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!
In this week of Meet the Editors Monday, we’ll be meeting Katie Atkins, a prose editor who needle felts cute gnomes, and poetry editor Linda Appel, who wants to learn to read and speak Hebrew.
Prose Editor: Katie Atkins
Katie Atkins is a Portland native and editor specializing in nonfiction, technical, and educational content. Since completing a master’s degree in book publishing from Portland State University, she has enjoyed the diverse range of workplaces her editing skills have led her to, and she’s always curious to see what her next editing adventure might be. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and a cat in a small ADU (accessory-dwelling unit) next door to her parents. If you ask her three-year-old daughter what she does for work, she’ll tell you Katie’s a “word fixer.” You can find more about her word fixing skills via her LinkedIn profile.
What were you like in high school?
In some ways, not terribly different than what I’m like today—a good student, a bit too much of a perfectionist, and somewhat of a dreamer. I loved English classes the best, and I wrote a recurring student column for the local Lake Oswego Review newspaper. I considered careers in education (English teacher, of course) or journalism (or, even better, travel writing). I’m happy that I later stumbled upon another career possibility that fit my skill set with editing.
What is the next skill you’d like to learn really well?
Needle felting! I’ve been experimenting with needle felting in quarantine to pass the dark winter nights (see gnome photo). For those who aren’t familiar, the process involves shaping raw wool using super sharp, barbed needles. It’s incredibly soothing and fairly forgiving (necessary for this failed knitter who could never remember if she was supposed to knit or purl), and I’m super excited to keep developing this skill to see what I might create.
What is your favorite word and why?
This is always changing for me, but lately it’s whatever fun new word my almost four-year-old has invented. A couple of favorites are yesternight (which, technically, already was a word, but since she’d likely never heard of it before, I’m counting it as a new invention) and ourchothers (sort of a combination of “ourselves” and “each others”).
Poetry Editor: Linda Appel
A retired technical librarian, Linda Appel has lived all around the country but settled into the Willamette Valley as if she had returned home. She lives next to the Willamette River, sees Mt. Hood from her bedroom window, and hopes that the blessings of this spot flow through her poetry.
What is the next thing you have on your to-buy list?
After the groceries, I’m torn between buying underpants (they DO wear out!) and a new guest bed (for all those overnight guests I may never have again unless we conquer COVID-19). Shopping is always a chore, so perhaps I’ll just buy myself flowers instead.
What is the next skill that you’d like to learn really well?
I’d like to learn to read Hebrew easily, chant Torah readings, and eventually even speak modern Hebrew fluently.
Describe a past habit you eventually outgrew.
Probably a lot of us (please tell me I’m not the only one!) couldn’t walk the sidewalk without chanting, “Step on a crack; break your mothers back!” I don’t know when I outgrew this, but it must have been some time before my own children put me in peril.