Hello! I work as a freelance writer and editor specializing in public policy. I enjoy translating the work of academics and specialists into language that nonspecialists can understand, and I wrote this page to give you an introduction to my work.Date of last update: May 2020
If you need my services, I'd be happy to talk. Just scroll down to the section labeled "Contact me."
Here are the roles I can serve for you
Writer: Do you need someone to explain a policy, argue a position or tell a story?
Editor: Do you need an editor of some sort? I've read proofs, edited for good grammar, simplified and clarified sentences and paragraphs, restructured documents to make them stronger, and overseen other writers to put together a publication.
Writing coach: Do you have an employee who is a subject matter expert but is not a good writer? I can help that person develop new habits.
My focus is on public policyMost of my work has focused on education and health care policy, but I have worked on other topics, including economic growth, taxation and public pensions.
I have worked on white papers, blog posts, direct mail pieces and moreI have worked for both state and national organizations
I have worked on bimonthly magazines, news articles, white papers, op-eds, newspaper columns, blog posts, book reviews, direct mail pieces, research memos, customer testimonials and social media updates.White papers: I have written dozens of white papers and issue briefs that range from four pages to 80 or more. Most of these publications have focused on education or health care policy. I have also edited a few white papers on other topics, such as fiscal policy.
Op-eds and columns: For three years, I wrote a twice-a-month column on a policy issue of the day, usually using a recent report from a think tank as a springboard. For another client, I wrote one op-ed a month, which the organization circulated to newspapers across the state. I also edit op-eds and columns for others, who distribute them to national, regional and local newspapers as well as their internal publications.
Fundraising: Many of my clients use direct mail to raise money, so some have asked me to help with editing or writing. The pieces have included year-end and monthly appeals for general operating expenses, appeals for special projects, information about estate planning and periodic updates to high-level donors.
Blog posts: I have written or edited thousands of blog posts, perhaps 10,000 or more. Due to the changing nature of publishing platforms and publishers, most of these no longer exist in a public form. State House Call covered health care policy; I wrote roughly half the content. The Detroit News, which is Michigan's second-leading newspaper, published my commentaries on policy and politics. But my blogging life started out at the self-published site, PolicyGuy.com. I add short articles to it, but only rarely. While I have stopped writing blog posts on a regular basis, I regularly edit those written by others.
Managing publications and authors: While writing for State House Call, I also served as the managing editor. In that role, I recruited authors, suggested topics and oversaw a budget for stipends. Before that, I was the managing editor of Intellectual Ammunition, a bimonthly print publication with eight contributing editors. I suggested topics, made sure authors got their work in on time, performed copy editing and selected other materials to include in the magazine.
I have performed editorial services for roughly two dozen policy-focused organizations from all regions of the country, including the Center of the American Experiment, the Kansas Policy Institute, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
I've also worked for a leading academic center, the Humphrey H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and I hold an M.A. from The Ohio State University.
I performed some marketing work for a leading corporation in the legal world, Thomson Reuters.
For several years, I wrote a column for Politics in Minnesota, a newspaper widely read in the state legislature.
Finally, I have also worked for a grantmaking foundation and some policy shops with a national focus.
You may have seen my work, if not my nameAs a writer or an editor, I have been published by a number of think tanks. In addition, my work has appeared in newspapers and other publications such as the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Kansas City Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Politics in Minnesota, The Daily Caller, The Hill, USA Today, and the Wichita Eagle. I also have ghostwritten a major report (over 80 pages) for a national policy organization.
On occasion, I appear on the radio
Though the written word is my primary medium, I have been interviewed on WJR-AM, Michigan; WKLA-AM, Michigan; WWTC-AM, Minnesota; and KVRS-AM, Oklahoma.
I have served as an official in several organizations
I have been a senior policy fellow at Center of the American Experiment and an education policy fellow at the Kansas Policy Institute. I have been listed in the Policy Experts directory of The Heritage Foundation and I am council member of the Gerson Lehrman Group. For about 10 years, I was the regional president and a national board member of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association. I have also served as a chapter president of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
Former and current clients endorse meYou can read some endorsements that readers and clients have made for me.
I know the tools of an editorI am familiar with The Associated Press Stylebook and to a much lesser extent the Chicago Manual of Style. My go-to publication for questions about language is Garner's Modern English Usage. In most of my work, I use the track changes feature of Microsoft Word, though some clients prefer to use Google Docs. I have also used customized browser-based editors. In those situations, it's been useful to have enough knowledge of HTML to make simple changes to the underlying code when the situation called for it.
Where am I on social media?I have a Twitter account, though I don't use it much. There's also my LinkedIn profile.
Contact meThe best way to contact me is to send an email, using both my first name and the name of this domain as the relevant parts of the email address. You may also contact me through my LinkedIn profile.