SD/PEN Member Profile: Gail Miller

Each month, SD/PEN selects one of its members at random to profile his or her background and experience. This month we are featuring Gail Miller of Gail Miller Editing.

Gail Miller ProfileGail, please tell us a little about your editing work.

I collaborate with my clients to bring out the best in their writing. I’ve helped clients with a variety of projects, ranging from a young adult novel to a resource manual for oak woodlands disease management. The bulk of my current work is with high school students, teaching them the art and mechanics of essay writing, and editing their essays. An educator at heart and by trade, I welcome the opportunity to teach writing skills as part of the process.

What made you decide to become a professional editor?

At a point in my life when I was looking to change directions professionally, I was asked to edit the scientific abstracts and research papers written by a university professor. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of editing his work, and that opportunity led me to enroll in the professional editing certification program offered by UC Berkeley.

What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally?

Editing a resource manual for oak woodlands disease management was an exhilarating challenge! The project entailed editing a dense and scientifically technical document, one filled with obscure terminology, and making sure that the language was such that a layperson could understand it and utilize the information.

Tell us about a book you recently read that you would recommend.

Like many of us, I’m always in the midst of reading more than one book. A friend recently gave me the book The Submission. This is a provocative, yet sensitive, novel that engages the reader in the broad political conversation that is all around us today. The characters are complex, the writing is absorbing, and the topic is all too timely.

Describe your ideal weekend.

An ideal weekend for me is all about simple pleasures. A hike with my family through the woods to a quiet place where I have never been, a candlelit dinner of farm-to-table fare, and an absorbing book to end the day—these would all play a part.

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