Twice a year, the average IQ of one U.S. city spikes as roughly 13,000 chemists, engineers, academics, and others descend, taking in more than 7,000 presentations on the newest, most exciting research in chemistry and the related sciences.
The National Meetings of the American Chemical Society (ACS) are “two of the most respected scientific meetings in the world.”
The 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition is happening March 22–26 in Denver. And we’re proud to say that Dragonfly played a molecule-sized role in the massive event’s success.
We helped write the spring 2015 issue of ACS Excellence, ACS Publications’ member magazine that gets distributed at the National Meeting. It’s a way for ACS members to learn about new journals the Society publishes, new authors of those journals, and new benefits ACS offers to its members.
Writing the magazine was a great learning experience, not least for its subject matter. For example, did you know that ACS just began publishing its first-ever open-access journal? Or that they recently hosted a webinar on the chemistry of cocktails? Special thanks go to Bethany Meisinger-Reiff, Laurie Wells, and Anna Bentley on our team for their help with interviews, writing, and research.
Dragonfly has another connection to the meeting: our longtime customer King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will be there. Eight representatives from the university’s Core Laboratories and the Solar & Photovoltaic Engineering Research Center will attend the event and greet visitors at a booth.
One attendee is KAUST Vice President for Research and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Jean M. J. Fréchet—who also happens to be an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).
With five days of science, a 300-booth exposition, a career fair, and the city of Denver to explore, the National Meeting is sure live up to its hype.
It’s awesome to see our clients publishing cutting-edge research, promoting innovation, and generally making the world a better place. And it makes us feel good to play a part, however small, in what they do.
Mary is a writer and editor for Dragonfly Editorial and a member of the National Association of Science Writers.Read more
We’ve visited clients in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, New York, San Diego, St. Louis…even Saudi Arabia.
We’ve grown from one woman with a computer to 30 editors, writers, designers, and project managers working in more than 15 states.
It’s time for me to step back and thank everyone who’s made Dragonfly what it is today. Today, I’m starting with 10 people who gave a young editor a chance—and started me on the path to creating Dragonfly.
- C. Douglas Elliott of Elliott & Clark Publishing. You could say that everything started with Doug. He plucked me out of the Jolt & Bolt Coffee Shop north of DuPont Circle in DC. He let me spend the afternoons (after my 6:00 am to 2:00 pm barista shift) at his publishing house, mailing out books, looking over page proofs, and making my very first forays into proofreading.
- Linda Jorgensen at EEI Press. Linda taught the first editing class I ever took. Her words, “Grammar and punctuation are only part of editing. Everything else is style,” rocked my world and never left my mind. Linda later hired me as a writer for EEI’s flagship journal, The Editorial Eye, helping me make my first forays into editorial thought leadership and write some of my first feature stories.
- Rose Reisig and Pam Wingfield at Editech Staffing. Rose and Pam gave me my first official freelance editing job. They told me I had the highest score on their editing test that they’d ever seen. They introduced me to the world of proposal editing and placed me at many companies around the DC beltway — one of which, CSC, hired me into my first full-time editorial positon. I remember getting my first paycheck from Editech—for $900—and thinking, “I’m going to be rich.” That hasn’t happened yet, but the money represented a big step up from coffee shop wages.
- Pat Marzola and Rhonda Wright at CSC. Pat and Rhonda saw past my protestations that “I was only interested in working for a year and then wanted to go back to grad school” and hired me as a full-time editor at CSC. I was raw—I had one pair of dress pants, a horrible haircut, and shoes that used to be my mom’s. But they didn’t care. They let me come as I was, grow up, and grow into my career. My role at CSC eventually grew into a management position, where I led a department of full-time and freelance editors and writers, developed editorial style for the entire firm, and helped countless proposal managers get their props edited on time and to spec.
- Javy Awan at TRB. Javy enabled everything that came after this. While I was still at CSC, he awarded me a position as a freelance editor for the Transportation Research Record, the journal of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. Then, he let me take that position virtual (at a time when virtual work was rare) when I wanted to move myself and my family back to Ohio. Javy’s kindness allowed me to make this move, and allowed me to leave CSC and start Dragonfly. I couldn’t have done it without him.
- Margo Goldman and Carolyn Quinn at Booz Allen Hamilton. Margo and Carolyn hired me through an agency to edit for their team at Booz Allen. Somehow, they saw potential, and invited me to make Dragonfly a direct subcontractor to the firm. This contract allowed me to bring new editors into the Dragonfly team, staff multiple projects for Booz Allen simultaneously, and start moving Dragonfly from “freelancer and friends” into a thriving, full-bore business.
- Carol Meyers at CSC. Carol hired me to write my first feature story at Dragonfly—a piece on CSC’s recruitment and retention system. Carol opened my eyes and helped me see the balanced agency that Dragonfly could become—offering both editing and writing, depending on a customer’s needs. Getting a first real paycheck for copywriting meant the world to me. Before that, I had seen myself as “just a copyeditor.” Carol believed that I could do more and simply hired me to do it.
So many other people have helped build Dragonfly into what it is today. But these 10 were there at the beginning. And their willingness to give an untested woman a chance has made all the difference.
Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial.Read more
Cloud storage solutions. Home entertainment gadgets. Strange, blood-thirsty, zombie-like aliens?
For Dragonfly editor Jason Bovberg, these topics are all in a day’s work.
Jason worked for tech magazine Windows IT Pro for 17 years, starting out as a copyeditor and moving up the ranks to become senior editor. Now, he’s a freelancer who writes e-books and blog posts on everything from wearable technology to radio access networks, and edits proposals for Dragonfly’s clients.
An appetite for the eerie
But his true writing passion is far creepier.
Jason is the author of an “apocalyptic horror trilogy” whose second installment will hit bookshelves next month. His publisher, Permuted Press, accepted the trilogy on the strength of its first book, Blood Red. The trilogy tells the story of Rachel, a young woman who finds herself fighting for her life after an earth-shattering event in Fort Collins, Colorado (Jason’s own home town). According to Alden Bell, a fellow horror author and a Blood Red reviewer, the book offers a “real-time experience of the End Times—replete with visceral terror [and] buckets of gore.”
So how does a horror writer come to be? Jason explains that he’s always been a Stephen King fan (he recommends the author’s Danse Macabre as a primer on the genre).
His inspiration also comes partly from personal experience. As a teenager, Jason was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymphatic system. “I wrote one of my first stories while in the waiting room awaiting chemo treatment,” he recalls. “It was one way I could deal with the horror I was going through—to come up with my own.”
Today, horror writing remains a form of therapy for Jason—although it now functions as “my way of getting out aggressions about the publishing world,” he jokes. He also finds that the pillars of horror writing work across genres. “In horror, urgency, active voice, and descriptive language are really important,” he says. “And all of these qualities make for better business and nonfiction writing, too.”
Writing his own story
But Jason’s life isn’t all guts and gore. He’s a collector of first-edition hardcover books of all genres, a self-proclaimed movie buff, and loves hiking and sledding near his Colorado home. Jason and wife Barb have two daughters, Harper (after Harper Lee) and Sophie (after the philosophical protagonist of Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World), and a 17-year-old miniature poodle named Cujo (what else?).
After promoting Draw Blood when it’s released in April, Jason will be wrapping up the final chapter of the Blood trilogy. After that, he hopes to write another mystery novel. (He wrote his first mystery, The Naked Dame, in 2011.) Beyond that, he’ll watch life as a freelancer, novelist, and father unfold.
Jason mentions that he doesn’t yet know exactly how the Blood trilogy will end. Although he jots down notes to guide his writing, he prefers to work with broad concepts rather than detailed outlines. “If I wrote down too much detail at the start, it would take the fun out of it.”
“I think writing should be spontaneous,” Jason says. “Just like life.”Read more