Penny Fletcher

Penny Fletcher - Editor

Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

With more than 35 years writing, editing, and coaching, Penny can help you reach your goals in a friendly but flawless manner.

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With more than 14,000 bylines in newspapers and magazines and both traditionally and self-published books, for more than 35 years, Penny is best known for her work with other writers. While a Bureau Editor for Media General Communications Inc., Sunbelt Newspapers, and Amazon Books first self-publishing division, BookSurge, she’s helped hundreds of new and experienced writers refine their work until it stands out from the rest. Her interactive seminars, called Write Your Heart Out, are held both online and in person. Write Your Heart Out methods may be seen on her business website where she works on plot, characterization, scene-setting, and natural dialogue, using the analogy that words are the writer’s movie camera. Her former editing clients praise her easy-to-swallow explanations of needed changes as she seeks out plot holes and possibilities to better the manuscript. Penny makes hard work fun from crafting a fantastic lead to reaching a heart-stopping climax all the way to a satisfying conclusion. Her clients say they especially appreciate how she meticulously checks each line for correct noun-verb tense, grammatical errors, typos and more. So whether you’re writing about success, sex, or spirituality, Penny can help you find your voice and polish your words.

Many clients return year after year, some more often, and are featured in her monthly newsletter and rotated on her business website. At this time, she edits regularly for two Harlequin romance writers, several pastors, and two authors of on-going series. She rotates her clients' work on her business website and maintains her own author website at as well. She is currently writing books for publication with Sunbury Press Publishing Company Inc., based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. TRUE STORIES OF HELP FROM THE OTHER SIDE, is due to come out in 2021.

Penny believes writing should be fun and starts all her coaching sessions with "Don't aonize over any first draft. Get the story down as fast as you can. Words can always be changed in your second and third draft before you hire a professional editor to make them shine. First you have to capture your ideas, and tell your stories, because if you worry about, wording, punctuation and all the things that can be fixed later, you could lose momentum, and even important chunks of the very things you want to write about most."

So, whether you write about spirituality, sex, or self-help, Penny's with you all the way, usually working one-on-one online or even by phone. A lifetime student of religions from the time of the Sumerian clay tablets through Gnosticism, Judaism, Egyptian, Celt, Native American, Zen Buddhism and New Age (of all kinds!) as well as both the old and new testaments of the Catholic and Protestant versions of The Bible, she is well-enough versed to work with pastors in almost any religion. The only genres she does not edit are satanic stories; anything with bloody gore, and black occult practices, including voodoo. Conversely, descriptive slow-mo sex scenes are also a specialty, and are always done in the best of taste.

Edits are available in Associated Press, and Chicago (both in either American or British English)

She is currently a proferssional member of the Freelance Writers-Editors Network, WEN-FFWA based in North Stratford, NH.
English (US)
Contemporary Romance
Mystery & Crime
Romantic Suspense
New Age
Political Science & Current Affairs
Religion & Spirituality
Self-Help & Self-Improvement


  • Florida Freelance Writers Association, 1998-2021
  • Florida Press Association 1987- 2020
  • Media General Communications, Inc. Management Training
  • Achieving Your Highest Priorities, April 2005
  • Synergy & Convergence, June 2005
  • Gung Ho Your Employees, April 2004
  • Tools for Efective Management, March 2004
  • Hiring the Right People, May 2004
  • Managing Change Workshop, April 2001
  • Poynter Institute for Media Studies - Seminars courtesy of The Tampa Tribune, June 2004. "Writing the Story Many Different Ways," and "Editing and Coaching New Writers."
  • Writers Digest School 1987-1989
  • Monmouth University, Bachelor of Journalism 1967
  • Romance Writers of America 2007-2012
  • Freelance Writers-Editors Network FFWA 2007-Present


  • 2012- Honorable Mention state-wide, Hard News Story , Florida Press Association: In The Observer News, "New Homeland Security Regulations to Affect Driver's License Renewal"
  • 2012- Honorable Mention state-wide, Community Papers of Florida Annual Awards of Excellence: In the Riverview Current, "Farmers Lose Thousands as Freeze Kills Stock."
  • 2010- Second Place state-wide, Hard News, Florida Press Association: In The Observer News, "Health Care at Crisis Point"
  • 2010- First Place state-wide, Column: In the Observer News, " Seek and Ye Shall Find" (where to obtain health care with no insurance)
  • 2010- Third Place state-wide, Community Papers of Florida, Serious Column category: nIn the Observer News, "Faith-based Centers Struggle to Keep up with Area Homeless"
  • 2010- Honorable Mention, state-wide, Community Papers of Florida, Hard News: In the Riverview Current, "Residents Plead with Commissioners to Keep Programs in Place"
  • 2009- Second Place state-wide, Community Papers of Florida, Serious Column: "Why the Crist Plan for Health Insurance Won't Help Those Who Need it Most"
  • 2009- Community Journalist of the Year, awarded by the Sun City Center Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • 2008- Florida Dental Association - state-wide: Best Dental-Related Story
  • 2005- Honorable Mention, state-wide, Florida Press Association, Serious Column, "Studies Show Aging in Place the Best Elder Option"
  • 2004- Third Place state-wide, Community Papers of Florida, Best Original Writing category, "Life in the Ford White House"
  • 2002- Third Place state-wide, Hard News, Florida Press Association (no story name on certificate but it was about immigration)
  • 2002- Honorable Mention in the Inspirational Writing Category of the Writer's Digest Annual Short Story Competition for "Coincidences? No Way?"
  • 2002- Second Place, state-wide, News Story Community Papers of Florida (story unnamed on certificate) In the South Shore News
  • 2000- Second Place state-wide Community Papers of Florida (story unnamed on certificate) In The Sun & The East Bay Breeze
  • 2000- Honorable Mention (cntest drew 19,000 entrants in all categories) in the Writer's Digest Annual Short Story Competition, News Category: "Aging in Place Best Option for Seniors"
  • 1999- First Place Community Editorial, state-wide, Community Papers of Florida Annual Awards of Excellence
  • 1998- First Place Community Interest Editorial state-wide, Community Papers of Florida Annual Awards of Excellence
  • 1998- First Place state-wide, Community Papers of Florida Annual Awards of Excellence, Best Original Photography to Accent a News Story

Work experience

Penny Fletcher's WRITE YOUR HEART OUT Editing & Coaching Service

January, 2002 – Present (about 19 years)

My experience is from working with media organizations and Amazon Books as well as my training at Monmouth University (grad 1967). I held a job with Sunbelt Newspapers Inc., starting as a reporter and a few years later was promoted to Bureau Editor of two local newspapers while writing a column for the corporate (Media General Inc.) daily, THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, as well. I edited, assigned stories and checked reporter's work before sending it to layout and production and also was in charge of training new reporters fresh out of college. We concentrated on ethics and story tone then more so than they do today. I was freelancing to romance magazines since the 1980s, and stopped sometimne during my employment with Media General. My romance genre was learned (by OJT) while writing for MacFadden Enterprises Inc., in NYC (True Love and True Story) while living in Europe in the 1960s after graduation.

Author, Editor, Speaker & Coach
April, 1995 – Present (almost 26 years)

While I was a writer and editor for Sunbelt Newspapers and The Tampa Tribune, (both owned by Media General Communications Inc.) I was moonlighting (on the side) for Amazon Books. After a few years of that, I started freelance editing manuscripts under Write/Right Editorial Services. I later dropped that name and changed the name to Write Your Heart Out. I work with writers in person and online and at writer's groups and library presentations. I have also taught several semesters at The Center 4 Lifelong Learning, a seniors' non-credit college in the retirement community of Sun City Center, Florida.

I show how words act as the writer's movie camera; and give examples of the elusive show- don't-tell method in an easy- to-understand way. My interactive style and open mind allow for many genres from sex to spirituality and I can help you develop your work from the idea to the conclusion. I do manuscript development; consultation; full content edits; and proofs of final copy. My varied experience allows me to work in Associated Press, and Chicago styles; in both American and British English.

Columnist & Editor

The Tampa Tribune, a publication of Media General Communications Inc.
February, 2005 – November, 2007 (over 2 years)

Wrote columns about local and national issues for The Tampa Tribune, a large daily newspaper, and edited the copy of other writers.

Media General bought out Sunbelt Newspapers, is why the dates of my awards do not match the publication years of my employment.


Amazon Books first self-publishing division, BookSurge (prior to Kindle)
April, 2004 – May, 2007 (about 3 years)

Freelanced at Amazon (moonlighted) while at Sunbelt Newspapers and Media General. While there, learned to differentiate between Associated Press and Chicago editing style; edited raw copy from new writers and made content changes where needed; also wrote marketing sheets (logline; short sheet; medium length and long marketing); wrote press releases for each book and ghosted New York Times Reviews.

Bureau Editor

Sunbelt Newspapers 1987-2007 (but freelanced my own business & Amazon on the side during this period as shown below)
January, 1987 – November, 2007 (almost 21 years)

Explained above.

Freelance writer

MacFadden Enterprises; Today's Christian Woman & Gulf Coast Fisherman
January, 1985 – December, 1995 (almost 11 years)

While living in Europe after grsaduation, I wrote short fiction for popular (supermarket rack) women's magazines: True Story and True Confessions. I also wrote features and profiles for (what used to be) the print publication of Today's Christian Woman and later freelanced as a photojournalist for The Outdoor Section of The Tampa Tribune and Gulf Coast Fisherman

Portfolio (15 selected works)

An Accidental Residency

Gordon, Hallie

Shepherds of Destiny

Barnekov, Kiel

The happy, birthday Paintings

Mulay, Sangeeta, Nashikkar, Leena

The Last Mrs B

Boyer, Jackelen

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