SD/PEN Member Profile: Tiffany Vakilian

SD/PEN regularly profiles its members' background and experience. These are valuable opportunities for members to introduce themselves to other members and prospective clients.

This month we feature SD/PEN's new president, Tiffany Vakilianwho specializes in editing and teaching about writing, editing, and publishing. Her website is

How do you describe what you do to someone you’ve just met at a networking function?

I help fearful writers go from holding their stories inside them to proudly sharing their polished, public works with the world.

What made you decide to become a professional editor?

I love to read, and I love to see people have that “aha” when their voice is heard and cherished.

What's the best part of being an editor now?

I have found my tribe of editors, and we really enjoy talking shop in the way only an editor can!

What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally?

Reaching #1 in two categories with my book of poetry, The Cry.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of SD/PEN?

I love the humanity of the editors I meet, and how we laugh together about the little things that make our work possible.

Which quality or qualities would you most like your clients or professional colleagues to remember you for?

I want them to remember how intentional I was with polishing their voice in the story. Fiction, nonfiction, even children’s books need the reader to connect with the author, and I want to make sure I help that connection thrive.

What kinds of projects do you particularly enjoy working on? Why?

I love love love helping first-time women writers who are telling their personal stories. Something about helping them set their voice free makes me feel like I’m doing the “right” kind of work.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned as an editor? 

Editors are human beings.

Is there anything you would change in your editing journey?

I wish I would have started my company when I was in high school. I could have made a lot of lunch money!

What wisdom would you share with someone wanting to start a copy editing business?

Read way more books, both in and out of your target genre.

What do you like to do to get away from editing and refill the well?

Laughing with my family is about the best thing ever, and we’re spread all over the world, so traveling to visit and laugh with family is fulfilling.

What is the number one item on your bucket list and why?

Help my daughter write a story she would like. She’s just learning how to read, but she is such a storyteller. Her imagination is bigger than anyone I know, including me, and I write fantasy!

Describe a volunteer activity or cause you’re involved in.

I am a part of the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, where I get to act, sing, write, and help others in Oceanside support the arts by being artistic. 

Describe one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.

I’ve performed at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.

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