Your Writing Partner "Kathryn’s critiquing style is honest and forthright."
Your Writing Partner: Kathryn Craft
The basics Kathryn Craft is an experienced developmental editor and writing coach specializing in storytelling structure and writing craft. Her interests include literary and mainstream fiction in most genres (in horror and thriller, character-driven stories only, and in romance, mainstream only), young adult and middle grade, short stories, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. Over a 19-year career she wrote hundreds of features and reviews for The Morning Call daily newspaper (Allentown, PA) and other publications, and for eight years she custom-designed marketing communications. During the past decade she served in a variety of positions on the board of the 180-member Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, including two terms as president and two terms as conference chair, and she now sits on the board of the Philadelphia Writers' Conference. She has spoken about writing and the publication process for writers groups, libraries, and schools, and on television and radio. She is a contributing editor at the popular Blood-Red Pencil blog. Kathryn's women's fiction and memoir is represented by Katie Shea of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Check out the first chapter of her memoir, "Standoff at Ronnie's Place," published by Mason's Road, the online literary journal of Fairfield University's MFA program.
A longer story
After waking up one morning in third grade I had an epiphany: I wanted to be a manuscript editor! I devoted all subsequent education to the end goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in English. Ever since, I’ve done nothing but read manuscripts…
Wait a minute—does anyone’s life really read that way? My journey, blessedly, has been more convoluted. The depth of my experience can best be measured by its accumulation of colorful layers, each of which contributes to the proficiency with which I’ll evaluate your manuscript.
While my interest in the academic life fizzled before Ph.D. status, my B.S. in Biology Education and my M.A. in Health and Physical Education indicate that I am a trained educator. I think the desire to break down and communicate complex topics is innate, and my ability to do so mostly a function of early influence, but I grew a lot during my six years at Miami University (Oxford, OH), much of it within the fertile womb of the Dance Theatre studio.
My first creative experiments of import were as a dancer and choreographer, and I have enjoyed transferring my understanding of these concepts from stage to page. I explored voice (do I have something to say?), style (how shall I say it?), tension (building conflict), rhythm (more important to writing than you might think), and movement (narrative arc). My manuscript evaluation skills are richer for having this alternate creative identity.
As an arts journalist contributing for 19 years to The Morning Call (Allentown, PA) daily newspaper and other publications, I interviewed hundreds of artists—performing, visual, and literary—about their creative process, and can share with you methods for staying on track. I witnessed different styles of editorial collaboration and I learned to write tight. I was the Call’s dance critic, and through conferences put on by the Dance Critics Association , the American Society of Journalists and Authors , side gigs judging dance competitions, and my own accumulating experience, I learned to create standards of excellence, explore critical approaches, and assess the way any number of factors contribute to the overall impact of a project.
While working on my own fiction writing over the past decade, I have read voraciously on the topic and attended every seminar, workshop, class and writers conference I could afford. I have walked the walk, submitting my work for critique, rewriting extensively, and learning greatly from the process. A highlight was my 12-day intensive education at the Sewanee Writers Conference , with workshop leaders Diane Johnson and Alice McDermott . I am a member of Pennwriters and have been heavily involved with my local 150-member Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group , founding several of their ongoing programs during my two terms as president. I have also gained relevant experience chairing the conference, program, and workshop committees, and have spoken about writing and the publication process at libraries, schools, and on television and radio. At the annual conferences of these groups my work has been honored with awards for flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and best novel opening.
For eight years, I owned and operated Themes & Variations, a desktop publishing business, custom designing written communications such as newsletters and marketing materials. I honed my proofreading skills. I helped clients identify what they were trying to say—and then say it—in a wide range of applications. I helped resume clients communicate a sense of self above and beyond job descriptions.
I have great passion for what I do. Those who know me would tell you that I have applied my all to everything I have done in life and I will bring all of that experience and vitality to your manuscript. I urge the writers I work with to reach for nothing less than excellence. When I sit down with a book I demand an entertaining and meaningful read, don’t you? As your writing partner, I will not let you stop short of achieving that goal. I love contributing to a winning team, and everyone wins when they are willing to do their very best!