Lisa Dale Norton

Author & Developmental Editor, Narrative-driven books
E-mail: lisadalenorton@gmail.com
Website: https://lisadalenorton.com


I am an editor and developmental writing consultant. I analyze stories and guide writers through manuscript revisions, synopsis writing, book proposal creation, and the strategy required for publishing industry submissions. Story specialties include memoir, narrative nonfiction, and literary fiction. I am gifted at swiftly perceiving story problems and communicating clear solutions for those problems.



Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, Griffin/St. Martin’s Press, New York, Tradepaper. 2008.
Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills, Picador USA/St. Martin’s Press, New York, Hardcover 1996/Tradepaper 1997.

Writing & Teaching Experience

Editor/Story Consultant, Work with nonfiction and fiction writers creating stories and completing manuscripts. Advise on story arc, character development, style, market. Read and analyze manuscripts, complete substantive and line edits (Chicago Manual of Style, AP Style), teach writing and editing solutions, guide revision process, and advise on publishing. Have worked with hundreds of writers in United States and abroad. 1989-present.

Public Speaker/Teacher, Present lectures, teach workshops and classes, lead discussions and panels exploring art, craft, and business of writing and publishing. Audience members report presentations entertain, deliver pristine information about writing, publishing, and creativity, and inspire development and completion of projects. (For a full list of presentations, click here.) 1992-present.

Columnist: Authorlink.com, write monthly column focusing on writing and publishing of memoir and narrative nonfiction. 2006-present

Blogger: The Huffington Post, Author & Story Expert. Blogged about the power of story. Click here for archive. 2008-2017.

Creative Writing Faculty, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, CA. Taught narrative nonfiction both online and on the ground. 2003-2009

Writing Organization Director, Neahkahnie Institute, Manzanita, OR. Founded and directed institute that sponsored creative writing workshops and The Onion Peak Reading Series. Taught creative writing. Led critique workshops. Responsible for hiring writers, planning/staging events, marketing/public relations, fund-raising, budgeting, and business planning. Booked nationally-recognized authors as well as local emerging writers. Calendars included workshops and readings by Diana Abu-Jaber, Lois Baker, Kim Barnes, Sheila Bender, James Bertolino, Robin Cody, John Daniel, Tracy Daugherty, Gary Ferguson, J.A. Jance, George Keithley, Edna Kovacs, Craig Lesley, Judith Massee, Jann Mitchell, Robert Michael Pyle, Carlos Reyes, Joanna Rose, Clem Starck, Susan Tweit, Donna K. Wright, M.K. Wren, and others. 1994-2001

English/Journalism Faculty, Department of English & Journalism Program, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL. Taught composition and essay writing classes in English Department; developed Journalism Program, taught news reporting, writing, and literary journalism; taught special topic writing seminars in Women’s Studies Program. Designed/managed student desktop publishing lab and darkroom. Created new publication, The Big Picture—served as forum for literary journalism. 1988-1993


Post-graduate: Fiction Writing, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles, CA). 2003-2009; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. 1988-90. Studied with: David Borofka, Liz Carpenter, Jim Crumley, Dan Jaffe, Galway Kinnell, Bill Kittredge, Craig Lesley, Caroline Leavitt, Gary Miranda, Kim Stafford, Terry Tempest Williams.

M.A., Journalism. Creative nonfiction thesis: One Horse Town, story explored waning Western town and Hungry Horse Saloon in Sandhills region as hub of community life, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Iowa City, IA. 1986. Project became genesis of book with St. Martin’s Press: Hawk Flies Above.

B.A., Music. Thesis: Critics, Criticism and Criteria, investigated traditions of music criticism in 19th and 20th centuries. Researched criteria used to govern artistic evaluation: musical originality, personal taste, restrictions of journalism, Reed College, Portland, OR. 1980. Thesis led to career as arts critic for regional and national newspapers and magazines, 1982-1987.