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Urumea river. Photo by Wendy Baldwin
Seeking help in scholarly writing and publication is normal — and necessary.

Because you care about your research and your contribution to a valuable body of knowledge, you already do this with members of your academic community. Among other things, you ask for advice about methods and analysis; you have conversations with others to help you refine ideas and work out angles; you ask others to read drafts and point out rough or weak spots; you may even meet colleagues for 'shut up and write' sessions or similar.

But crafting a piece of research writing for publication is a complex task that requires you to track many functions and layers as you juggle multiple goals and relationships. It's all too easy to end up with texts that are uneven or still not quite right, or to become paralyzed along the way and stop writing.
When it comes to more in-depth or more refined linguistic and text-shape support, your peers may not have the time or the expertise to really get into your text and offer concrete and effective suggestions for improvement.
And when you're stuck or feeling unable to sit down and do the writing you need to do, it's difficult and even uncomfortable to seek help from peers.

This is where I come in and help you move past those obstacles.
As a member of a community of practice centered on academic text production and publication, I share your aim: the publication of your text. That means I'm also invested in your text getting written and being polished to a standard that connects with your target readers and has the impact you desire.

I can help you at different points along the way.

> You've got a complete draft of your text but you aren't ready to submit or resubmit.

I put on my authors' editor hat and together we work to hit the communicative sweet spot: clearly articulating your ideas, stance and purpose in a way that engages your target readers and is also mindful of the norms associated with discipline, venue of publication and text type. You come away knowing you're submitting a stronger, more effective text and you've improved the odds of others picking it up once it's published.

> Your text in Spanish or French, but it needs to be in English.

I put on my translator's hat and together we create an English version that accurately articulates your ideas and reproduces your voice and purpose in a way that engages your target readers and is also mindful of the norms associated with discipline, venue of publication and text type. We also collaborate on revising the translation, responding to each other's queries about content, clarity and voice. You come away knowing you're submitting a strong and effective text in English and you've improved the odds of others picking it up once it's published.

> You've got a partial draft or you need to get one started, but you're having trouble making time for your writing or you're feeling overwhelmed by the size or weight of it all.

I facilitate structured writing retreats, providing small groups of academic and academy-adjacent writers with the time, space, motivation and permission to put their writing needs first for limited, highly focused periods of time. In this environment, not only do you make measurable progress on your writing project, you also learn strategies for containing the 'bigness' of it all and gain insight into what makes you tick as a writer.

> You're not actively writing but you want to better understand the writing process and how to hone your language and self-editing skills.

As an academic writing trainer, I teach groups of developing writers the processes, principles and strategies involved in academic text production and publication in English-medium contexts. Since group training isn't typically discipline-specific, I provide strategies that help participants apply the training content to their contexts.

My tenets

Regardless of the type of support I provide, I base my approach on three fundamental tenets.

+ I always work from a view of baseline plus opportunities for gain/empowerment rather than how to ‘fix deficits’.

One of my primary missions is to help writers and language users cultivate a mindset that sees writing and language learning as natural processes that involve building in incremental improvements over time rather than something they're "not good at". It's also important for writers and language users to think about what constitutes a necessary and sufficient target for their context.

+ Good writing – and good translation – involves making considered choices, big and small.


I give you the best advice I can (i.e., I present you with a set of alternative choices) based on my training, experience and understanding of your message, audience, discipline and professional context. But where my advice does not serve you or your text, that's an opportunity for us to discuss why one choice may work better than others for this function, this text, this audience. Very often new and more effective choices emerge from this dialog, elevating your text even further.

+ Writers who make low-stress, high-reward contact with their writing as often as possible are likely to develop effective writing practices and feel more confident about their written output.

The reality is that research writing is a complex cognitive and often high-stakes process that is hard for everyone, so creating spaces and moments where writers can have positive experience with writing helps them better weather the times when they feel anxious or pressured and minimize writing-avoidant behavior.

I'm an independent language professional who provides writing, language and publication support to academics from my home base in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.

Having spent more than 25 years working in linguistics, language and academic writing within and adjacent to institutions of higher education, I am keenly aware that academia has become more demanding and precarious and that scholars face greater challenges in getting their writing finished and published in English, particularly scholars located outside the Anglophone core.

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