Maggie Lyons, Children’s Writer and Editor

We are nothing if not diverse writers at Muse! Join me now in welcoming Maggie Lyons, best known for her work in the field of children’s books and magazines. Maggie is also an editor and is sharing some of her editing tips with us today. Thank you, Maggie!See below for some grammatical advice from this charming lady from Wales. Not only are her examples helpful and insightful, some are downright hilarious: Dangling Modifiers and Other Painful Grammatical ErrorsMy editing career grew out of writing and producing marketing, PR, and fundraising materials in a motley variety of professional environments in the UK, Europe, and the USA, from orchestral management and college development to litigation and the coffee trade. As an editor I spend a lot of time fixing dangling modifiers and other painful grammatical errors that are easy to avoid. Being aware of pitfalls of grammar and style and taking a wide berth around them should reduce any copyediting costs you may incur, help improve your chances of finding a publisher, and reduce the risk of damaging your literary image. I’ll share some of them with you here, and I hope they’ll prove useful. I’ll start with a classic example of the importance of punctuation in these two versions of the same letter: Dear John,I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy—will you let me be yours?Agnes and Dear John,I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior.…

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