Developmental Editor & Writing Coach
Val M. Mathews
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
I love this quote from President Teddy Roosevelt because it’s good advice for all writers. I’ve worked with many writers who have wavered between losing their footing and losing their dreams. The kicker is, to stay on the writer’s path, we need both stars and steady feet. For many writers (aspiring and published), that takes a village. As an editor and writing coach, I am just one of your villagers.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working one-on-one with Val Mathews. The editing process is so helpful to me as a writer. I completely trust Val’s judgment and spot-on suggestions. Her skills as an editor have made my stories stronger. I highly recommend Val and The Exit 271 Studio to anyone looking for editing services.
I found my dream editor! Val's sensitivity to my manuscript made it a pleasure to work with her. She knew exactly what had to be cut and what was needed to make my manuscript soar. Val is easy to talk to and her quick turn around time is a huge plus. I can honestly say after working with Val, I have become a better writer and a client for life.
Stephanie Baldi, Redemption
Preparing my first novel for publication with editor Val M. Mathews was a writing journey of extraordinary value. A notable writing and editorial coach, she possesses a brilliant approach to the smooth exchange of ideas with clients. Val easily gained my trust in our business relationship. Most noteworthy, she made it easy to release my innermost thoughts, emotions, and creative ideas for her critique. Val possesses a formidable talent and ability to help a writer transform his or her manuscript into muscular prose and state-of-the-art literature. Her methods are a powerful exercise in creative doctrine. Highly respected and valued, Valerie delivers splendid results.
John D. Falcon, The Freedom Shield
After my short story Samuel’s Wife was accepted for publication, Val Mathews worked with me to improve it. Respectful of me as a writer, she suggested no changes that would upset my voice and writing style. With an expert’s eye for detail, Val caught redundancies and irrelevancies, mistakes that muddled the clarity and disrupted the rhythm of the story. I would not hesitate to work with Val again. A true professional, she’s a meticulous editor. I loved working with her and would recommend her to anyone in search of an editor.
Brenda Sutton Rose, Pushcart Prize Nominee for "Samuel's Wife"
When I got Val's feedback, I was surprised at the clarity with which she could see what I was trying to do and nudge it in the right direction. Like a master sculptor, she praised what was good and shone a light on what needed work. It was an eye-opening process for me, and Val helped take my writing to the next level.
At first, Val asked what I expected to accomplish. For me, it was to create a novel that the reader could not put down. She dove into my work, showing me what worked and what didn’t. I soon realized I was drowning in an ocean, but she offered ideas and clarity my story was lacking. It was hard work, but my novel came together. Val’s direction was a critical part of my writing process. No one can ask for a better writing and editorial coach than Val Mathews. I would not consider another writing endeavor without her.
Gary McConville, A Stiff Wind Blows
I have to say that, looking at the final versions with all of the suggestions incorporated, I am extremely proud of these two poems. I was thinking of TS Eliot’s comment about Ezra Pound (though I am no Eliot and these are certainly not The Wasteland!): il miglior fabbro, meaning the better maker. Your staff certainly qualify for that label. Thank you for your generosity in time and effort.
Robert Covel, Poet, Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA)
Val’s skill is to perceive where you are as a writer, and then help you take it to the next level. She gives you not only specific advice and feedback on your manuscript but also rules-of-thumb and foundational principles. In short, Val delivers excellent value.
Val’s most valuable guidance has enabled my characters' dialogue to sound natural and make sense to the reader. Her patient coaching has helped me to restructure and tighten up of the storyline and point of view. Of most significance as a developing writer is Val’s investment in “me,” not just the story. She worked to understand where I am coming from and why the characters are essential. Through our partnership, I have learned to make my characters grow and evolve throughout the story (or blow their heads off).
Andy Carpenter, Blood Creek
Every time I work with Val and her team, I learn an immense amount about the craft of writing. They cheer me on while keeping me on track, which is invaluable to an author. Knowing I have a group of experienced and encouraging editors in my corner gives me the confidence to continue my writing journey.
In the Studio
Featured Published Writers
The Freedom Shield
by Major John D. Falcon
(Proof, Line, and Developmental Edits)
by Stephanie Baldi
(Line and Developmental Edits)
A Stiff Wind Blows
by Gary McConville