Born an Editor

Here I am as a preschooler, wielding my first “red pen.”

Are editors born or made?

In my case, I’d say it’s a little bit of both.

My parents report that I carried books everywhere I went from the time I was capable of doing so, and I can recall desperately trying to copy words down with my crayons before I knew my letters.

Beginning in elementary school, I was everyone’s go-to girl for all things grammar, spelling, or punctuation, but I got my first official “copy editor” title in high school, when friends recruited me to replace the school newspaper’s graduating copy editor. I was hooked.

Inevitably, I chose English as my undergraduate major at Saint Joseph’s University and minored in secondary education, planning to teach high school English. But my proverbial red pen was destined for a newsroom rather than a classroom. I copy edited my college’s newspaper and spent my summers interning at a local newspaper.

I landed my first full-time job in publishing a couple of months before student teaching ended. During my professional career, I challenged myself in fields outside my comfort zone, like finance and science. This former humanities scholar even earned prestigious Board of Editors in the Life Sciences certification.

While wrapping up a master’s degree from La Salle University in Professional and Business Communication, I transitioned into communications roles at private schools, which helped me broaden my experience. I use the skills I honed in these positions and in my graduate studies in my freelance career, writing various types of business and web communications.

Since relocating from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in 2012, I’ve been a freelance professional, combining my editorial, teaching, and communications expertise to help businesses and individuals improve their writing.

My inner English teacher lives on, and my “red pen” is still going strong.

Andrea Vardaro Tucker Editor Writer Writing CoachJust for Fun

When I’m not editing (or writing, or reading), I raise two little future grammarians with my husband, who wooed me in college through perfectly capitalized and punctuated instant messages.  We share our home with a West Highland white terrier, who I like to think barks in grammatical English.

I’m also a musical theatre geek and decaf iced latte addict.