Kary Wayson

Kary Wayson - Editor

Seattle, WA, USA

I'm a devoted, hardworking editor with a keen eye for detail and an insatiable interest in the uses of language in all its forms.

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Overview

As an editor and manuscript consultant with a strong background in poetry and literature, I have years of experience editing creative nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid forms. I'm particularly interested in work that pushes against traditions of usage and syntax, though at heart I'm as happy to edit an email as I am with an essay—or a poem.

My process as an editor typically involves several passes through the text. I give suggestions for specific line edits as well as more general observations about the work as a whole and recommendations for how it might be improved. I maintain close contact with authors, giving regular progress updates and doing my best to answer questions quickly. I endeavor, too, to build and sustain friendly, respectful relationships with authors. In every instance, I'm motivated by sincere curiosity about the work at hand.

A few client testimonials:

—Kary Wayson has helped me shape and fine-tune a number of essays, stories, and two manuscripts over the last fifteen years. One of the manuscripts she reviewed was an academic book, and the other, a memoir. Kary’s adept at finding the heart of the narrative, the intent and the aspiration of the work. She offers clear, direct suggestions about what might need to be reshaped, reconsidered, rewritten and/or sometimes cut. She’s thorough and reflective, attentive to small details; Kary considers each word. I never doubt that a piece of writing she’s edited is on its way to becoming its best self. I can’t recommend Kary highly enough. —Trisha Ready, author, Music in Therapeutic Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)


—Kary is a kind and talented editor. She’s knowledgeable, attentive, detail-oriented, and attuned to the unexplored possibilities in each text. She’s also fearless about telling you what your best work requires. Every time I’ve followed her advice on a piece, the result has been a text that felt more like—I don’t know another way to say this—itself. How delightful is that? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does better work. —Eli Briskin, author, (Orange, Entre Rios, 2020)


Not to be dramatic, but I I've been looking for this sort of editor my whole life. If you need a manuscript consultation, I *highly* recommend Kary Wayson.—Gabrielle Bates, author (work in The New Yorker, 2018, and Best of the Net, 2015 & 2019)


—[Kary] helped me build my chapbook, and then my first book, poem by poem, encouraging me to ask all the right questions of them, to study them line by line. With all sincerity, I’d say that working together with her… continued and furthered my education as a writer. I have no doubt that she’ll do the same for many other writers who seek her help, and I recommend her whole-heartedly.” —Erin Malone, author, Hover (Tebot Bach, 2015) and What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf, 2008)





Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Art
Biographies & Memoirs
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Writing & Publishing
Fiction
Mashups
Poetry

Certifications

  • Certificate in Editing, University of Washington, 2019
  • MFA, University of Washington, 1997

Awards

  • Allied Arts Foundation Artist Award, 2020 | Burnside Review Book Prize, 2018 | Genius Award Nominee, The Stranger, Seattle, WA, 2012 | Crazyhorse/Linda Hull Prize, 2009 | Pushcart Prize, 2009 | The Charles B. Wheeler Book Prize, 2009 | Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission "Gap" Grant, 2008 | Visiting Artist, The American Academy in Rome, 2008 | "Discovery"/The Nation Award winner, 2003 | Artist Trust Fellowship, 2001

Work experience

Associate Editor

Poetry Northwest
June, 2019 – Present (almost 2 years)

• Interviews and book reviews editor and writer at a highly regarded literary journal founded in 1959.
• Coordinates with other editors to meet deadline requirements and evaluate submissions.
• Communicates directly with authors.

Manuscript Consultant

Hugo House
June, 2018 – Present (almost 3 years)

• Performs line editing, proofreading, and checks for formatting consistency, grammatical accuracy, and spelling errors.
• Manages communication, schedule, and processing of edits and rounds of proof with authors.
• Provides exceptional feedback with actionable suggestions for revision on a variety of creative work.

Freelance Editor

Self-employed
June, 2017 – Present (almost 4 years)

• Substantive, and developmental editorial work with individual authors on creative projects, including memoir, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Writer in Residence

Hugo House
September, 2013 – June, 2015 (over 1 year)

• Provided a range of in-house workshop activities, script development surgeries, script feedback, and mentoring.
• Evaluated and edited variety of creative work of a wide range of clients and ensured to produce desired work with accuracy.
• Mentored individual authors on best practices.
Additional Experience as a poetry teacher at Hugo House and the University of Washington, 2005-2017

Portfolio (10 selected works)

Feeding Hour

Gigot, Jessica

Orange

Briskin, E.

Detonation

Keeler, R J

Leaf is All

Drew Dillhunt

Poetry. LEAF IS ALL is meticulously inventive as it considers varieties of replication—benign and malign—and the intersections, the politics, of our communal narratives of family and science. A background in biology informs this poet's compassionate, light-footed dance through patent language, botanical vocabulary, catalogs of recyclable plastics and a poem of Goethe's, all of which contribute... read more

Poetry. LEAF IS ALL is meticulously inventive as it considers varieties of replication—benign and malign—and the intersections, the politics, of our communal narratives of family and science. A background in biology informs this poet's compassionate, light-footed dance through patent language, botanical vocabulary, catalogs of recyclable plastics and a poem of Goethe's, all of which contribute... read more

Hover

Erin Malone

Poetry. Winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize, 2013, judged by Ralph Angel. "Erin Malone writes poems of separation and deep longing for the Other—brother, son, husband, yes—but most importantly, the dislocated self. Tied by the binds of convention, this bound self twists against the ropes around her wrists, not so much to free herself, but to better feel the burns they make there when... read more

Poetry. Winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize, 2013, judged by Ralph Angel. "Erin Malone writes poems of separation and deep longing for the Other—brother, son, husband, yes—but most importantly, the dislocated self. Tied by the binds of convention, this bound self twists against the ropes around her wrists, not so much to free herself, but to better feel the burns they make there when... read more

Music in Therapeutic Practice: Using Rhythm to Bridge Communication Barriers

Trisha Ready

Music in Therapeutic Practice: Using Rhythm to Bridge Communication Barriers builds upon an emerging awareness in psychotherapy that music can create therapeutic rapport with patients. Music has been described as our first language, beginning with our mother’s heartbeat. Early rhythms echo and elaborate as themes threading through the narratives of our emotional lives. Given the ways we can ac... read more

Music in Therapeutic Practice: Using Rhythm to Bridge Communication Barriers builds upon an emerging awareness in psychotherapy that music can create therapeutic rapport with patients. Music has been described as our first language, beginning with our mother’s heartbeat. Early rhythms echo and elaborate as themes threading through the narratives of our emotional lives. Given the ways we can ac... read more

The Slip

Kary Wayson

Poetry. "Kary Wayson entrusts her whole art to the ludic music of language, seeking its way, syllable by syllable, phrase by sprightly turn of phrase, through way stations of feeling. She is funny and devastated and electrifying at every turn: '...he held down my knot / with a finger in the center the / better to tie my bow--;' 'I've followed my thinking like a man out driving / --and just bac... read more

Poetry. "Kary Wayson entrusts her whole art to the ludic music of language, seeking its way, syllable by syllable, phrase by sprightly turn of phrase, through way stations of feeling. She is funny and devastated and electrifying at every turn: '...he held down my knot / with a finger in the center the / better to tie my bow--;' 'I've followed my thinking like a man out driving / --and just bac... read more

American Husband (OSU JOURNAL AWARD POETRY)

Kary Wayson

Life is a mystery, a puzzle, “a house of inscrutable signals,” leaving us “often stranded in the middle of a feeling.” With exquisite manipulation of language, the poems in this collection seek to unravel the mystery and solve the puzzle by parsing everyday experiences—observing life while lying about on the couch, on the floor, in bed and out—and everyday relationships—between the self and th... read more

Life is a mystery, a puzzle, “a house of inscrutable signals,” leaving us “often stranded in the middle of a feeling.” With exquisite manipulation of language, the poems in this collection seek to unravel the mystery and solve the puzzle by parsing everyday experiences—observing life while lying about on the couch, on the floor, in bed and out—and everyday relationships—between the self and th... read more

Dog & Me

Kary Barrett Wayson

A poetry collection.

A poetry collection.

Kary has 1 review

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dan Moran
Kary was a real pleasure to work with. The quality of her editing work was extremely high and she was absolutely reliable in terms of meeting deadlines and being communicative. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a strong editor.

Dan Moran, January 2021

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