Teryn O'Brien

Teryn O'Brien - Editor

Newport, RI, USA

I help writers from a variety of backgrounds shape and edit their narratives for maximum storytelling impact.

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Overview

From a young age, I was writing novels and poetry, weaving stories for my sister during bedtime, creating plays with neighborhood kids. An avid bookworm growing up, stories became my refuge, helping me to learn empathy and see others as protagonists in their lives. Pursuing that love of stories, it was only natural that I graduated from college with a degree in communications.

After college, I found what I thought was my dream job working in online marketing at Penguin Random House, one of the Big Six in publishing. While there, I learned even more about high-quality storytelling as I soaked in the wisdom of the editors I befriended — participating in meetings where books were dissected and developed with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. I also honed in on what it meant to position, brand, and compel through storytelling. I was also able to help shape several books with editorial input and learn more and more about the editing process as I worked alongside editors there, and I was instrumental in helping to launch Convergent Books, an entirely new imprint of progressively-minded spiritual authors that went on to be amazingly successful ( my time in publishing, I began freelancing in 2015 due to a number of personal reasons. Over five years of freelancing, I've had the privilege of working with a number of authors on their journeys to shape a manuscript developmentally, shape their branding strategy as a writer, and edit their works for clarity. Storytelling is an art that is always being deepened, and I've helped authors who are stuck or just need another pair of eyes on their story to help them take it to the next level. I also have that knack for refining story arcs and thinking through details, subplots, and wrapping it all together into a true package that can be hard for a writer to do when thinking through everything else going on. Whether it's memoir, fiction, or poetry — there are so many things to think about when writing a book or collection of works, and it's helpful to have someone who can walk alongside you during the process!

I was also a managing editor for a publication call Colorado Collective that was all about the creative and entrepreneurial spirit in Colorado, and we did a variety of interviews with writers, artists and small businesses from across the Centennial State. We also featured poetry and creative essays in the publication. Volume Four was nominated for a Pike's Peak Literary Arts Award in 2017. This publication was not available on Amazon or online platforms, so those are the pictures in my gallery at the bottom if you're interested in seeing this what this work looked like.

Currently, I work full time as a writer and content strategist at Salve Regina University, and I freelance on the side.

*Note: The books below are a mix of ones I have given editorial feedback on and helped shape, as well as ones where I have something personally published inside of the pages. Reedsy doesn't give a way to describe these things, so if you have questions, please ask about each project.
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Anthologies
Fantasy
Poetry
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Religion & Spirituality
Travel

Certifications

  • Expressive Arts Facilitator - Salve Regina Institute

Awards

  • Pike's Peak Literary Awards Nominee for Colorado Collective Volume 4

Work experience

Writer/Content Strategist

Salve Regina University
January, 2020 – Present (6 months)

• Write a wide range of content – including news pieces, feature magazine articles, web copy, and marketing copy – for the university’s online and print publications.
• Manage, schedule, edit, and write news stories for SALVEtoday, the university’s news hub, to ensure campus stays informed.
• Conduct in-person and phone interviews with a variety of people for story coverage, helping them to feel comfortable, understood and willing to open up and share their experiences.
• Edit any requested written materials in AP Style.
• Produce high quality photography for stories when requested.
• Maintain appropriate communication across a variety of channels as writing and photography needs arise.
• Direct interns on projects when the need arises.

Managing Editor

Colorado Collective
August, 2015 – October, 2017 (about 2 years)

• Communicate with writers and photographers to get stories in on time for our print publication.
• Edit every single article for each print publication.
• Coach writers to make sure our storytelling and writing are above par.
• Write and interview for articles.
• Take photographs for articles.
• Brainstorm content for online magazine (new website launched April 2017).
• Develop relationships with writers and photographers across Colorado to produce content for our print and web presence.
• Volume Four of Colorado Collective was nominated for a Pike's Peak Literary Art Award in 2017.

Storyteller (Photographer, Writer, Editor)

Self-employed
April, 2015 – Present (over 5 years)

• Written and edited hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and digital marketing companies as a freelance writer and editor.
• Mentored authors in their business and branding for better positioning about who they are and what they offer.
• Developmental edited and proofread for a variety of books.
• Edited four volumes of Colorado Collective, a local print magazine that featured poems, essays, and features on a variety of artists and small businesses in Colorado.
• Published poems that have been in books, featured in art galleries, and performed in a variety of capacities around the world.

Online Marketing, Editorial

Penguin Random House
April, 2012 – April, 2015 (about 3 years)

I worked with various imprints at Penguin Random House, LLC., including WaterBrook Multnomah, Image, and Convergent Books. My job was multifaceted, and I worked in a variety of capacities (Online Marketing, Social Media, and Editorial) in the following areas:
• Launching an entirely new imprint with a small team called Convergent Books that went on to be successful.
• Project management, brainstorming, and implementation for various media campaigns (including conferences and online events with authors).
• Promote new books through social media campaigns.
• Write and find engaging content for blogs and other online content for a blog that Convergent Books used to have.
• Edit various written materials (press releases, articles, interviews, etc.).
• Shaped various manuscripts for editorial purposes.
• Film and interview authors on site at office. Edit footage when necessary.
• Actively seek out relevant voices/book ideas/felt needs to pitch to our editors.
• Create visual components for promotional use online using a variety of tools (photography, videography, graphic design, etc.).

Portfolio (11 selected works)

A Ranger's Trail (The Texas Trail Series)

Darlene Franklin

This is the fourth book in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.In 1875 Buck Morgan rode into Mason County with the Texas Rangers to quell the violence stirred up by the actions a vigilantly mob. The Hoo Doo (or bad luck) War e... read more

This is the fourth book in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.In 1875 Buck Morgan rode into Mason County with the Texas Rangers to quell the violence stirred up by the actions a vigilantly mob. The Hoo Doo (or bad luck) War e... read more

Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future

Elizabeth Esther

I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of t... read more

I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of t... read more

Tainted (Rain Trilogy) (Volume 1)

Allison J. Kennedy

Ophir is split into two lands: Othrinia is abundant with life, and Veodue is dark and dying. A person must be either good and gentle, or thirst for death and violence. I’ve never felt at home in Othrinia. Though I have never wanted for food, love, or safety, I have always felt a gaping void within me—one that searches for something else. Something more. Something forbidden. And now, a mysterio... read more

Ophir is split into two lands: Othrinia is abundant with life, and Veodue is dark and dying. A person must be either good and gentle, or thirst for death and violence. I’ve never felt at home in Othrinia. Though I have never wanted for food, love, or safety, I have always felt a gaping void within me—one that searches for something else. Something more. Something forbidden. And now, a mysterio... read more

Redeemed (The Rain Trilogy) (Volume 2)

Allison J. Kennedy

I was torn from the goodness I knew and plunged into darkness. I reveled in my true nature. I recklessly loved the very man who pulled me from the light. I despaired when we were torn apart. But then, Veodue beckoned me to return, and I had to answer the call. I had to save my sister. But I couldn’t have prepared myself for what I found instead. My palace. My birthright. My brother I've never ... read more

I was torn from the goodness I knew and plunged into darkness. I reveled in my true nature. I recklessly loved the very man who pulled me from the light. I despaired when we were torn apart. But then, Veodue beckoned me to return, and I had to answer the call. I had to save my sister. But I couldn’t have prepared myself for what I found instead. My palace. My birthright. My brother I've never ... read more

The Choice

Allison J Kennedy

How do you heal from your past when you're still trapped within it? I lost myself the night of the party. Just like that, my innocence and sanity were torn away. I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn't. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn't. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a r... read more

How do you heal from your past when you're still trapped within it? I lost myself the night of the party. Just like that, my innocence and sanity were torn away. I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn't. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn't. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a r... read more

You Are Stronger Than You Know: Words of Hope and Encouragement for Someone Living with Chronic Illness

A Blue Mountain Arts Collection, Ed. Becky McKay

Living with chronic illness is a daily uphill battle. Your "good" days may be a lot different than most people's, and your bad days can sometimes seem endless. But each time you get up, willing to do it all over again, you grow in courage, determination, and strength. You are sending a message to yourself and to the world that you are a survivor. Filled with words of comfort and compassion, th... read more

Living with chronic illness is a daily uphill battle. Your "good" days may be a lot different than most people's, and your bad days can sometimes seem endless. But each time you get up, willing to do it all over again, you grow in courage, determination, and strength. You are sending a message to yourself and to the world that you are a survivor. Filled with words of comfort and compassion, th... read more

Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love

Whiston-Donaldson, Anna, Doyle, Glennon

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