Here’s a friendly introduction to the twelve-person all-volunteer board of directors who serve two-year terms and work on committees that support the Guild’s mission: connecting clients with professional editors, fostering community among our members, and providing resources for their career development.
In January 2018, our diverse team got right down to business in a spirit of creative collaboration. This year we’ve focused on both accomplishing tasks that have lingered on the board’s to-do list for years—such as officially dropping “independent” from our name—and strategizing how we can best serve the Guild membership in the future: for example, with the help of member and nonprofit consultant Dawn Bass, we’re writing the organization’s first business plan.
We’d like to tell you more about what else we’ve been up to—and we want to hear about you! All Guild members are welcome to come and eat, chat, relax, and hear a brief “State of the Guild” recap at the annual board-sponsored potluck on Sunday, October 7, 3:30-6:30 p.m., Lakewood Seward Park Community Club in Seattle.
Until then, here’s a little bit more about each one of us:
President: Pm Weizenbaum (Chair, Communications and Outreach committees)
I’ve been a content editor in the business and nonprofit sectors for 40 years (Microsoft, MIT, Amazon, Gates Foundation, many others). I am expert in translating tech-speak into language that readers can easily act on. I’ve recently branched out to editing fiction as well. My philosophy is: You mean everything you say—I help you say exactly what you mean. With the Editors Guild, I’ve enjoyed helping to plan Red Pencil 2015 and 2017. Also important to me are my big red poodle and art quilting.
Vice President of Board Development: Valerie Paquin (Programming and Renaming committees)
I’m a freelance copyeditor and proofreader focusing on nonprofit and corporate communications, specialty nonfiction, and fiction. I have subject matter fluency in woodworking and furniture making, home improvement, vegan and gluten-free cooking, sewing and crafts, basic paleontology and geology, animal welfare, and conservation.
In addition to editing and proofreading, I have extensive experience managing a variety of projects, from engineering catalogs and apple juice ads to custom furniture builds and fundraising auctions.
I have a BA in Business Administration and a Certificate in Editing, both from the University of Washington, and an AAS in Furniture Design and Manufacturing.
Vice President of Member Services: Matt Bennett (Chair, Programming committee)
I began editing in 2008 at Ronsdale Press, where I shepherded documents from submission to final print and served as editor for publications such as Sheila James’s In the Wake of Loss (2009). I later acted as a freelance copyeditor for academic monographs, such as Nicholas Hudson’s A Political Biography of Samuel Johnson (Pickering & Chatto, 2013). My recent editing work is largely developmental and includes novels and short stories, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. I have an English PhD from the University of British Columbia and have been writing, editing, and publishing academic, journalistic, and fictional prose for over a decade.
Treasurer: Michael Schuler (Chair, Operations committee)
I have always loved good writing and helping to make writing better. My freelance work, which consists of copyediting and proofreading, focuses primarily on fiction and academic writing. I am also the publishing and marketing coordinator for ARCADE, a local architecture and design nonprofit.
After receiving degrees in architecture and urban planning, I worked in local government and as a consultant for many years before completing the University of Washington Certificate in Editing program in 2014.
Any free time I corner is quickly sacrificed to my hobbies, which include programming (Word macros of late), analog photography, and cooking.
Secretary: Karen Parkin (Communications committee)
I started my career as an in-house project editor for a regional publisher and transitioned to freelance work more than twenty years ago, specializing in copyediting Northwest travel, gardening, and hiking guidebooks. Currently I line edit, copyedit, and proofread fiction and nonfiction for publishers, book packagers, and independent authors. When I’m not working, I’m gardening, wine tasting, walking my mini dachshund, or reading a memoir (recent favorite: Educated by Tara Westover).
The Editors Guild has been an integral part of my professional growth, and I am grateful to be part of this caring community of editors.
Members at Large
Betsy Berger (Communications committee/photographer)
I have a background in journalism and teaching, both children and adults. My pleasure is helping writers to both understand and achieve their communication goals. I also love learning, traveling, reading, and taking photographs of people, nature, and ideas. Currently, I’m reading a book about Monet (the gardens!) and marveling at the rebels-to-the-establishment the Impressionist artists were. I have a BA in journalism and a BA in drama from the University of Washington, an M.Ed. from Antioch University Seattle, and a TESOL certificate from Seattle Pacific University (The School of Teaching ESL).
Sue Cook (Communications and Renaming committees)
I’m a developmental and substantive editor, and I love helping nonfiction authors, content creators, and academics connect with a broader audience. It’s rewarding to partner with a writer in clearing out clutter, uncovering the exciting bits, and clarifying the meaning so the writing achieves its purpose: to engage, inform, and inspire.
After a career in fine art and graphic design, then as a UW editor and scriptwriter, I now share a desk with Sonya the cat. As a volunteer, it’s been a pleasure to teach reading, writing, and KCLS computer classes to people of all ages and backgrounds. I’m also an Action for Media Literacy Education board member, responsible for posting to social media and writing for the blog.
Elaine Duncan (Operations, Programming, and Renaming committees)
Born and raised in New Jersey, I earned a BS in biochemistry at Brown, worked as a state environmental regulator in New Jersey, and then attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I practiced law in California for almost 30 years, working at two law firms and teaching legal research and writing at UCLA before finding a niche as a regional general counsel at Verizon/GTE specializing in regulation. I retired in 2010 and moved to Seattle. I completed the professional editing program at the University of Washington and work as a freelance editor. I enjoy any kind of nonfiction work.
I enjoy serving on the board because I like helping to improve this wonderful organization. I have met many delightful people and become more grounded in the Seattle community as a result.
Christina Johnson (Operations and Renaming committees)
I’m a technical writer working in-house (quite literally—I often work from home). In the past, I’ve edited for financial and media companies, with a stint in nonprofit academic publishing.
Outside of work, I enjoy tending my P-Patch and experiencing the joys and frustrations of trying to make things out of clay.
Roberta Klarreich (Operations and Renaming committees)
Born into a family of book-loving mathematicians, I grew up with a love of stories and logic puzzles. Without even meaning to, I gained a deeper understanding of English grammar and sentence structure by studying Latin and Greek. After graduate studies in classics at Yale University, I interned at Yale University Press, then worked for science and reference publishers in New York City. I began freelancing as a copyeditor and proofreader in 2003; projects have included popular science articles, academic books, museum catalogues, and City Arts magazine, where my column, “How to Write Right,” ran for over two years.
In addition to my love of words, I enjoy opera and theater and take occasional clown classes.
Jessyca Yoppolo (Communications committee/Speakers Bureau)
As one of the youngest current Northwest Editors Guild members according to the 2017 member survey, I am honored to be on the Guild board. I graduated from the UW Editing Certificate program in 2015 and immediately joined the Editors Guild. I am a freelance developmental editor for sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult fiction books. I love analyzing how stories work and how they can work better. Of course I love reading but I also love watching animé, sewing, drawing, and playing video games. I look forward to continuing my work on the Northwest Editors Guild board.
Polly Zetterberg (Programming and Communications committees/Speakers Bureau)
The joy of being an editor is in the helping; working with authors toward their true story, and toward clarity for the reader’s sake. There is also joy in being active in the Guild, helping other editors and proofreaders to learn more about editing, and getting to know more about each other.
Other key volunteers will be profiled in a future blog . . . stay tuned.
Are You Thinking About Joining the Board?
Some of our board members will wrap up their terms in December 2018, giving a chance for new volunteers to step in. In fact, board recruitment for 2019-2020 is happening right now. If you’ve ever thought about joining the board, satisfy your curiosity and attend our open board meeting on Monday, October 8, 6:15-8:30 p.m. at the Phinney Center Blue Building, street level (6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103). Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for reading, and please check back regularly to keep up with everything the Guild has in store!