Writer and editor living in the South


Rachel is a full-time book editor and freelance writer of creative nonfiction and literary journalism. She is published in The Washington Post, SalonThe GuardianBustle, YahooThe Rumpus, Longreads, and many more. Entropy named this essay as one of the Best Online Articles and Essays of 2017. Currently, she's working on her first collection of essays.

Rachel received her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduate degree at the Arkansas Writers Program. She is currently a full-time Production Editor living in Middle Tennessee.

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Essays, articles, and more


"Girl, interrupted: the science behind my stutter—and what not to say to me."  The Guardian (2018). 

"The Men I'm Most Attracted to Are the Ones Who Ease My Stutter."  The Cut (2018). 

"Should disabilities be cured or accepted?"  Yahoo (2018).

"The Careful Craft of the Disability Essay."  Brevity blog (2018). 

"The Taste Inside My Mouth."  The Rumpus (2017).

"Should I get special treatment because I stutter?"  Salon (2017).

"I stutter. As a result, I have been mocked, insulted, misjudged and refused service."  Washington Post (2017). 

"Dear Men: Please Stop Approaching Women at Gas Stations." Ravishly (2017).

"How Kids Helped Me Accept My Stutter."  PillPack (2017).

"Lipstick Highlights My Stutter, But I'll Never Stop Wearing It."  Self (2017). 

“Exercise Can Help Where You Least Expect—Including with a Speech Impediment.”  Greatist (2017).

“How Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration’ Helped Me Embrace My Disabled Identity.”  Bustle (2017).

“How to Stop Apologizing for My Stutter, and Other Important Lessons.”  Longreads (2017).

“Reflection of the World and Me.”  The Rumpus (2017).

“Elegy.”  Stitch (2017).

“How my stutter improves my dating life.”  Washington Post (2017). 

“A Magic All My Own.”  Ravishly (2017).

 “Stuttering Genes: On Family and Communication.”  Catapult (2017).

“Pocket Change.”  Pembroke Magazine (2016): 144-145. Print.

“Heirloom Diet: A Letter in Four Parts.”  Feminine Collective (2016).

“The Factory.”  Stuck in the Middle: Writing that Holds You in Suspense (2016). Print.


“This season, Doctor Who finally changed its portrayal of disability.”  Paste Magazine (2017).

“How supernatural television masks my fear of dying.”  Paste Magazine (2017).

“What ‘Pretty Little Liars’ taught me about female friendship.”  HelloGiggles (2017).

"The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden."  BookPage (2017): 18. Print.

"The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill."  BookPage (2017). Web. 

“Three Guides to Help You Power Through the Writing Process.”  BookPage (2016).

“Growing Pains.”  Arkansas Life (2016). 128. Print

“‘A Year in the Life’: ‘Gilmore Girls’ comes full circle.”  Arkansas Times (2016).

 “Not much to ‘Love.’”  Arkansas Times (2016): 50-51. Print.

“Room Stuns.’”  Arkansas Times (2016): 50-51. Print.


“Here, It’s Easy to Think about Loss.”  Post Card Poems and Prose (2017).

“To Z, Six Years After the Arrest.”  Architrave Press (2016).

 “At the old house where I first learned.”  Architrave Press (2015).




January 2018-present

  • Manager of the editorial process for 150–200 fiction and nonfiction books (published annually).

  • Setting and organizing the editorial schedule for the entire publishing house in order to maintain the pub date for each title. 

  • Overseeing a staff of freelance copyeditors and proofreaders, totaling 30–40 individuals in the US and abroad.

  • Applying years of editorial experience in order to successfully evaluate freelance work.

  • Reviewing book manuscripts closely, adjusting and often editing the quality of editorial work (including copyedits, cover letters, style sheets, and more). 

  • Primary source of quality control for all frontlist and backlist books; this includes manuscripts, book jackets and wraps, and interiors.

  • Application of most style guides, including a speciality in Chicago Manual of Style.

  • Creator of the official Post Hill Press style guide, following elements of CMoS.

  • Technical expertise in manuscript formatting, including styles applied in preparation for book design.

  • Copyediting and proofreading manuscripts for content, style, sourcing, and more.

  • Occasional interactions with authors on editorial feedback, which includes collaborating in order to strengthen their creative work.


August 2016-May 2017

  • Organized and delegated a staff of fifteen—including genre editors, genre readers, design consultants, and more.

  • Launched the 2016 inaugural issue, featuring 13 contributors and original art selections.

  • Wrote, edited, and approved official documents, including author consent forms, copyrights, and submission guidelines.

  • Assigned, assessed, and monitored genre submissions through the online platform, Submittable.

  • Uploaded and formatted each piece of published writing online.

  • General website maintenance via WordPress.


May 2016-August 2016

  • Composed and uploaded weekly blog posts regarding upcoming books of nonfiction and fiction.

  • Utilized Photoshop to create monthly hero units for BookPage.com.

  • Scheduled daily social media postings, including Twitter and Instagram.

  • Opened and organized over 100 packages of submitted books each week.


August 2015-May 2016

  • Fact-checked essays, fiction, and poetry written by professional writers in Issues 91–94.

  • Uploaded creative and supplemental writing to the website via the CMS system, Joomla.

  • Coordinated web projects and quarterly publications with remote staff through online platform, Basecamp.

  • Composed social media postings to promote the magazine’s numerous publications, projects, and events.

  • Screened and responded to unsolicited submissions through Submittable.

  • Copyedited, proofread, and corrected galleys.

  • Researched suitable art for inclusion in the magazine.

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The Rumpus

"My first memory of a mirror occurred at age eight—hair tangled, cheeks puffed. My teeth were so spaced out my older sister nicknamed me jack-o’-lantern. That year, a girl at school noticed the dirt under my fingernails. She pulled my hands close, concentrated, quiet as my mother threading a needle. The girl waved her friend over, then made my nails—usually a pale pink, but colored partially gray that day by my pencil—the centerpiece of show and tell. They all laughed, while I used the edge of my folder to wipe away the stain.

It’s true, I was disheveled. Being tender-headed led my hair to tangle, and whirlybirds covered my clothes any time I stepped outside. But I didn’t mind the ways my exterior seemed different. I believed I was just like everyone else: round belly, brown eyes, wide feet. At eight years old I stared in the mirror and willed myself to believe I was normal.

I wasn’t."

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The Washington Post

"Those who do make the cut aren’t obvious saints — they’re mostly just patient, perceptive and curious. They aren’t afraid to ask straightforward questions: How long have you been stuttering? Are there treatments available? Is it difficult to deal with? They maintain eye contact even when I’m taking time to get the words out and my eyes unintentionally seek the ceiling or the floor, searching for a way around a word. They don’t interrupt, guess my meaning or complete my sentences. They engage in conversation as if there’s nothing unique about our exchange, as if stuttering isn’t a problem to be fixed but simply another form of speaking.

Once I do become romantically involved with someone and the relationship makes room for my disability, there’s an instant sense of transparency between us. Because my biggest insecurity is on full display every time I speak, the people I’ve dated begin to feel more vulnerable and more open about their own shortcomings."

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"Mice closely resemble humans—genetically, biologically, behaviorally. Which is why human conditions are easier to replicate in mice, and why the Senior Investigator at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Dr. Dennis Drayna, injected mice with known stuttering genes and mutations.

Imagine a mouse, waking with eyes red and sleepy, turning to his littermates, suddenly unable to say a word..."

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Self Magazine

"I’m not sure when I reached into the bathroom closet again—this time to rescue my lipstick collection, not hide it. Like most epiphanies, this one was rooted in several little moments, like spotting a woman at the mall wearing bold makeup without apology; or seeing old photos of myself, my lipstick bright, my smile revealing a sort of self confidence I hadn’t felt in weeks; or even one barefaced afternoon, rocking my two-year-old niece to sleep, running a hand through her curls and praying she never knows what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in her own skin."

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I was born with a neurological and genetic stutter, a speech disorder that affects only 1% of the American population. My stutter can vary from mild to severe; in everyday life, it's usually quite moderate, with occasional repetitions (r-r-repetitions), prolongations (pppppprolongations), and vocal blocks (no sound). 

As a young person with a disability, I became enthralled with reading and writing as a form of self-expression. And now, as an adult, I'm passionate about stuttering advocacy and the disability community. 

My speech disability has proven to be beneficial in the workplace and the literary world, allowing me to communicate with others more patiently and attentively. Because I recognize the value of conversation, I'm often a better listener and communicator. I have acquired perseverance, determination, and resolve—largely due to my disability.

Click here for more information. 

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