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder by Mary Cunningham (Amateur Sleuth / Murder Mystery)
- Fiddlers Creek by Steve Taylor (Suspense/Thriller)
- The Orb by John Mauldin (Urban Fantasy)
- The Claiming by Jennifer Nielson (YA Fantasy)
Freelance Developmental Editor, Copyeditor, and Writing Coach
The Exit 271 Studio, Athens, Georgia
- Shepherded and edited manuscripts from the first draft to the galley proof for individual clients, including the following recently published nonfiction manuscripts:
- The Freedom Shield by Major John D. Falcon (Nonfiction), Casemate Publishers, 2020
- Place + Meaning + Experience: 50th Anniversary by the College of Environment and Design, UGA, 2020
- Sub Rosa & Other Stories by Jim Lambert, Balboa Press, January 2021
A Writer’s Exploration Podcast: tinyurl.com/3st2l2d9
The Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference: outu.be/WBe1_ln-KxM
Steve Taylor, Fiddler’s Creek (Thriller / Murder). Contracted with The Wild Rose Press and will be published in 2021:
“To Val Mathews, my editor and mentor, without you I would still be floundering around.”
Major John D. Falcon (Ret.), The Freedom Shield (Nonfiction/Military History). Published with Casemate Publishers (2020). Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, New York City, NY:
“A notable writing and editorial coach, Val possesses a brilliant approach to the smooth exchange of ideas with clients … Most noteworthy, she made it easy to release my innermost thoughts, emotions, and creative ideas for her critique. Highly respected and valued, Valerie delivers splendid results.”
Stephanie Baldie, Redemption (Murder Suspense/Thriller), Dancing Crows Press (2019):
“I found my dream editor! Val’s sensitivity to my manuscript made it a pleasure to work with her. She knew exactly what had to be cut and what was needed to make my manuscript soar. Val is easy to talk to, and her quick turnaround time is a huge plus. I can honestly say after working with Val, I have become a better writer and a client for life.”
Brenda Sutton Rose, “Samuel’s Wife, “Short story nominated for the Pushcart Prize:
“After my short story Samuel’s Wife was accepted for publication, Val Mathews worked with me to improve it. Respectful of me as a writer, she suggested no changes that would upset my voice and writing style. With an expert’s eye for detail, Val caught redundancies and irrelevancies, mistakes that muddled the clarity and disrupted the rhythm of the story. I would not hesitate to work with Val again. A true professional, she’s a meticulous editor. I loved working with her and would recommend her to anyone in search of an editor.”
Robert C. Covel (poet), Georgia Author of the Year:
“I have to say that, looking at the final versions with all of the suggestions incorporated, I am extremely proud of these two poems. I was thinking of TS Eliot’s comment about Ezra Pound (though I am no Eliot and these are certainly not The Wasteland!): il miglior fabbro, meaning the better maker. Your staff certainly qualify for that label. Thank you for your generosity in time and effort.”
Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW), Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia. Honors: with the highest distinction (GPA: 4.0)
Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. Honors: magna cum laude
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA): the-efa.org/memberinfo/valerie-mathews-22555/
Publishers Marketplace: publishersmarketplace.com/members/EditorValMathews/
American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
FAA Commercial Pilot with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings
Certified Flight Instructor (CFII-ME)
Good Reads: goodreads.com/EditorValMathews
The Wild Rose Press, the kinder and gentler publishing house thewildrosepress.com/our-team
The Exit 271 Studio, for writers who need love, support, and a kick in the pants exit271.com
MY BACKGROUND IN AN ALMOND SHELL
In the past, I flew airplanes for a living, and once I ate an entire bag of Fig Newtons on a spontaneous road trip from New Orleans to Philadelphia to see the Live Aid concert. No more fig bars for me!
Since my flying days, I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. I’ve taught English Composition to first-year college students, tutored in the university’s writing center, and edited for The English Broadside, Red Clay Review, the SurfCoaches website, and the Georgia Writers Association’s literary journal.
I stay active in the writing community. In fact, I regularly conduct writer workshops, accept pitches at writer conferences, and volunteer as a judge for fiction writing contests. A video clip of me speaking at the Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference is available on my LinkedIn. I am an active member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. As I said, currently I’m an acquisition editor for The Wild Rose Press, a small traditional publisher in New York, and freelance as a developmental editor and writing coach.
I love editing because it’s always like a road trip (but without the figs).
Let’s chat about your novel or next project. Shoot me an email. For writer inspiration and craft talk, follow me on Twitter: @EditorVMathews. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
P.S. Here’s a little writer inspiration (and editor humor):
“Over and over I feel as if my characters know who they are, and what happens to them, and where they have been and where they will go, and what they are capable of doing, but they need me to write it down for them because their handwriting is so bad.” ― Anne Lamott
Cell phone: 770-597-6017
Years in the field: 10
Years freelancing: 6