I’ve worked intensively one-on-one with Betsy Warland as editor on two projects—my published poetry collection, Refugee Song, and a novel manuscript, Skin. In both instances, Betsy’s extensive experience as an editor, her accomplished writer’s eye and ear, her deep insight and knowledge as a teacher, and her generosity as a mentor, helped me immeasurably to make these works publication-ready.
Betsy gently guided and nurtured the writer within me until I found my own voice and style. As I continued along the path to becoming an award-winning author, Betsy continued to be a caring, astute and visionary mentor. Betsy knows the craft of writing as only the best authors do.
My experience of working with Betsy was life-changing. She’s an extraordinary mentor and editor who with gentle yet clear direction helped me identify the real story hidden inside my early drafts, and to ‘trust the narrative’.
Not only was Betsy helpful in helping me feel out the general shape of the book, but she provided expert and pointed suggestions about lines, breaks, and the very small details which can make or break a poem.
The best things about working with Betsy were her understanding of how to structure the manuscript and her detailed attention to every word in it. Her way of grounding the writing practice in the body is so useful; her sensitivity to the writer and to the work are unsurpassed.