Kary Wayson

Kary Wayson – Editor

I'm a devoted, hardworking editor with a keen eye for detail and a fascination with language in all its combinations, uses, and forms.


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 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 do 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:

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.—Gabrielle Bates, author (Judas Goat, Tin House Press, forthcoming in 2023)

—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. —E. Briskin, author (Orange, Entre Rios, 2020)

—Kary 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] 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)

Art Biographies & Memoirs LGBTQ Non-Fiction Writing & Publishing
Mashups Poetry
English (US)
  • 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
  • Certificate in Editing, University of Washington, 2019
  • MFA, University of Washington, 1997

Work experience

Poetry Northwest

Jun, 2019 — Present

• 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.

Hugo House

Jun, 2018 — Present

• 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.


Jun, 2017 — Present

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

Hugo House

Sep, 2013 — Jun, 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



Fairchild, Aaron

Judas Goat: Poems

Bates, Gabrielle


Briskin, E.

And Yet: Poems

Baer, Kate

A Little Bit of Land

Gigot, Jessica


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, th... read more
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-foo... read more
Feeding Hour

Gigot, Jessica

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... read more

Keeler, R J

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... read more
Dog & Me

Kary Barrett Wayson

A poetry collection.
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 ex... read more

Kary has 3 reviews





Niklas A.

Niklas A.

May, 2023

Kary has a sharp eye for how the text can flow better, but most importantly, a heart that understands the voice of the author. My own voice was enhanced and never dulled and I am so glad I found her. It made all the difference to my manuscript.
Kary W.
Thanks so much, Niklas! It was a total pleasure to work with you and your book. All my warmest best—Kary
Christina C.

Christina C.

Dec, 2021

Working with Kary was a thorough, helpful, expeditious, and illuminating experience. Her ability to interpret and speak to my poetic voice felt as natural as getting feedback from someone I had known for years. She was clear to communicate through Reedsy when she would be available and unavailable for messaging; and made time to hop on a call at the end of her review to talk through everything ...
Read more
Kary W.
Thank you Christina!! It was a pleasure working with you.
Dan M.

Dan M.

Jan, 2021

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.

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