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Urumea river. Photo by Wendy Baldwin

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.
 


It's normal — and necessary — to seek out help in writing and publication

 

Crafting a piece of writing that connects with your target readers and has the impact you desire is a complex task that takes lots of relational work. You find ways to test your argument in the company of others, you invite other eyes to discover the rough spots in your writing and suggest how to polish, and you engage in systematic self-editing that lets the reader move through your text without friction, allowing them to substantively engage with and take up your work.
 

I can help you meet your goals, no matter where you are
 

+ 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 version of your text and you've improved the odds of seeing others take it up once it's published.

+ You've got a partial draft going or you need to get one started, but you're having trouble finding the time to focus on your writing or you're feeling overwhelmed by the bigness 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. Not only do you make measurable progress on you writing project in this environment, you 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'd like to do some training to improve your understanding of the writing process and 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 is often not specific to any one discipline, I also provide tips and strategies to help participants apply the training content to their particular contexts.

My tenets

Regardless of the type of support I provide, I base my approach on two 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.

+ 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 a) better weather the times when they feel anxious or pressured and b) minimize writing-avoidant behavior.

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