Erin Martineau

  • Freelance editor & writing coach 
  • PhD in cultural anthropology, 
    City University of New York, 2006
  • Managing Editor, 2013–present
    Medicine Anthropology Theory

My story

I loved words from an early age. One of my favorite childhood memories is of spending the afternoon at my friend Carolyn’s house, where we would sprawl out on her two twin beds, reading books. That was my kind of playdate.

With my library card in my pocket and my nose in a book, I developed an ear for the rhythms of language. Then, slogging through jargon during my doctoral studies, I realized that good writing both tells a story and invites the reader into a larger conversation. No matter how specialized the topic, writing has more impact when it is unified by an underlying narrative and when it welcomes the reader in.

By seeing your text from the reader’s point of view, I help you tell your story better. 

My professional and educational background

I hold degrees in English and anthropology, I’ve worked in nonprofits and higher education, and I’ve been a college teacher and a political organizer. For my PhD, I conducted ethnographic field research in the Netherlands on conflicts over public space. After graduating, I organized a university-wide writing program for a few years before falling in love with small-scale, organic farming in 2009. I learned about saving seeds, growing crops, harvesting, preserving, and permaculture while living and working at Bluestone Farm and at Open View Farm between 2009 and 2012.

In 2012, I began growing food for our own little homestead, and I launched this editing business. Now I split my time between words and food. I work with writers at every stage of the process, from providing advice on very rough drafts to smoothing out each sentence to make sure that final version flows. And I am also farming, tending our perennial gardens and fruit trees, growing annual vegetables, and implementing a long-term permaculture design for the farm. I'm grateful to have found this creative balance of intellectual and manual work. 

Here’s what my clients have to say . . .