Putting the right words in the right places gives me a delicious satisfaction.
Two years ago I made a momentous decision and quit my job as a teacher. All my life I had written—from poems to mystery stories to wacked-out experimental prose. I had had bits and pieces published in magazines and anthologies, but still didn’t have a book I could call my own. I was 56 now and saw that, if I didn’t start to write full-time, it would soon be too late.
My first book was published in April, 2017; my second in June, 2018; the third is coming out in October, 2018, and the fourth in February, 2019. You could say I hit the ground running.
In the middle of all this writing I landed a gig as English editor for a book being put out by a Finnish cooperative. My job was to take pieces written in English by contributors from around the world and tweak the writing until it was smooth, clear, and “street smart.“ The collaboration with the main authors was exciting and rewarding, and we were all proud of the finished work. In the acknowledgments I was refered to by one as a “polisher of gems,“ as “our ‘much more than an Editor, Ashley Curtis.’“
This chance gig gave me an idea: there must be more such work out there, more gems to be polished. I had found fine-tuning the Finnish book’s English a stimulating and yet simultaneously relaxing exercise, a fine complement to working on my own writing. Stimulating, because putting the right words in the right places gives me a delicious satisfaction. Relaxing, alongside my own compositions, because it was writing without the invention of content. The content was already there.
Thus was born Ashley Curtis—English Editing.
I was born in California, grew up in Bern, Switzerland, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Yale University in Chinese Literature and Biblical Literature. I became certified as a teacher of Physics and Mathematics, and practiced that art for over two decades at schools in Rome and Amherst, and at the Ecole d’Humanité in Hasliberg, Switzerland. I was appointed co-director of the Ecole in 2009 and served in that position until 2014. A passionate outdoorsman, I have made dozens of alpine ascents in crampons and on skis. Today, however, I am more likely to be found in a tent among the forests and abandoned alps of Piedmont than on Swiss glaciers.
For an overview and description of my books, check out my writing website here.