Hi, I’m Peta…
I’m a writer and editor with interests in research and education. My specialities are developmental editing and language consulting.
Anyone can run spell check. Anyone can plug a piece of work into a grammar checker and fuss over passive voice. And anyone can dump text into an online writing “tutor” and analyze the number of adverbs vs. the number of prepositional phrases in a blog post.
That’s not editing. It’s not language consulting.
Words are more than code. Words are a pact, an active conversation between reader and writer, listener and speaker. Words help define us, to ourselves and to the world. I help you hone your voice and perspective. I help you architect the structures you need.
I bring order to chaos.
Over the past few years, I’ve studied three core fields: science, writing and literary theory, and education. This gives me particular insight into how language works, from the basics of syntax and structure through to the more esoteric and hypothetical positioning of language as a political and social construct.
When I’m editing and writing, I sweat every word. Using my understanding of theoretical frameworks and pedagogy, I ensure every word–every word–works for you. I study your voice, your specific vocabulary, and your level of engagement and reader rapport. This style of work is a demanding process. Drawing on established literary theory and my personal frameworks, I employ particular language devices to refine your messaging and establish the reader-author dialogue you want.
When I’m language editing, I’m exacting in my work. I use an in-depth understanding of English to refine structures and meaning in concert with the text at hand. And because I’ve studied across several fields, I’m comfortable with even the most rarefied jargon.
When I work with a piece of text, I’m not just polishing it. I’m actively chipping away it, examining perspective, style, voice, and tone. I work with you to create materials that will deliver the message your readers need.
How did I get here?
I worked. A lot. I’ve written and edited work for a vast number of people over several fields, including newspapers, magazines, journal papers, and scientific theses.
Prior to going back to school, I read a lot. I studied, and I learned. Returning to Australia after a decade in the US, however, gave me the opportunity to study in a more formal environment and codify many of the ideas I’d been using in my work.
Letters after my name:
- Cert TEFL;
- BSc. with a minor in literature from the University of Queensland;
- G. Dip in Teaching and Learning from Charles Darwin University;
- MA in Creative Writing with a minor in literary theory from Macquarie University. (I’m currently working on a research-based thesis*.)
Studying literary theory in the context of creative writing and an interest in linguistics and language teaching gives me a unique perspective on the written word. And the creative component of writing is an instrumental piece of any conceptual and contextual editing process.
To work with language, it’s important to understand language.
To work with writers, it’s important to be a writer.
To work with creatives, it’s important to be creative.
Without a strong creative component, writing is flat, dry, dull. My creative studies lay the foundation for any work I undertake–because a creative and nuanced appreciation of writing is absolutely necessary for editing style, coaching voice, and creating flow.
*as opposed to a creative work and exegesis.