Calling All Female Editors and Technical Writers

As you know, I’ve been working on a Ph.D. in technical and professional communication.  I’ve finally hit dissertation phase, and I’m looking for participants.

Here’s the official call:

As part of my current research for my dissertation at Utah State University, I’m conducting a study about women’s work experiences in the field of technical and professional communication. If you consider yourself to be a female practitioner (editor, technical writer, content manager, information/communication designer, etc.) within the field and are interested in participating, please contact me at januarypetersen [at] yahoo [dot] com or leave a comment on this post.

I’m looking for participants within the United States, but if you live outside of the country and feel you have something to offer to my study and really want to participate, let’s talk.



Participation will include two interviews, which shouldn’t take more than a few hours of your time. I will also be targeting a few participants for observation.

If you’re willing to help out, let me know! I’d love to become better acquainted with many of you.


72 thoughts on “Calling All Female Editors and Technical Writers

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    1. Yay! I was hoping you’d be willing. If you didn’t comment, I was going to bug you through email. I’ll contact you privately to set up an interview. 🙂

  1. Hi, Emily. I’d be happy to provide some info if needed, but my work has been more geared toward design. I have written and edited professionally, but I would hesitate to put my past projects under the umbrella of “technical writing/editing.” Let me know if you would like insight on book editing and article writing for consumer magazines. I’d be happy to help with that!

      1. Perfect. If it helps, the last full book I edited was a travel guide on the Grand Canyon, by Avalon Travel Publishing. The editing for that publisher borders on technical because there are a ton of contacts and things to keep straight throughout, plus MS coding and formatting for the various sections and styles involved. I’m also getting ready to start editing for a nonprofit publisher’s academic anthology of women and spirituality, which will most likely follow APA guidelines and contain plenty of research and stats.

  2. I am a writer at heart and have been often accused of writing the way the brain thinks. If I can help out in any way, let me know.

    I spent 20 years as a Paramedic and technical writing could be considered exactly what I did in creating 1000’s of patient care charts.

    Here is my baby site:

    1. Let me think about this, too. You have definitely engaged in technical writing, but I am not sure that this sort of work is what I am interested in for this project. I have done others in which I interviewed a police officer, so maybe in the future!

  3. My sister-in-law, Kathy Christensen, sent this to me and thought I might be interested. I’m an English major and have done editing and technical writing over the years. I’m currently a manager at a computer software company, but one of my job responsibilities is over the documentation for my team. I don’t know if this qualifies for what you’re looking for or not. My name is Shauna Swenson. My email address is

    1. If you are still working in documentation, then yes, I would like to interview you. I will send you an email in the next few days with more details. Thanks! And Kathy is one of my favorite people.

  4. Aloha! I’m the editor for a group of visitor industry publications in Hawaii. I did freelance copy writing for speakers bureaus and non-profits before launching full-time into tourism a few years ago. Let me know how I can be of assistance. Mahalo! Email:

      1. The focus on environmental information is in the past, but the operations are the same with a focus on cultural information. Hawaiian culture is very sensitive about outside influences and what is shared in our publications is factual and serves to protect cultural practices here, much like a science.

        I might not be suited to this particular study, but it’s something to think about if you ever tackle the project from a different angle, perhaps.

  5. I’m a writer/tech writer, editor, and more. I’ve worked in Content Management, Content Development, Technology, and Educational and Science/Technical Publishing … my current role is as a Business Analyst (which is a lot of writing/preparing technical documents). Most of my career has been in publishing and technology on the content/technology side of things. I am not 100% sure I fit your profile, but would be happy to help. You can reach me at katiewalton (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Hi, are you interested in tech comm managers/directors too, or only individual contributors? I manage a global team of information developers for a computer software company and I’m interested, if managers fit your demographic as well.

  7. Hi Emily, if you’re still looking for participants, then I’m interested. Been doing tech doc for 30+ years so have lots to share (some of which is useful). (Also my middle name is Emily, so…)

    1. I am still looking for participants. Give me a few days and I’ll be in touch through email to set up an interview with you. Thanks! (Nice middle name!)

  8. My current title is Senior UX Writer. I write all of the non-marketing text for the website and mobile app for a high-end retailer, like field labels, informational messages and errors, navigation, etc. Before that it was consumer-based Help pages and before that was straight-up technical writing for a network security company. Not sure if any of that is relevant to your research, but thought I’d offer. 🙂

  9. Hi, Emily. I work with (and adore) your sister, Afton. I am just finishing up our annual poverty report and will be doing more policy-related and communications writing in this position. You’re welcome to contact me if you need more participants. My time time is pretty squished until mid-Feb but happy to help after that, if that works for your timeline. Best of luck with your project!

    1. Barbara, yes, my sister Afton is one of the coolest people in the entire world! I would love to include you, and mid-February would be perfect. I’m planning to interview people until May, and with all of the great responses I’ve had, it is going to take a while to fit everybody in. I’ll contact you soon. Thanks.

  10. Good luck, Emily! I hope you find all the participants you need.

    I’m currently applying for a post-grad fellowship for a Master’s degree, followed by a PhD (it’s known as the 1+3). It’s very competitive and my department only has one fellowship, but I’m aiming high! I’m interested in the experiences of anyone who is doing a PhD. Did you go straight from your Master’s to your PhD?

    1. Thank you, Grace! Best of luck to you. I took a break between my B.A. and Master’s to work and have a child. At the end of my Master’s I had another child, and I wanted to go straight to a Ph.D., but I didn’t get in right away. I had a two-year break. It was actually a good thing for me to rest my brain and teach for a while, and I ended up getting a research fellowship that wouldn’t have been offered earlier. I’m sure things will work out for you!

      1. Thank you for the good luck wishes. I submitted my Master’s and PhD applications on Thursday and my funding application today. Now I have to wait until the end of April before I hear whether I get the funding.

        “I ended up getting a research fellowship that wouldn’t have been offered earlier” — that sounds good. Things have a tendency to work out for the best, don’t they? 🙂

  11. I’ve been a technical writer (mostly in the software industry) since 1996. Let me know if you still need participants, I’m happy to help out. I live in Arizona now, but most of my career was in Oregon.

  12. Hi Emily-

    I would be interested in participating.

    Please note that my preferred method of communication is email because I have hearing loss. If this is not possible then let me know and I will use my Bluetooth device.

    Lori Gillen

  13. Hi,
    I heard about this on the Tech-Whrl mailing list. I’m a tech writer and former magazine editor and I’d be happy to help.

  14. Hi Emily! I’ve worked as a technical writer for software companies for almost 9 years since getting my English degree from Virginia Tech in 2006. This past year I went freelance and broadened my writing experience to web content and article writing.

    I’d love to help! I’m currently based out of Denver, CO and comfortable with Skype/Webex. Congrats on getting to the dissertation phase!

  15. Hi Emily! I’m not sure my last comment went through (so I hope this isn’t a repeat), but I’d love to help.

    I’ve been a technical writer at software companies for nine years since graduating with an English degree from Virginia Tech in 2006. This past year I’ve been working freelance and dabbling in web content writing and article writing.

    Just let me know! I’m based out of Denver.

  16. Reblogged this on Happiest when folks sing along with me and commented:
    Today I spent a few minutes chatting with the future of Technical Communications about my job, my life, and my loves.

    Emily is a Ph. D. candidate looking for women in technical communication to participate in a short interview for her research.

    The interview is short, engaging, and fun. Contact Emily at her blog to find out more.

  17. Been a tech writer since…lessee…1995 I guess. In software since 1997. Happy to be a part if you’re still looking for guinea pigs…er…volunteers. Hit me up and best of luck to you!

  18. I’m game to be part of you project. I’ve been a tech writer for almost 30 years. Currently working for medical device company.

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