Joanna MacGugan

Senior Editor


joanna maccugan
“Dragonflies are dedicated, spirited, collaborative, and intellectually curious. They love playing with language as much as I do. I have found my people!”

Off the clock

Reading and writing history
Woodsy walks
Investigating haunted places

Jo is a versatile copy editor who brings a love of language and eagle-eyed attention to detail to her projects at Dragonfly Editorial.

Jo joined Dragonfly Editorial as a contractor in 2020. Soon after, she stepped in as lead editor, managing teams of editors working together on complex projects. She became a full-time copy editor for Dragonfly in 2021 and was promoted to senior copy editor in 2022. Jo is experienced in editing, proofreading, and fact-checking for diverse clients in health care, engineering, education, social sciences, information technology, finance, marketing, and business management. She loves editing research reports, especially when they involve Chicago Style citation or Oxford commas.

Jo’s diverse experiences give her a unique and balanced approach to copy editing. Her first job out of college involved managing proposals—editing, proofreading, and quality control—for a small energy consulting firm in Boston. From there she moved on to edit STEM materials and alumni communications for Tufts University’s School of Engineering.

Jo stepped away from the world of STEM to earn a Ph.D. in medieval studies at the University of Connecticut, where she also taught academic writing to first-year students. Working individually with students to help them express their ideas clearly and persuasively was the most satisfying aspect of teaching, which led her to realize that editing was the perfect post-academic career for her. Her experience editing articles at every stage of production for the peer-reviewed Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (JMRC) reinforced this revelation. Evidently, she made the right choice; the Journal’s editors invited her to return as guest managing editor for a special issue of JMRC after her assistantship had ended.

After graduating from UConn, Jo built a freelance editing business. She excelled at developmental editing for self-published authors—collaborating with them to organize their “big picture” ideas as well as perfecting their language. Then she discovered Dragonfly Editorial and the rest—as they say—is history.

Jo’s first book, a study of social memory and the politics of death in fourteenth-century Ireland, was published in June 2023.

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