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Heather Steffen recently completed a Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also taught writing for eleven years.  She will begin a position as a Lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in fall 2015.  Her research focuses on the history of the university and academic labor issues, and when she isn’t teaching composition, she offers courses on American literature.

Heather’s experience helping aspiring and experienced writers to improve their prose includes five years as Managing Editor of The Minnesota Review (a scholarly journal that also publishes poetry and short fiction), the opportunity to guest edit a special issue of MR about animal studies, and the publication of The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics, which she co-edited with Jeffrey J. Williams, as well as previous freelance work.

As an editor, Heather’s philosophy is to work with authors to make their writing as clear and concise as possible while taking into consideration the medium and venue of publication and, crucially, the knowledge and needs of the audience.  She doesn’t want to make everyone sound the same or sound like her.  Instead, Heather’s goal is for each writer she works with to present like the best, smartest, most creative version of themselves, which she believes comes from making texts reader-friendly so the ideas in them are what challenge the audience, not the simple act of reading.

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