I would never have finished Ishi’s Brain without Victoria Nelson’s guidance. When I was completely blocked with the manuscript, she showed me the way to the book I wanted to write from the start. That meant some wonderful line editing, but, more importantly, rearranging order and pressing me to fill in missing pieces until the puzzle came together. Nelson’s fiction editing is equally brilliant, and I learned a great deal about writing a novel through her counsel. I doubt there is a more effective, visionary editor of texts anywhere in the country.
Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University
Author of Ishi’s Brain: In Search of America’s Last Wild Indian and Giotto’s Venetian Moor, with Randolph Starn
Creativity is a living grace. Victoria Nelson knows this. It is what makes her an editor extraordinaire. As a brilliant writer herself, she understands what it is to be the vessel through which creativity pours. Because my book is a living being with soul, I need an editor who can midwife its potential. This demands a strong container through which the storyteller in me is nourished and nurtured. Victoria is wise to what I need and ever-present to that which wants to move through me onto the page for others. She is my champion! Any writer would be blessed abundantly to have the privilege of working with her.
Author of Three Marriages, a memoir
Victoria’s insightful notes and guidance launched my next more coherent and lively draft of my memoir Bright Lights, Prairie Dust.
Star of Little House on the Prairie
It’s been a joy working with Victoria Nelson as I write my memoir, Life’s a Work of Heart. Victoria’s keen eye and sensitive heart have helped guide my book to greater heights. Her experience with so many authors, combined with teaching the craft of memoir writing to avid students, ensures any author will be in great hands.
the “King of Christmas” ornament entrepeneur
Victoria Nelson is the perfect editor: efficient, incisive, and goes straight to the heart of what still needs work in a manuscript while not neglecting typos. She is knowledgeable about a range of realms and genres, and familiar with scholarly quirks and requirements. Victoria Nelson’s skills have improved my work at a number of stages, from first draft to (almost) finished version. I cannot recommend her too highly.
Director Emerita, University Art Museum,
University of California, Berkeley
Author of Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life, The Smile of the Buddha
I had worked with Victoria Nelson for over 25 years when I was packaging college textbooks, serving all the major US and some international publishers. She was one of the most reliable editors I had the pleasure to engage. I continued to send her every project she would agree to accept, knowing her work would always be impeccable, on time, and reasonably priced. I dare say, I learned vast amounts by working with Victoria. She knows to write beautiful sentences, with astounding syntactic creativity. She can craftily draw out the meaning of poorly constructed sentences and recast them so they are clear and direct, while retaining a consistent voice. Her attention to detail is unexcelled, in my experience, working with hundreds of editors. She understands the entire cognitive range that stretches from a brilliant idea to accurate yet dazzling written expression.
I can’t think of a better writing mentor, coach, or editor than Victoria Nelson. In my many years running a graduate writing program, Victoria showed herself to be a consummate professional, supporting writers through the inception of a project through publication. She works effectively with beginning and accomplished writers. I recommend her highly.
Author of the I Am the Word series