Here at VoiceCatcher, we are thrilled to have a team of creative and passionate editors who allow us to share the powerful voices of our writers and poets. We would like for you to get to know us a little bit better—what we do, where we come from, and what we’re excited about!
This week on the blog we have Laura Shaw—a prose editor with a penchant for literary horror and Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies—and poetry editor Kelly Nielson, a copyeditor who is always ready for a road trip!
Prose Editor: Laura Shaw
Laura Shaw would probably rather be reading a short story collection than doing just about anything else. She has a particular weakness for literary horror and anything genre-bending. A former elementary school teacher, she loves a good picture book too. She’s an editor who lives in Seattle, occasionally attempting to be handy and fix up her old West Seattle house.
What’s something about you today that the old you would find surprising?
Former versions of me might be surprised at how frequently I’ll still have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. It’s a love that will last a lifetime.
What is your favorite name and why?
I love this question. I’ve always loved the named Max. Now I’m married to one! He’s a Maximilian, which is particularly fun.
Describe a past passion you eventually outgrew.
Entenmann’s makes perfect-sized little chocolate chip cookies, and the bodegas in New York sold these perfect-sized little boxes of them. I used to buy them on the way home from work and would be so impatient that I’d crack open the box on the subway. Outside of New York, those little boxes are so much harder to find! I haven’t had one of those cookies in years.
Poetry Editor: Kelly Nielson
Kelly Nielsen is a copyeditor based in Seattle. She loves literature and storytelling, so to balance her technical, commercial editing work, she sinks into good books—mostly contemporary fiction, memoirs, and poetry. You can usually find her reading, sipping whiskey, daydreaming about spontaneously moving to Norway, trying to keep her houseplants alive, or hiking around Washington State.
What is the next skill you’d like to learn really well?
My next creative venture will probably be photography. It’s always been something I enjoy but have never learned much about it as a technical creative skill. As we approach summer, I’d love to be able to capture more artfully and intentionally the natural beauty of Washington State as I explore and wander! I love engaging with a visual medium (even when I’m not as skilled at it) to balance with all the words I read, write, and edit each day!
What were you almost named?
My older sister Flannery—who was just shy of four when I was born—was dead set on calling me Elizabeth. Even after I arrived with the name Kelly (my paternal grandmother’s maiden name), she insisted on introducing me to all her preschool friends as her little sister Elizabeth. I have to admit, sometimes I wish she had succeeded in swaying my parents’ choice; I think Elizabeth is a strong and romantic name. If ever I come to write a book under a pen name, you can bet the first name will be Elizabeth!
What’s the next thing you have on your to-buy list?
My current to-buy list is long and varied, reflecting the chaotic but joyful shifting in priorities this past year has brought about for me! At the top of my list is a solar-powered generator that can keep me powered up and connected to my remote work as I take a weeks-long road trip (pandemic permitting). These days I want nothing more than to hop into my Honda Element named Nigel and drive to Wyoming … or Colorado … or Utah … or Arizona … or all of the above! I am actively seeking a change in scenery—even if just in my imagination for now!