Client Feedback

Sally Petersen

“I’ve told anyone who would listen that working with Lisa Dale Norton for me was the equivalent of getting an MFA degree. I started writing as a journalist, and finished my work with her as a memoir writer. To me this means I was using the techniques of fiction to craft a story, instead of reporting on it.

Photo of writer Sally Petersen, client of editor Lisa Dale Norton, wearing sunglasses and a cap.“I sent a lengthy manuscript to her for editing, then re-wrote it using her suggestions, and sent it to her again. As a writer committed to selling my work, I found this expensive, but worth every cent. She educated, instructed, explained and edited every page with copious, serious comments and suggested changes. I’ve since showed the marked up manuscript to other writers and they have been amazed at how fulsome her notes were.

“After working with Lisa Dale I am looking for an agent or a publisher. I’m querying them with a manuscript I have confidence in.

“The memoir I sent to Lisa Dale describes an Everywoman making her way in a man’s world that spans decades, but contains issues as contemporary to women as today’s Twitter or Facebook post. It has the working title Trailblazing: A Memoir from the Silent Generation.”

A former journalist, columnist and businesswoman, Sally writes short essays she calls miniatures. They are very brief observations, stories and musings. Gathered into Tea Pie, Love and Reality, and I May Never Get to Petra, two perfect little books for gift-giving or your bedside table, they connect with readers’ own joy and victory, loss and sorrow, hopes and dreams.

Both are available on her website:, or on Amazon. Tea Pie is in all electronic formats as well, and Petra will be shortly.

Sally lives in the wine country between Oregon’s coast and mountains with her writer husband Jim. Memoir occupies her writing time. She loves the task of teasing meaning from an ordinary life growing up on the plains of Nebraska, then reacting to the great events of eventful decades.

Fran I. Kirkham

“I’ve been writing on my own for most of my life, aspiring to one day reach for publication. However, I always held back in preparation, not quite ready to take on the rigors of writing a book. Until I crossed paths with Lisa!

“I first met her when she taught a weekend workshop at our local community college. She introduced me to Shimmering Images, A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir. What a gift! Then, I took several on-line classes with her that proved pivotal. She consistently provided thoughtful support and encouragement, detailed critical analysis of my work, and concrete suggestions for improvement. Under Lisa’s tutelage and with her belief in my potential, she inspired me to transition from student to serious writer aiming for publication.

“My book begins on my 13th. birthday when, as a Navy Junior, I moved abroad. It ends seven years later with my marriage. Exposure to the larger world stimulated my determination to craft an eclectic life during a conservative time in our history. My decision to push social convention aside placed me on the margins and at war with my family in the late 50s and early 60s. Nevertheless, my life has been lived in unusual settings with people whose lifestyles and callings have been quite different from my own. I foresee this as the first in a trilogy showcasing the adventures, pitfalls, and growth pieces arising from my values and lifestyle choices.

“I’ve claimed Asia, the Mid-Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe home and currently reside in the American southwest. My B.A. is in Sociology, my Master’s in Education.”

Joe Pritchard

“I met Lisa Dale Norton on a whim back in 2010. She presented a workshop on memoir writing, and I had just completed a rough draft of a memoir, to go along with five unpublished novels. It didn’t take long for me to realize why my writings had not soared to the best seller list. Lisa has a unique way of “shooting straight” with you, yet, does so with great compassion and understanding. Once my skin thickened to honest, straight-forward feedback, I craved her timely responses and subsequently grew as a writer.

Photo of writer Joe Pritchard, client of editor Lisa Dale Norton. Joe writes fiction and narrative nonfiction.“Lisa is a rare breed: a classically trained writer / editor with genuine people / teaching skills. Six months into our work on my memoir, the characters from my second unpublished novel called my name. Lisa agreed to work on the rewrite of, And the Greatest of These. I noted in the Acknowledgements (of my novel), given that I live in Nashville, “I was a self-taught fiddle player, who was given the incredible opportunity to work with a classically educated and trained violinist.” That says it all—regardless of where one falls on the writing continuum, Lisa possesses the writing knowledge and teaching ability to challenge and inspire you.

“Her work ethic regarding timely responses, pricing, and a genuine commitment to excellence is first rate. I highly recommend her.”

Book cover of And the Greatest of These, novel by Joe Pritchard, a writing client of editor Lisa Dale Norton.  And the Greatest of These (inspirational fiction) tells the redemptive story of a down-and-out psychiatric ER crisis counselor caught between an elderly couple’s desire to remain autonomous and a research psychiatrist determined to discover an Alzheimer’s vaccine. Kirkus Reviews noted, “… a mental health professional himself, Pritchard presents a convincing picture of well-intentioned specialists overwhelmed by patient needs and a labyrinthine bureaucracy… a compelling and respectful portrait of the dignity and terrors of old age… An appealing… story of a cynic who grasps at a second chance at happiness.” Available in both trade paperback and e-reader.

Joe Pritchard’s mental health career spans five decades, including the past twenty years as a crisis counselor / psychiatric assessment specialist in psychiatric Emergency Rooms.

To learn more about the author, including his mental health story blog,

Visit his website at


Palm Springs

“I would never have published my memoir Minding My Mother without your assistance, encouragement, excellent editing and all around comfort and ease to work with. Your book, Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, is what jump started me to get to work on it AND stick with it.”

Jean Juba

“Lisa edited my first book, Travels Unveiled, One Woman’s Journey on the Ragged Edges of Civilization. Without her guidance on improving my writing, the importance of threads, and her mastery in arc and flow, I don’t think I would have finished the book, and definitely no where near as smooth a finished product.

Photo of Jean Juba, a writing client of editor Lisa Dale Norton. “When she provided the edited version to me, it was accompanied by one simple sentence that showed her grasp of one of the most personal and intimate aspects within the book: You are not alone.

“One could easily be distracted by the beautiful landscapes in exotic locations or the complex and dangerous situations in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, but to grasp the context of the solitude one endures when taking that precarious and isolated path was an in depth comprehension.

“I am so fortunate to have obtained her acceptance in providing me editing services.”

Laura Theimer

Flagstaff, Arizona
“I have long wanted to write something more than poetry or short pieces for community specific newsletters.  More than twenty years ago I promised a dying friend I would write our story.  I have been working with Lisa off and on for close to nine years now.  She is wise, gentle and caring while offering strong direction.  She has assisted me in moving my work from personal journal writing that keeps the reader at bay to story telling that welcomes the reader in.  I am hopeful with her continued direction that in the not-too-distant future I will have completed that larger piece I have dreamed of that will reach a larger audience and fulfill my promise to my friend.  Lisa is a trusted mentor and companion on my writing journey.  I sit in gratitude for the journey that we share.”

Amy Greer

Pianist and writer

“When I first began working with Lisa, I had lot of words that I was polishing to death, thinking I was making progress on my manuscript. I had published many articles and essays previously, so I wasn’t a Photo of pianist Amy Greer. Greer is a writing client of editor Lisa Dale Norton. novice writer, but a book-length project was proving to be a challenge. What Lisa did, more than anything, was quickly and honestly identify my lack of clarity and direction and help me find a focus and a subject for all my highly polished words and sentences. She gave me permission (or rather a charge, perhaps) to sharpen my focus and hone in with more depth on my subject. Without her direction, I would still be polishing vague sentences into even more vague paragraphs.”