Nancy Thalia Reynolds

Nancy Thalia Reynolds


• BA, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
• LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Ont
• MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), Montpelier, VT

Awards & Honors

• Alumni Award, VCFA, 2007
• Critical Thesis Award, VCFA, 2007
• Hedgebrook writers residencies, 2004, 2006
• Nominee, Nancy Blankenship Pryor Award (radio broadcasting), 6/​96


• American Society of Journalists & Authors
• Authors Guild
• Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators

Non-Writing Jobs

I coproduced and cohosted Write On, a program on writing for writers on a Lynnwood, WA, public radio station.

I coordinated a project on privacy and technology for the ACLU of Washington

I taught creative writing workshops for kids in grades 3-6.

I presented workshops on advocating effectively in writing to nonprofit
agencies and groups who work with children.

I developed advocacy training programs, researched legal issues, raised funds, trained in advocacy skills, developed and implemented innovative lay-advocacy programs; did legal casework, drafted appellate briefs, hired and trained staff as articling clerk, then counsel, then consultant to 2 Canadian public interest advocacy centres.

credits & clips

On this page, I offer a brief rationale for what I do, followed by a representative sampling of writing and editing credits, links to online work, and the usual resume stuff.


For 25 years, I worked as a freelance writer while raising two kids and soon my careers became inextricably entwined. My son was a picky eater; my first feature article on parenting was about how to feed picky eaters. The experts I interviewed gave me marvelous ideas which I tried out on my son. A few actually worked. After adopting our daughter from Brazil, I wrote a book on adoption which helped me debrief myself from an insanely complicated bureaucratic nightmare that was, in the end, incredibly worthwhile. The research I did for my book gave me insight that I applied to raising my adopted child.

Coaching & teaching

The job I love most after writing itself is working as a writing coach, which offers the advantages of teaching and few of the disadvantages. One on one may not be the ideal way to master some subjects, but in my experience it is by far the best way to learn to write. The novice embarking on a creative writing project, especially fiction, is akin to a pioneer setting out on a cross-continent journey not only without a map, but without a road to follow. To belabor the image a bit more, the pioneer may not be entirely certain the destination exists or, if it does, whether it's the right one. I find the challenge of helping writers shape their goals, the destination, and then craft a map to help them reach it, uniquely rewarding.


Some years into my freelance-writing career, freelance-editing opportunities began to come my way, too. In this far-more-nitpicking milieu I was pleased to discover others of my kind. An obsessive-compulsive fixation on words, grammar, usage and punctuation, rather than being treated as a sign of mental instability, was considered normal, even admirable. Heated arguments over when to use "between" and "among," about the use and abuse of adverbs, or whether the Pathetic Fallacy is extinct were all in a day's work. Along with other English majors, I had stumbled into the software industry during the final, freewheeling days of the dotcom era. Not only real money but actual respect was lavished on us. Few if any could program a VCR, and later a DVD player, much less a computer; yet we had a place at the table.

Selected Shorter Works & Editing Projects

Additional clips of articles I've written and for works I've edited are available on request.

Adoption, parenting & education articles

My articles on adoption, adoptive parenting and education have appeared in a variety of national and regional magazines including Adoptive Families, Long Island Parenting News, ParentMap, Roots & Wings, Seattle’s Child, Sound Consumer. Follow the links to read some of my work online or in PDF.

ParentMap 2/​06

From Adoptive Families, 3/​95 (Reprinted in Collector’s Issue: Best Articles of the Decade 1990–2000, Adoptive Families, 2000)

ParentMap 11/​05

First published as “After the Children Come Home,” Seattle’s Child, 4/​98

ParentMap 9/​05

travel articles

Most of my travel writing has been books, but my travel articles have also appeared in ParentMap, Seattle’s Child and Seattle Magazine. Follow the links to read some of my work online or in PDF.

ParentMap, 12/​05

From ParentMap 4/​06

humor columns

I’ve contributed humorous articles and columns to regional publications, including Downtown Source, Ha! Magazine, Inlander, The Seattle Times, and The Shoreline Post. While humor tends to become obsolete, there are exceptions. I'll leave it to readers to figure out how well mine holds up. Follow the links to read a few of my published columns online and in PDF.

Pacific Magazine, Seattle Times, Nov. 22, 1992

Other Writing projects

I found a route to becoming a professional writer through legal writing. Regardless of what you may have heard, lawyers need to be able to write well. Legal writing makes an excellent diving board into the shark infested pool of literary criticism. It can even help with fiction.

How to Apply for a Peace Bond, Legal Services Society of British Columbia, 1985 (training manual on court and legal procedures for low-income women unable to afford counsel)
How to Lay Assault Charges, Legal Services Society of British Columbia, 1985 (training manual for low-income women unable to afford counsel)

selected editing projects

Much of our work as editors, if we are good at our job, is invisible. Reviewing an editor's resume, thus, requires a fair degree of trust.

• Training and certification materials (Catapult, Microsoft Press products)

• Business software and hardware end-user manuals (banking and telecommunications products)

• General software and hardware end-user manuals (products from Microsoft, Fulcrum

• Entertainment software end-user manuals (various products, PC and Mac)

• Advertising supplements, advertorials, case studies

• Copyeditor, Healing Muscle Pain, E. Aaslid, John Wiley & Sons, 2001 (layperson’s guide to recovering from muscle injury)

• Copyeditor, Going Places: Family Getaways in the Pacific Northwest, 4th ed., Books for Parents, 1999–2000 (Washington and Oregon sections)

• Editor, “The Development of the Accutron Watch Mechanism and interview with William Ogle Bennett,” Rubens Sigelmann, NAWCC Bulletin, 1999 (journal for clock- and watchmakers)

• Proofreader and copyeditor on in-house and outsourced projects for WasserStudios, 1997-1998 (including Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Deployment Guide)

• Editor, “Ultrasonic Measurement of the Density of Liquids Flowing in Tubes,” Rubens Sigelmann et al., Proceedings of the IEEE, 1997 (scientific research paper)

• Copyeditor, Elliott Bay Book Company Booknotes, 1996–2007 (literary tabloid)

• Copyeditor, Shorts: Gateway Into New Markets, Colleen Foye Bollen, Turtle Island Press, 1996 (how-to book for writers)

• Medical copyeditor, Orthopedic Department, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, 1988–89 (books, articles, public information)

• Editor and co-author, How to Enforce a Maintenance Order, The Legal Services Society of British Columbia, 1984 (training manual for non-lawyer advocates)

• Editor, Family Law Advocacy Training Manual, Department of Justice, Canada, 1983 (training manual for non-lawyer advocates)

Selected Works

Literary Criticism
Mixed Heritage in Young Adult Literature
"Superb....This work is highly recommended for curriculum labs and public and college and university libraries." --ARBA
Inside Passage Activity Guide: Exploring Major Ports of Call in Southeast Alaska
What to see and do, where to eat and sleep, and how to fit it all into the time available: from 3-hour ferry stopovers and cruise-ship in-ports to multiday, independent travel.
Going Places: Alaska and the Yukon for Families
Attractions, accommodation, and dining assessed for family friendliness. Fine dining and late-night pub crawls, no. Sled-dog petting and laundromat locations, yes.
Going Places: Family Getaways in the Pacific Northwest
"If you have kids and you travel, you need this book." --The Seattle Times
Adoption and Parenting
Adopting Your Child: Options, Answers, and Actions
"A very good guide and overview of adoption. A good place to start." -- Michaele Sue Goldblatt,