Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson – Editor

Wildly talented editor and writer with palmares including climate change, where-to, children's, and award-winning ghostwriting projects.


Welcome! You're here with a book project brewing—or perhaps it's an article, column, essay or grocery list. It might be just a nebulous idea for now or notes in a journal. Whatever form it takes, you've quickly realized that writing is a tough, lonely road. With the right touch, however, the finished product engages readers long after the final page and packs a literary wallop at the same time.

That's where I can help. A for-fun writing contest in third grade (I won and got my picture in the town newspaper and everything!) got me hooked on words and shaped my life. Infused with inspiration since my nascent storytelling days, I've channeled that passion into a portfolio of nearly 50 book titles, editorial lead roles, mentor to new writers, and many other related projects. Along the way I honed and improved a natural talent to blend strategy and creativity to deliver can’t-put-it-down end products. I’m an investigator, ambassador, and most of all, trusted ally.

I bring exceptional writing skills and extensive publication experience from hatchling idea to print, with a laser editing eye (line editing, copy editing, developmental, proofreading) and borderline disturbing fascination with stories that show readers what's out there. With a natural finesse to recognize writing that attracts, celebrates, and inspires, I'm ready to take your project into the world with a flourish.

I’ve worked with some of the best publishing teams in the U.S., including Falcon/Globe Pequot, Mountaineers, Trails Books, Big Earth, and Quarto, and contributed dozens of feature articles to Backpacker, Outside, Bicycling and other regional and national titles. I also earned a hand-selected nod from Nat Geo to lead development of an exciting new book series and recently published the first in my learning adventure children's book series.

I’ve partnered with visionary business execs, entrepreneurs and stay-at-home thinkers in fields like sustainability, climate change, investment banking, medical research, and much more.

We'll work closely together from our first introduction to fully immerse in your project's personality, plan a strategy that brings your voice into engaging prose, and pull it all together in a story that pins readers to the pages.

I take great pride in weaving a very strong sense of place with an author's genuine personality and end goal. Looking forward to getting to know you and creating a winning project!

Biographies & Memoirs Nature Sports & Outdoors Travel Writing & Publishing
Middle Grade
English (US)

Work experience

National Geographic

Oct, 2021 — Present

Contract writer and series developer for regional destination guides.

Advantage Media/Forbes Books

Aug, 2020 — Present

Seasoned ghostwriting professional, penning titles for business influencers across the country.

Rainforest Alliance

Aug, 2007 — Jan, 2014 (over 6 years)

Chain of Custody project manager and senior auditor. Fostering responsible use of forest resources by shepherding clients through product and company certification through extensive client-facing experience. Maintained a 100-client-strong portfolio, remaining apprised of ongoing regulatory procedures and updates, and reviewed and edited detailed audit reports and client relations.


Aug, 2000 — Present

Writer and editor, with much experience in high profile client-author ghostwriting, outdoor pursuits and where-to for camping to skiing, as well as pro sports, regional travel, and children’s books. Regular contributor to Backpacker magazine, and frequent appearances in regional publications. Monthly columns for regional newspaper and big-city magazine. Actively recruited contributing authors for regional where-to guides, working closely with in-house editors.

All writing projects included extensive editing at various stages and contributed to working relationships with Falcon Press/Globe Pequot, Mountaineers Books, Trails Books, Big Earth Publishing, Quarto Publishing/Voyageur Press, and magazines including Bicycling, Wisconsin Trails, Backpacker, and others. Long record of successful promotional writing for book releases.


For too many of us, work has become an inescapable treadmill of personal sacrifice. But having the career we want shouldn't require us to lose ourselves. We all deserve a humanistic and sustainable job environment--and now we can have it. In Future Proof, Dian... read more
The physical fortitude to run 40 miles is in itself a laudatory feat. Repeating that performance 100 consecutive times, from one coast of the country to the other, is a spectacle. Doing it all as a recovering alcoholic fighting a debilitating intestinal diseas... read more
Going beyond the Twin Cities, this guide offers a sampling of the best rides in the "land of Ten Thousand Lakes." Riders of all abilities will find exhilarating trails to suit their taste.
Leather bound hardcover
The outdoors inspires. Being Out There lends itself to creation, exploration, discovery, and sometime just the plain ol' accidental fun of getting lost in the woods and finding a whole new world. Never is this more evident and influential than to the curious a... read more
Discover the three operational styles present in any workplace. Unlike personality types, operational styles shape how we view our jobs and ourselves, how we get things done, and how we leverage relationships to do so within the context of work.When operationa... read more
* 60 Colorado loop hikes accessible from metro areas including Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Boulder * Illustrated with topo maps, elevation profiles, and photos for each hike* Trailfinder chart lists hikes by factors including distance, hiking t... read more
When a series of heartbreaking events left pastor Dr. Jody G. Ray feeling stuck and without purpose, he knew he had a choice in this "pivot" moment: remain in his present place, or move forward. After choosing the latter, he dedicated himself to helping others... read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Minnesota includes detailed hike descriptions, maps, and color photos for approximately 100 of the most scenic waterfall hikes in the area. Hike descriptions also include history, local trivia, and GPS coordinates. Hiking Waterfalls in Min... read more
Hidden in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul are some great roads, trails, and bike paths that are fun to explore. Best Bike Rides Minneapolis and St. Paul describes 40 great recreational rides in the metro areas. With most rides between 5 and 30 miles—includ... read more

Steve has 21 reviews





Yolanda K.

Yolanda K.

Jan, 2024

Steve was wonderful to work with. He did editorial service for my manuscript. But, he made suggestions to have my manuscript flow better.
Reshma B.

Reshma B.

Jan, 2024

Steve was easy to work with and he was extra supportive in editing the script with additional details. The response to messages were swift so you get your questions answered in time. I would certainly recommend Steve if anyone would need an editor. Thanks
Bob A.

Bob A.

Dec, 2023

For my non-fiction book editing needs, Steve Johnson provided exceptional quality and value. His initial editorial assessment provided invaluable directional advice that I was able to quickly incorporate into the overall structure and themes of the book. His subsequent work on the deep-dive developmental and copy edit phases really gave the book the necessary professional polish to make it a hi...
Read more
Peter A.

Peter A.

Nov, 2023

Steve was great to work with, provided excellent communication, and finished the job early. I highly recommend Steven for copy editing and proofreading, and would gladly use his services again.
Lisa M.

Lisa M.

Nov, 2023

Very helpful and quick! Just what I was looking for.

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Steve and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Steve

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Gillian Hamnett

Gillian H.

I bring over 20 years' experience and training in the book trade to my work. I edit and proofread fiction, poetry and narrative non-fiction.

Wigtown, Newton Stewart, UK

100% reply rate

View profile
Elizabeth DeNoma

Elizabeth D.

Expert developmental editor/book coach/proposal writer with over 20 years' experience. Fun to work with, always delivers on time.

Seattle, WA, USA

100% reply rate

View profile
Alison Cherry

Alison C.

Editor with years of experience in contemporary fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy. I especially love working on middle grade and YA books.

New York, NY, USA

100% reply rate

View profile