Whether it’s explaining scientific jargon or telling a good yarn, the written word can, and should, grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence and hold it through an entire page, chapter, manuscript.
Helen Rynaski is an award-winning writer and editor, and good prose is her forte. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, and professional journals. She is a former newspaper columnist specializing in child development, learning, and education issues. Her editing credits include memoirs, novels, professional and educational journals, business publications, and technical manuals.
Helen’s love of the written word surfaced early in life. She was taught grammar by Irish nuns and found diagramming lengthy, complex sentences to be a joyful pastime. Manipulating words, sentences, and paragraphs for clarity and eloquence continued to be a source of joy throughout her academic and professional career. Let her enthusiasm and keen eye put a shine on your work and see how the prose can flow.
Editing usually involves “tightening up.” Writers love words and tend to use too many, while a competent editor remembers the maxim Less is more. Redundancies clutter a manuscript; inconsistencies and questionable word choices confuse. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and layout always require attention. The overarching question is: Are you saying what you want to say with the tone and clarity that you intend?
While the above functions can be divided into content or line editing, copy editing, and proofreading, it is difficult to completely separate them into different tasks. I fix what needs to be fixed while in communication with the writer about any gray areas. Therefore, I charge a flat rate of $35 per hour and work diligently to insure maximum value. I include style notes and suggestions that may be beyond the scope of an edit and require significant rewriting.
To begin, I offer an edit of three pages at no charge. You then know what you can expect from me, and I can give you a realistic estimate for the project if you choose to hire me.
Do you have a story to tell? Perhaps you have information or expertise to share but don’t consider yourself a writer and can’t face that blank page or screen. Let’s work together to get your thoughts down. Contact me with your ideas and we can decide how to begin.
“Helen Rynaski is one of the best writing editors around: multi-talented, highly skilled and a pleasure to work with. Not only can she edit a variety of genres—memoir, novel, personal essay, journalistic article, technical writing, and more—she's also an accomplished copyeditor and proofreader, two lifelines that all writers need. Helen is supportive, honest, and professional. I recommended her highly.”
—David Perez, author, actor, editor, and president of Verdad Creative
“Helen’s editing makes my writing SO much better. She’s great at removing words to magically create smoother, easier to understand sentences. I think I’m a good writer until Helen gets hold of what I send her, and then I really experience what good writing looks and feels like. Even with Helen’s quick sense of humor, she leaves me feeling good about myself and my writing. A winning combination!”
—Janie Corinne, M.P.H.
“I have really appreciated Helen’s gentle but direct honesty in her feedback. She doesn’t push or force her opinions on others—she just states her truth, and lets you choose if you want to make the suggested changes. Helen is also very prompt with turnaround times, and is very committed to providing quality review. I highly recommend her to all level of writers—new or experienced.”
—Roxanne George, Ph.D.
“I really appreciate Helen’s edits. They are completely on point and my book is significantly better because of them.”
—Michael Mulcahy, novelist
“Helen Rynaski is a fast, skillful, and efficient editor. She has made our publications and grant applications so much better. We are grateful for her work at Taos UCC. “
—Rev. Pamela Shepherd
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© 2017 Helen Rynaski