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Jill U Adams writes about health & medicine, nature & environmental issues, and the intersection of research & policy for newspapers, magazines, and the web. Publication credits include Audubon, Discover, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Science, and Nature. A former research scientist, Jill has shed her passive voice but not her disapproval of handwaving theories. A parent of teens, she is loath to give advice, but is full of it anyway. Jill lives in Albany, NY, with her husband, three kids, and a dog.

7 responses to “Why red ink is good”

  1. Jennifer L.W. Fink (@jlwf)

    I love that you included specific examples. I learn a lot from looking at before-and-after versions of the same article or passage.

  2. Amy Halloran

    I love the examples too. I will never tire of hearing how other writers work.

  3. Marijke Vroomen Durning

    Seriously great piece. Ditto the comments about the examples. It really helps to know that people with much more experience than I also need guidance. Thank you.

  4. Michelle Rafter

    You’ve made an excellent case for why it pays to cultivate relationships with publications and editors, so they know you’re ready, willing and able to make the revisions they ask for, and also, so you can pitch follow up stories on tangential topics that are fascinating but not possible to fit into the confines of a 800-word story. As a freelancer who works a majority of the time as an editor, I appreciate writers who see red ink for what it is, not a commentary on their ability as writers, but part of a mutually beneficial process to create the best possible product, an informable, engaging and highly readable story.


  5. Joanna Nesbit

    Great read, Jill. I worry more when editors don’t come back with red because I know my stuff can always, always be better. I also need their discerning eye to keep me from getting mired in the details of my research. Thanks for the great examples on this topic.

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