I have a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Carleton College, and I live and work in Austin, Texas.
I was a professor at top national liberal arts colleges before leaving to pursue editorial work. I am particularly experienced at academic editing and have edited books, journal articles, dissertations, book chapters, and proposals in a range of subject areas, including sociology, anthropology, counseling psychology, public policy, educational studies, urban studies, communications, English literature, media studies, religious studies, and business. I also edit nonfiction books for self-publishing authors and organizations in fields ranging from technology to spirituality to self-help. About half my clients are non-native speakers of English.
My goal as an editor is to help writers communicate complex thoughts in as clear, compelling, and reader-friendly a way as possible. I have published several of my own academic articles and book chapters with top journals and publishers, and in 2013 published my first book, on progressive religion and spirituality, with Oxford University Press.
The Medium Version
I’m Kelly the Editor, and I’m a lover of ideas and a believer in communication. I’m a lifelong reader and writer; I was a spelling bee champ in grade school, a grammar nut in junior high, and a newspaper and literary magazine editor in high school; I spent much of my adult life as a professional scholar and teacher; and I’ve never met a semicolon I didn’t like. For me, editing is a way to do things I love, using skills that feel like putting together a puzzle, while along the way supporting some higher virtues and commitments—truth, communication, wisdom, connections among humans, that sort of thing.
My education is in the qualitative social sciences. I studied sociology and anthropology as an undergraduate at Carleton College and got my Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was trained in writing instruction during my time in Madison, and I taught writing-instructional sociology classes there for several years. After I finished grad school in 2002, I taught at Colorado College and at Kenyon College, where I supervised senior thesis projects and continued to teach writing-intensive courses.
During those years, I found that my favorite parts of being a professor had to do with writing—my own and others’. I enjoyed reading colleagues’ work in progress and helping them develop their theses, dissertations, conference papers, journal articles, and books. As a reviewer for several journals, I liked providing authors with constructive feedback for revision. I got a kick out of helping first-year students take an initial draft, full of great, scattered ideas, and develop it into a coherent and organized argument. I loved helping seniors develop and refine their own original ideas into compelling and insightful theses and honors projects. When I decided after several years to stop teaching, editing was a natural and exciting move. I began writing and editing full time in 2009.
Since then, I have helped a variety of scholars, students, authors, and organizations refine their work. My clients’ work has been published independently, with presses such as the University of California Press and Rutgers University Press, and in journals such as The Sociological Review, Theory and Society, and Social Science Research. Graduate student clients have successfully defended their dissertations and received their PhDs from institutions such as the University of Texas, the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, and the University of Georgia.
Meanwhile, I continue to write. My first book, You Can’t Put God in a Box: Thoughtful Spirituality in a Rational Age, was published with Oxford University Press in 2013. I’ve published several academic articles and book chapters, including one that was published without revision in the top sociology journal Sociological Theory, and another that was awarded a Best Graduate Student Paper prize in its section of the American Sociological Association.
My interests stretch way beyond sociology and way beyond academia. A true child of the liberal arts, I enjoy learning about a variety of fields. My friends include scholars in musicology, philosophy, chemistry, psychology, archaeology, and mathematics; professionals in engineering, law, medicine, journalism, finance, music, art, design, and religion; and many parents. In my leisure time, I read about writing, art, music, photography, personal growth, personality, cultures, and travel; I also love memoir, Jane Austen, fantasy novels, and my etymological dictionary. I am an amateur artist and photographer; a nature lover, hiker, and lake swimmer; a music fan, and a friend to dogs. Having lived mostly in the upper midwest, I’m now settled in Austin, Texas, where I have learned to love breakfast tacos and the knowledge that if I go anywhere downtown in the evenings, someone will show up with a guitar.
The Long Version