Lanette Sweeney

Lanette Sweeney - Editor

South Hadley, MA, USA

I help make your stories more compelling with 35 years' experience as a writer, reader, editor and proofreader and an MA in English Lit.

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I've been a professional writer, reporter, grants writer, news and features editor, copy editor, ghost writer, proofreader and fact-checker since the 1980s.

I am a compassionate developmental editor and proficient proofreader, and I can work with you at every level of your story's development.

I can help you build your germ of an idea into a full-blown story, novel, article, essay or non-fiction book. I can guide or assist you with research to place your story in a wider context. I can help shape your writing to be more compelling, suspenseful or sensible, whatever help you need to make it more readable. I can do patient line-editing for grammar, punctuation and polishing. I can even help you find the perfect publishing home for your finished piece.

Whatever you want to communicate, I can help you do it better and ensure you find your authentic voice and get it out into the world.

My professional background as a writer, editor and not-for-profit executive has given me excellent experience to help you with your writing:

* I was a copy editor at the weekly supermarket tabloid Star Magazine; my work there trained me to edit, polish, fact-check, proofread and write headlines and captions on tight deadlines.

* I was an editorial assistant and ghostwriter at Guideposts, a monthly interdenominational magazine where I read through the slush pile and drafted inspirational first-person stories of successful people facing and overcoming obstacles.

* I was a national and international news copy editor at the Poughkeepsie Journal, a Gannett daily newspaper, where I scoured the wires for the top stories, pitched them at a daily news meeting, and then wrote headlines and edited them to fit the news space provided.

* And I was a reporter, features writer and associate features editor at the independent daily newspaper The Las Vegas Sun, where I covered various news beats, including crime, corruption, non-profits, and small business, wrote a weekly column, and wrote feature articles on everything from home births to kidney donations.

My writing skills were useful at all my other jobs, as well, where I wrote grants, proposals, press releases, and ad copy for a variety of non-profits, including Hampshire College, where I was a major-gifts fund-raiser for nearly a decade, and at United Way of Dutchess County.

I come from a blue-collar background but earned a master's in English Literature, which makes me down to earth while conscious of code switching in the language we use. I can help you write an academic paper or a how-to book. I also taught English and writing-intensive Women's Studies courses in which I helped my students learn to research, organize, and communicate their ideas more clearly. I was certified as a NYS middle- and high-school English teacher and later as a NYS certified real estate agent. I ran a Girls Leadership program and worked as a business development director for a Prudential firm for five years before moving into higher education fund-raising, a job I loved.

Five years ago my only son developed the disease of addiction and died at the age of 26. Since the year after his death I've been a full-time writer producing short stories, screenplays and novels, and last year I published a book of poetry about my son's death by overdose. The book, What I Should Have Said: A Poetry Memoir about Losing a Child to Addiction, was published by Finishing Line Press and can be ordered wherever books are sold.

Surviving my son's death has made me more self-aware and sensitive, and has softened my approach to everything I do. I know it will make me a more caring and concerned editor and writer in my work with you, as well.

English (US)
Literary Fiction
Parenting & Families
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Sex & Relationships


  • NYS certified English teacher


  • I've been awarded scholarships, residencies and awards for academic writing.

Work experience

Writer and Editor

July, 2017 – Present (almost 5 years)

I've been a news editor, features editor, business editor and copy editor for daily newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines, so I know how to develop sparkling-clean copy on a tight deadline.

As a communications director for a non-profit and a proposal writer and fund-raiser for a college, I learned how to write compelling copy that draws interest and creates loyal clients.

I've written and published news articles, essays, short stories and poems, and I can help you write a great query letter or book proposal or can help you write or organize your book.

Women: Images & Realities, A Multicultural Anthology

Kesselman, Amy, McNair, Lily D, Schniedewind, Nancy

Women: Images And Realities, A Multicultural Anthology

Kesselman, Amy, McNair, Lily D, Schniedewind, Nancy


American Media Inc.


Guideposts, LLC

The Hudson Valley: Our Heritage, Our Future

Downey, Margaret, Poughkeepsie Journal

Women: Images & Realities, A Multicultural Anthology

Kesselman, Amy, McNair, Lily D, Schniedewind, Nancy

Lanette has 1 review

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

steven roberts
It was my distinct privilege to have Lanette Sweeney help me prepare my book for publication. She has the extraordinary ability to grasp major concepts and themes in one breath and then quickly transition to the importance of minute details in the next breath, and do so effortlessly. She ensured consistency in changes in the plot, points of view, and characters. Her critiques clearly illustrat...
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steven roberts, May 2022

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