Megan Sever, Editor & Writer
In talking with scientists and science organizations in 2019, I learned there was a need for freelance editing services. Staff were already stretched thin — and many had little experience or training in editing anyway. As I had nearly 20 years in science communications — writing and editing — I saw a need I could fill. So I founded Gneiss Editing LLC to rid the geoscience world of poor grammar. While I started solely editing, now I also write and mentor new writers (see Services). I get to do it all from my home office in Portland, Oregon, where my cats chase squirrels from my office window and my kids inform me when it's time for a snuggle break.
In my spare time, I'm a runner, softball player and coach, golfer, hiker, skier, Little League coach, parent to two adorable little kids, wife to my college sweetheart, cook, animal rescue volunteer, neighborhood leader (community organizer) and precinct committee person (an elected position in my county). I'm also a huge sports fan, cheering especially for the Braves, Brewers, Packers, Redskins, Blazers, Ducks and Badgers.
Check out my company's Capability Statement here.
How I got here: Growing up, I was always able to express myself well through the written word. And though I loved being outside, exploring nature, I didn't think I had the fortitude for science. Fortunately, in college, I took a geology class (yes, that one — "Rocks for Jocks") and I fell in love. My mentor in geology suggested I look into a job in science writing. Say what?! I did not know one could combine such passions. With degrees in English and Geology, what could I be better qualified to do than write about geology? I started freelancing for Geotimes Magazine, eventually joined the staff, became editor, led the transition to EARTH Magazine, and led the team that produced this spectacular magazine for more than a decade.
EARTH Magazine, a 64-page international monthly earth sciences newsmagazine in which we analyzed and explained complex scientific studies, was produced by myself and two other editors, a designer and an illustrator. I managed our small, distributed team of staffers along with a large team of freelancers and contributors from around the world. I ran every aspect of the production cycle: planning stories months in advance and soliciting people to write them, managing the freelancers and the budget, content and copy editing every piece we ran, writing and editing breaking news stories on fast turnaround and helping with layout for print and the web, and running the magazine's social media channels. I also set the strategic direction of the magazine. I pushed the envelope to cover more of the topics that matter to people instead of just the “basic geology" the magazine covered prior to my leadership. Such fields included land-use battles, water balance and rights issues, fracking, issues surrounding hydropower and dams, and better engagement with policymakers about climate change science and mitigation options, plus as much natural hazards coverage as we could run. Additionally, although the magazine was focused on science, I pushed to expand our coverage to wider cultural issues. We were lauded for making the earth sciences accessible. We were all proud of the work we did. Then, in March 2019, EARTH was abruptly shut down by its publisher.
Since EARTH closed, I've been freelance editing and writing, taking my nearly 20 years of experience in science communications and putting it to work for myriad clients, performing all the services listed on my Services page.