Vally M. Sharpe - Managing Editor and Creative Director
A psychotherapist, copywriter, and marketing director in a former life, Vally first became involved in book publishing in 2004, when she self-published her first book, Simon Says: Views from a Higher Perspective, which won her the 2004 Georgia Author of the Year award in the Inspirational/Religious category. She co-founded United Writers Press in 2004 to provide professional editing, graphic design, and management of printing, distribution, and market planning services for independent and traditional publishers. Since then, she has worked with over 600 authors and publishers to transform their manuscripts into published books and ebooks. Among her most successful self-publishing collaborations are High School 101: A Freshman Survival Guide;Mice on Main, a Greenville, S.C. favorite that, to date, has sold over 30,000 copies; and the original Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, later picked up by HarperCollins. Pete the Cat went on to become #1 on the NYT best seller list.
Vally considers an editor's job to be one of removing all obstacles that stand in the way of a reader's understanding of what a writer is communicating without extinguishing the writer's voice. Those obstacles can range from a comma in the wrong place (or a lack of one in the right place) to issues of organization and flow to inconsistencies in character development and point of view. Contact Vally by clicking here.
Jamie W. Lovett - Senior Editor
As a high school English teacher for thirty years, Jamie Lovett worked with young adults to find their voices as writers. Now, she brings her love of the written word to editing. When asked about her passion for reading and writing, Jamie responds, “Books, and the words and ideas in them, can take us places we’ve only dreamed of. Sometimes these places are physical locations; sometimes an author takes us to an emotional space we’ve never visited before. Every new book represents a new journey.” As an editor, Jamie enjoys facilitating that journey. She believes that an editor’s job is to support the writer by providing specific feedback and encouragement and also to help polish the writer’s work before publication or submission to literary agents. Jamie strives for open communication and trust with her clients and uses her experience and training to help the author’s words sing with clarity, focus, and “stylistic grace.”
Jamie’s editorial experience began during her teaching career when she collaborated with her Advanced Placement Literature students to edit Dawn Burnette's best-selling High School 101: Freshman Survival Guide and with publisher and editor Vally Sharpe on True Character: Lessons from Your Bookshelf, honored as a Georgia Author of the Year Young Adult Nominee. These projects introduced Jamie to all aspects of publishing: brainstorming an idea, researching the topic, conceptualizing a story, then writing, revising, editing, designing, and, finally, publishing the book. This in-depth view of publishing sparked Jamie’s own interest in editing for writers and fueled her passion to assist and encourage authors as they embark on their own literary adventures. Contact Jamie by clicking here.
Elizabeth Ward - Senior Editor
From an early age, Elizabeth Ward was passionate about books, taking home stacks at a time from her weekly library visits. At first she had a love affair with the stories, but later she came to savor the words themselves and to appreciate an author’s manipulation of the language. When most of her friends were collecting stuffed animals or baseball cards, Elizabeth collected quotations, and this love of literature led her to earn a degree in English from Furman University. Wanting to inspire others with the power of the written word, Elizabeth spent many years teaching English in Metro Atlanta high schools, editing the work of students ranging from college preparatory to gifted honors to Advanced Placement Language and Composition. Colleagues and adult learners have sought Elizabeth’s communication skills to plan and revise collaborative documents, graduate school papers, job applications, and more.
While some have referred to her as a “Grammar Queen,” Elizabeth sees editing as more than fixing an errant comma or muddy diction. She believes an editor must not only correct but also guide and encourage, all in an effort to make the writer’s voice clear. “I have incredible respect for writers,” says Elizabeth, “because they are the true creators. Writers are brave: they have a story or concept, and they boldly commit their ideas to paper to share with others. I consider it a privilege to suggest changes and to contribute to a writer’s work. I’m happy to serve and support champions of causes and tellers of tales.” Contact Elizabeth by clicking here.
Vally Sharpe is a wonderful editor. She has the life experience and writing know-how to do the job to the highest degree. She is thorough and complete in her work, sensitive to the needs and concerns of the author, perceptive to the nuances of one’s writing, and listens and hears what you say. Vally knows where to push and ask for change and where to give in. She takes your work seriously and loves it as if it were her own.
She is trustworthy—a necessary attribute for an editor working with authors who need to let go and allow an editor to rework their material, and she knows her boundaries. I have found her work to be excellent and I would highly recommend her as an editor.
Lydia Waring Meyer Author of Lillie's Redemption
There is a proverb that states a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client. The same holds true for a writer. After finishing my book Women Who Launch: The Ladies who Shattered Glass Ceilings, I had gone through the manuscript with the utmost care and felt it ready for release. Then Jamie Lovett stepped in. Jamie—who holds a Masters in English and is a veteran English teacher—corrected any number of grammatical errors and logical inconsistencies. Moreover, she added insightful commentary and made my book a much finer one. My only regret is I did not have this editor extraordinaire for my four prior publications. While Marilyn’s best friend was diamonds, an author’s is Ms. Lovett.