Dan Writes with Nemo

Helping writers find their voices ...

Working with writers is one of the best things I get to do. Getting the grammar and spelling right is important of course, but the greatest thrill is making the copy fun and understandable for the reader. Has the concept been explained clearly? Is there too much jargon? Would some story breaks help the reader navigate? Are the paragraphs too long? Does the lede grab you? Do the hed and dek grab you? I look at all of these things and I go back and forth with the writer to ensure we have the copy absolutely singing. The reader certainly benefits, but I find that the writers also really enjoy the process and are happy to see their stories improved.

Editing work

“A Rising Tide,” Marin Magazine, December 2019 by Mitchell Sam Rossi

We get to work with a lot of really experienced and talented writers, photographers and illustrators at Marin Magazine, and as a former Los Angeles Times writer and editor, Mitch Rossi is certainly one. He came to us with this story idea that was born out of a personal interest in the topic. My biggest challenge here was making sure all the various prongs of this story were working on their own — there are so many overlapping projects happening in regards to sea level rise that we had to make sure we were being clear in our descriptions. I also added story breaks, which I think helped to keep the various parts of the piece organized.

“Cracking Your Code,” Marin Magazine, February 2019 by Kasia Pawlowska

This is agreat writing and research effort by associate editor Kasia Pawlowska. Since this story was so complicated and Pawlowska was so immersed in the research, she sometimes glossed over important points she had learned but that the average reader would need more help understanding. So we fleshed out descriptions when necessary and I broke up paragraphs and added story breaks to give the reader an easier path through this long form story. 

“Chris Robinson,” Marin Magazine, February 2019 by Carolyn McCoy 

This piece was originally assigned as short, breezy Q&A, not a longer Conversation. It was given to me to edit and dramatically cut. But when I read this absolute love letter to Marin voiced by the singer of the Black Crowes, I knew we had to shift gears and run this one in full. I edited this for our style and toned down some of the rock star idolization that was coming through in the questions.

“Pablo Pardo,” Spaces, Summer/Fall 2019 by Laura Hilgers

The founder of Pablo Designs discusses how he discovered his passion for modern, playful and witty lighting and how he emerged from a rented space in a furniture company warehouse to the world stage. This story only needed a light editorial touch and a few clarifications — I never want to make edits only for the sake of editing.

Writing samples

"Unsafe Social Distancing is Causing National, State and Regional Parks to Close All Over the Country," Marin Magazine by Daniel Jewett

In March 2020, residents of the West Marin coastal town of Bolinas, armed with signs bearing messages like “If you are not from here, don’t come here,” blocked the only road to town in an effort to keep away the swarm of visitors. Americans all over the country, many growing restless in the wake of shelter-in-place orders, have had the same idea: go into nature. It’s a good plan in theory, but one that is not working in the new coronavirus reality.

“Zoos and Museums Have Gone Virtual — Here’s How to Explore Them at Home,” Marin Magazine by Daniel Jewett

With three out of four Americans across the country under stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, most museums and zoos are now shuttered and we’re even being told not to visit most national, state and regional parks. Being stuck inside all day has left us all longing to experience nature and culture in any way we can. I wrote about museums and zoos across the country have heard the call and answered it, providing virtual access to exhibits the public can’t see on their own right now.

“Biding Time,” Marin Magazine by Daniel Jewett

When you get an email offering you theopportunity to go behind the scenes of California’s only death row for male inmates, you jump at the chance. That’s exactly what me and about a dozen other reporters did when offered this rare opportunity. The tour was centered around Prop 62, a 2016 ballot measure that would repeal the death penalty. I talked to many convicted felons for this piece, including serial killer Joseph Naso, about their thoughts on the repeal effort.

“Daniel Liebermann,” Marin Magazine by Daniel Jewett

We had written about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in Marin so many times, but had not really discussed his protégé Daniel Liebermann. When I discovered that the man who did all the grading and contour work for the iconic Marin Civic Center lived in Marin, I knew I had to interview him. Getting a chance to talk to Liebermann in his own iconic home and getting first-hand accounts of working with Wright was an incredible experience and offered a great opportunity to share with readers the story of an individual they probably didn’t know lived in their community.