This morning, I noticed my dog sitting at the dining table with a legal pad and pencil. I was rushing to meet an author for breakfast but I did peek over his shoulder as I put on my jacket.

“Chapter One. Call Me Scooter,” he had written in those big loopy letters he uses.

Scooter’s a pretty good writer, and he uses his influences well. I happened to notice this morning that my copy of Moby-Dick had fallen off the shelf during the night. Now of course I knew Scooter had read it or at least had started it.

Scooter has never learned to sit or heel from me but he has learned the importance of grabbing a reader from the very first line.

Charles Barsotti The New Yorker Collection/The Cartoon Bank. Used by permission

Call me Judy.
My favorite cartoonist for The New Yorker was Charles Barsotti and my favorite cartoon of his is the one you see to the right. I have boxes of the “Call me Scooter” stationery. The stationery makes me chuckle and reminds me that everyone has a story to tell.

I’m your secret weapon.
I’ve been an editor for 45 years. On this site I write about writing and about publishing. I offer the perspective from the other side of the desk so that you too, like Scooter, will grab readers from the very first line.

Do you want to know what agents and publishers are looking for?

Do you want to know what your editor is thinking?

This is the place to find out. Find out more about me here. Find out more about my services here.

Please contact me with specifics about your project so I can suggest the best way we can work together.