ON EDITING AND MENTORING: What people say.
THEO WELLS Take Care of Dying; Get on with Living
A good editor is hard to find; Dot is a good editor. As an author, I expect next-to-perfection in an editor, so I look for these qualities:
- Prompt, accurate editing.
- Cooperation with author, internal designer and other members of the team.
- Willingness to correct (or recheck) for errors.
- Expertise on using Chicago Manual of Style and other standard sources.
- Diligence in stating opinion when disagreeing with the author, but respectfully accepting the author's final decision.
- Ability to keep a sense of humor and focus through it all.
Dot Read has all these qualities and has always been a supportive member of the team.
SEAN MURPHY To the Top of the Tree
I thought I was finished with To the Top of the Tree and all it needed was a little proofreading. Dorothy Read showed me what was great about my story, and then she showed me what I needed to do to make it even greater. I learned a lot and am very pleased with the result. Oh yes, she proofread it, too.
M.J. MOELLER The Devil’s Apprentice and Burnt Offering
"Facilitate: to make easier or less difficult; to help forward." Dorothy Read became our facilitator when she led a group of us writers in our little town. Our levels of writing experience ranged from beginners to published folk. The topics varied from mainstream to genre; romantic to paranormal; mysteries and thrillers to magical realism and science fiction. Dorothy treated each of us with respect, bringing forth her vast knowledge and expertise, as though our writings were as important as those of any of the bestselling authors.
As an editor, Dorothy’s rare gift of discernment is stellar. She sees the whole and catches the mistakes with gentle suggestions. So, when it came time to find an editor for my second novel (Burnt Offering), I chose Dorothy Read.
I highly endorse her work.
SUSAN C. PRESCOTT Literary Agent for Take Care of Dying, Get on with Living
Dot and I worked with Theo Wells to complete Take Care of Dying—Get on with Living. Theo was very proud, intelligent, and witty; Dot maintained Theo’s spirit in her edits.
I did the internal layout, and Dot edited and re-edited each layout version. Dot prepared the index as well. Theo’s health declined, and her attention became compromised. Without Dot’s steady attention to detail, the book would have contained unfortunate errors. Theo had almost a year to promote her book and enjoy its positive reception, until she recognized her life energy was waning. She chose February 12, 2017 to end her life with a physician’s assistance.
DR. ROBIN THERESE BARRE Encountering the Minotaur
Dorothy Read was my teaching mentor for many years. She mentored her students as well, always helping them to see themselves as writers. Dorothy is passionate about the written word and effectively teaches the "how-tos" of writing. She advocates not only for the writer but also for the writing itself.
ALLAN AMENT Learning to Float
Dot Read is a treasure. She is an energetic and talented organizer, but first and foremost she is a teacher, committed to helping others become the best they can be. I experienced this firsthand when we were members of the same writing group and when we worked together in the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA.) I was grateful for her support when I served as NILA board chair, confident she would make anything she took on a success. I’m proud to have known and worked with her.
MARGARET BENDET Learning to Eat Along the Way
Dorothy Read is an exemplary editor, one who works with an author to find the most effective wording, the right tone, the best way forward in the plot. I've watched her draw writers into organizations, chair meetings and inspire many of us to step forward in ways we never dreamed we would. Whatever it is you want Dorothy Read to do, she can very likely do it--and beautifully!
SUSAN JENSEN Cold Snap, Island Solstice, and My Dad Smells Funny
When I retired from teaching, I started writing. I sent several pieces off to one of the writing contests that Dot Read founded and mentored on Whidbey Island, and I won a scholarship to the Whidbey Island Writers Conference. I wept.
I've gone on to win awards in several genres and I've published three books. And it's all because of Dot. I give her full credit for giving me the confidence to continue. She's a wonderful writer and editor, too. You can trust her with your life/book!"
PAT BRUNJES The Last Confession
No matter our genre, we need an excellent editor. As a writer I can spin a yarn. My failings are writing short sentences, not letting the reader into what’s in my head, and dumping data. (I'm a researcher, so I hated giving up my data dumps.)
Dorothy Read took my manuscript and coached me in how to improve my story. She helped me find my voice and my style. The point here is that every writer needs a competent editor, someone who can read for the story, (developmental editing) and someone who is able to catch the errors (line editing).
When you think your manuscript is ready, send it to Dot.
WAYNE UDE Becoming Coyote, Buffalo and Other Stories
Dorothy Read was a leader in the Whidbey Island Writers Association (later known as the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts). She played a central role in creating structures which supported writers. She was an active member of the team which put on the annual Whidbey Island Writers Conference which served as the entry point for many Northwest writers. She created popular writing contests to encourage both children and adults. She founded WIWA's series of workshops for writers, and when the Writers Conference stumbled in 2008's economic downturn, Read created a mini-conference fund-raiser which set the larger conference back on its feet. Later, Read was one of the founders of the Writers Lockdown Retreat, an annual intensive three-day workshop. She's an excellent mentor and, clearly, a long-time supporter of other writers and their work.
JACQUIE MILLIGAN Whootie Gives a Hoot Series, Be Still Be Dead