Home > Writing and Poetry > Profile of a Professional Writer/Academic

Profile of a Professional Writer/Academic

Sunday afternoon my writing partner of a few months and I were having one of our weekly chats. We caught up on all the remedial news and the “then on Monday…” kinds of events before we got down to the real stuff that needed discussing. Our work, of course.

Now, Irene (that’s Irene Roth) has been a writer for many years on an academic level. In fact, she’s known internationally in her fields of study. I stand in awe of this woman when I think about how fast she can put together a book for a publisher who has contracted her for a specific project.

I feel so fortunate that she chose to work with me on children’s books. It’s a new genre for her and I’m a new writer, so in some ways, it’s a match made in heaven with regards to writing. I learn new ways of researching, she learns how kid’s stories should flow. I learn how to write proposals that sell, she learns how to critique fiction. I learn how to write winning query letters, she learns how to research markets for non-academic work. You see, a good match. We each benefit.

Yesterday afternoon, though, she revealed depths of professional prowess that I nearly choked on. Imagine this. This beautiful lady teaches two courses, which constitutes  part-time at a university. She’s taking the ICL Children’s Basic Writing Course. She does love to learn.

On top of that she does peer review for academic articles for several professional journals. She also does critiques of academic work, writes her own professional journal articles, articles for trade mags and generally keeps her fingers busy on that side of the writing house. Add to that, the fact that last week she received a publishing contract to do another book on “hybrid rationalism” since her last one – which she just finished and turned over- came out so nicely. She writes academic books for college level work in her fields.

That would have satisfied most people. But Irene  likes to keep busy. She always seems to be sending out grant proposals and the like all the time.

Together we have four projects for children. One of them I’m editing for her while the other three are co-written. That, too, takes up her time.

So, let’s recap. Two huge lecture classes at university with their obligatory student hours and problems, four children’s projects in various stages of completion, one academic text just finished and another contracted, peer reviews and academic articles, etc. of her own. She also does guest speaking for the APA and other national and international professional  organizations, both in the States and in Canada.

Yet, here’s the capper.  She informed me that she’d contracted to do two more academic books. One was on the medical ethics issues inherent in the decisional competency of terminally ill persons and their families. Her expertise in the field of medical ethics is well known. Also, she’ll be doing  one on arthritis, written for children and their parents.

When I asked her how long it would take for her to go from zero to revised and ready for the publisher, she said, “Oh, about six months.” I don’t have to explain just how inadequate that left me feeling.

She didn’t leave me with that feeling, though. She told me emphatically that she’d been doing that kind of work for so long that it had become second nature, so that she didn’t have to work at it nearly as hard as many others would. I’ll take her word for it. I do know from personal experience that she writes extremely fast. I edit for her, so I can attest to that fact.

I would have thought that her life was quite complete. I was disabused of that thought when I asked her why she didn’t do a workshop for the SCBWI national conferences on academic writing and the YA market. She’d never been asked to do a writer’s conference. With as many professional conferences as she’s done as a speaker, she’d never done one for writers.

Within ten minutes we’d created an entirely new career for her as a guest speaker at medical, academic, writers and other professional conferences all over North America. She’d love to do such a tour. It would be something she could do in the summer when she’s not teaching. And the kicker was that she’d never thought of it. She didn’t realize that she had something to contribute to such events.

My partner is a terribly focused person, you see. She’s also humble almost to a fault. But we’re going to do a bit of tweaking to her career. I just love the idea of being able to help her do that. It’s almost as pleasurable as the thought of publishing my own book. I love helping other people get something they truly deserve.

I hope that someday all of you get to met this incredible woman. Keep watching. You may soon see her name at a conference near you.


Categories: Writing and Poetry
  1. October 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Hi there,

    Thank you for such a wonderful and heart-filled blog. You are so kind Dear. I relish all of your comments.

    You so inspired me lately that I am on fire to read, write and think. I have fire in my step and I thank you for all of this.

    It is so nice to be able to communicate with you like this. You are truly a treasure! Your friendship has truly enriched my life.

    Take care,

    • claudsy
      October 7, 2009 at 12:11 am

      You’re more than welcome, my friend. You earned every word and more. Take care and we’ll talk again soon.


  2. October 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm


    Fantastic post. You write elegantly from the heart. Well done.

    Now here is the kicker! Irene Roth aka Sunny is in my children’s writers critique group. Jeez louise, what a small word. Hi Sunny!

    And now even a bigger coincidence, you both are being interviewed for me January newsletter. How about that?!

    Sounds like you both have a great connection.

    Warm regards,
    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website

    • claudsy
      October 7, 2009 at 12:12 am


      To think that you also work with this special friend of mine is mind boggling. What is it they say about degrees of separation. You and I have 1 deg.


    • October 8, 2009 at 12:21 am

      Hi Clauds and Donna,

      Yes. What a wonderful coincidence! I think when writers get networking, the writing world gets much smaller than before.

      I feel very grateful to have met both of you and to work with both of you in this wonderful world of writing.

      Take care Ladies,

  3. Meena Rose
    October 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Clauds,

    Awesome write. It is truly an amazing bio of your partner. This can only be a true testament to your own skill and potential.

    Onward and forward, dear friend.

    Meena Rose

  4. claudsy
    October 7, 2009 at 12:09 am


    I’m so glad that you liked my little effort here. Irene is such a marvelous NF writer and so accomplished that I feel great just working with her for all the info I can such up about the genre. If I an help her in the process, all the better.

    So when are you going to join us in our virtual library of studied thoughts?


  5. Meena Rose
    October 7, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Dear Clauds,

    “virtual library of studied thoughts” Now that is true intrigue… Where do I get a library card?


    • claudsy
      October 7, 2009 at 11:07 am


      Why, you just sign up right here on WordPress, my dear. They have plenty of available time slots available just for the asking. I think you could find a good corner somewhere here with a comfy wingback and a fireplace for atmosphere. There you go. Just walk the halls until you find the proper room and ask if you can use it for a while to study your thoughts. Hope this helps.


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