The Written Word: Created, Edited, Perfected.




The Pen Is In the Other Hand

02.22.15 Posted in Uncategorized by

I normally don’t have the time to write for pleasure, but I found some time recently and submitted a short story to an online magazine. The magazine sent me a rejection email, but with comments. The agent stated, “The story has potential” and suggested I “tighten it up” and resubmit. Woohoo! A straight-out acceptance would have been better, but the rejection verbiage gave me hope. I pared the story down from 3700 words to 3460 and resubmitted. I received another rejection, but still ensuring me that the story has potential.

I understand the agent’s comments. As developmental editors, Ruth and I make suggestions to our clients about reworking or reordering paragraphs to make the story flow, about specific language that just doesn’t work, and of course, about tightening prose.

Now, I’m on the other end of the pen.

As a writer hoping to sell a story, I have been told to rewrite, to tighten, to rework. But where do I start? How do I do that? When I wrote that story, I deliberately selected each word, exactingly crafted each sentence … how do I change my baby? I realize now, on the receiving end, how difficult it is to take the words of your heart and revise them.



Metatopia 2014

11.11.14 Posted in Uncategorized by

My background in game design, along with my professional editing skills, gives Gemini Wordsmiths a unique perspective in editing game rules. Last weekend, I attended METATOPIA 2014, a convention devoted to game designers and play-testers. The convention was incredibly energizing. According to the organizers, it has doubled in size each year since the first in 2011.

Professional review of your game rules and box prior to launch is an important step in game design that is frequently forgotten. Do you care if your game box reads, “This game is designed for players ages 1 through adult” when you meant to write, “12 through adult?” That’s a big typo. Just like editing a novel, your eyes and your software package may miss something simple like the ages of the players. Your box needs to be as perfect as possible to entice potential buyers to pick it up, buy it, and take it home.

Your rules have to be comprehensive yet easy to understand. A rulebook should be limited in the number of pages because the longer the book and the more complicated the rules, the less players will want to play the game. It should only provide information that is relevant to the game. Additionally, the longer the book, the more it will cost for production and shipping.

So, my advice, whether you use Gemini Wordsmiths or another editor, is to have a game rules editor look at all the components prior to launch. You’ll garner a stronger following if everything is polished and perfect.

If you have questions on how we can help, just give us a call.

Ann Stolinsky


July 2014

Another DEXCON is over. I (Ann) blogged about it last year, too.

DEXCON is energizing. Spending a weekend with other gamers in a total game environment … sigh. It’s great. I run the National Championships for my game MINDFIELD at DEXCON, which is an incredible joy. I had a couple of ideas for new games while there.

The feeling I get when I leave DEXCON is similar to the feeling I get when I leave a writers’ group meeting. I am energized. The members of the Philly Liars Club share information freely, and encouragement graciously. Attending a Writers’ Coffeehouse in Willow Grove, PA (4th Sunday of every month) allows me to spend some time with talented authors and newbie writers. I walk out feeling like I could write the next great American novel.

Whatever your plans were for Independence Day, I hope you took some time to honor the fallen and appreciate the freedoms they’ve secured for us all with their ultimate sacrifices. And I hope you spent time for yourself – gathering with family and friends, and re-energizing your spirit.



~~Ann Stolinsky



A sale that is out of this world!

12.14.13 Posted in Uncategorized by






Once a year the constellation GEMINI produces a radiant that emits meteors called the Geminid Meteor Shower. 
Gemini Wordsmiths thinks this is reason enough to run a sale!


For all new projects booked during the height of the meteor shower, December 13 and 14, we offer 20% off your total cost.
Manuscripts will get
25% off for a developmental edit. 

Hey, those are great deals! 




Here are the facts about the meteors:


The Geminids are considered by many to be the most consistent and active annual meteor shower.


The Geminids meteor shower is caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around the 13th – 14th of the month, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of the 14th. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862, much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD). They can appear almost anywhere in the night sky, and often appear yellowish. Well north of the equator, the radiant rises about sunset. Observers in the northern hemisphere will see higher Geminid rates as the radiant is higher in the sky. The meteors travel at medium speed in relation to other showers, at about 22 miles per second, making them fairly easy to spot. 


Gemini Wordsmiths


The Written Word: Created, Edited, Perfected.





Come to a book launch party!

10.25.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

Watching a book develop from concept through finished product is like watching a baby grow into an adult. The book we’re referring to is the “baby” of the collective Main Line Writers’ Group. Approximately a year and a half ago an idea to publish stories from the members of the group was born. Many of the writers had never been published. The book will be launched this Sunday, October 27, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Nestology in the King of Prussia Mall.

From Susanna Reilly, one of the contributing authors:

“Here’s a link to the group’s Facebook page with details for this event:

If you are thinking of coming, an RSVP would be appreciated. It helps us plan on having sufficient refreshments and books available. I hope to see you there! If you can’t make it but are interested in getting the book, it will be available from on-line outlets shortly after the launch party. Check the above-referenced facebook page or our website ( for details and links.  Although the regular price of the book is $9.95, it will be available at the launch party for $5.00 and most of the authors will be there to sign.”

Gemini Wordsmiths was a part of the process, and served as the Selection Editors. The stories in the book are the best ones from the group. Don’t be left out; come join the party and buy a book. Ask the authors – and Selection Editors — to sign it. You’ll have a book that you’ll treasure forever.


Deadlines and Pressure

09.30.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

How do you handle deadlines? Everyone, not just writers, has deadlines. Do you need to make an appointment for a baby’s three month visit? You can’t wait until the baby is three months old to schedule the appointment. Do you need to have your car inspected before the end of the month? Don’t wait a year. Deadlines hit all of us, in all aspects of our lives.


Some people work best under pressure while some freeze up at the thought of an impending deadline. Are you one or the other? I am both, depending on the situation. 


Two years ago I planned to attend Metatopia, a game designers convention. I developed a game and then playtested it, about a month before the convention. During the playtesting I encountered a potential legal issue. Within two weeks, I had to develop a new game and prepare it for formal playtesting. That was incredible pressure. I rose to the task, created a game that was totally different than anything I had designed before, and I was able to present it at the convention. It received great feedback and encouraging remarks from the playtesters at the convention.


I hoped to learn from that time pressure-cooker situation. But today I find myself in the same situation. One month before Metatopia this year, I am working on designing a game for someone else, and designing one for me, and the deadline is the same date. So what am I doing today? I’m sitting at the Writers Coffeehouse in Willow Grove, PA learning more about the craft and the business of writing. Am I feeling pressure? Not now, I think I’ve finally reached the age where one of my favorite sayings is: It will get done; one way or another, it will be done. 


I hope others can reach that plateau.



Game Design Course

09.06.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

Good news! Folks in the Upper Dublin, PA area who would like to take a very basic and brief course about the non-electronic game industry as well as game design, can take a look at this link, course number 4:

The course runs six Mondays, beginning September 23, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m.

I hope to see you there!





07.13.13 Posted in Uncategorized by


I just (literally) got home from DEXCON, the game convention I highly recommend to everyone on the east coast – or anyone willing to come to the east coast in hot July. The attendance this year was approximately 1,600. The majority of the attendees were die-hard gamers who enjoy all aspects of gaming, from board games to LARPS. The company running DEXCON also runs a couple of other conventions, including METATOPIA, which will be held in November.

While DEXCON is geared toward already published games, METATOPIA is designed for game designers and play-testers to get together and refine designs. I attended the first METATOPIA two years ago. I received incredibly positive feedback and encouragement and great suggestions for revising the two prototypes I brought. I missed last year, but plan to attend again this year. The dates for their other conventions don’t work for me, so it’s not that I don’t recommend them, it’s that I am unable to attend.

Here is the link for anyone who is interested in METATOPIA. Have a fun time and keep on gaming!



We’re celebrating our two-year anniversary!

06.02.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

It’s OUR anniversary, but YOU get the present.
Gemini Wordsmiths will celebrate its second anniversary during the astrological sign of Gemini. Not only are business partners, Ruth and Ann, born under the sign of Gemini, but the business began during this time. In honor of our anniversary, we are offering a 5% discount to any project booked during the astrological sign of Gemini, May 21 through June 20. You’ll get a discount if your project starts on the cusp, too.
Paraphrased from Wikipedia:
Gemini is governed by Mercury, a planet noted for swift movement and symbolically associated with the interchange of ideas and fluid responses to circumstances. Gemini is linked with the “element of air,” which represents the mental and social realms, and which showcases the ability to formulate abstract ideas, and to effectively interpret symbols, imagined concepts, and communicative signals. The focus of the sign falls upon movement, quick thinking, intelligence, free-flowing expression, and spontaneous reaction. The twins symbolize the sign, which also presents duality:  The ability to relate to opposing visions simultaneously, to possess dexterity, and to multi-task.
We at Gemini Wordsmiths represent our sign. We strive to provide our clients with error-free products, whether we are editing novels or creating content for websites; editing and determining playability of game rules; or writing tweets, scripts or press releases. We have the versatility to adapt easily to the changing requirements of our clients. We are Gemini.


Ruth — Appearing at Rosemont Book Festival May 4

04.19.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

Rosemont logo

I’ll be appearing at the first annual book festival at Rosemont College. This new festival is designed to support authors, small indie publishers, literary journals and the community of book buyers. In addition to the many wonderful books, there will be panel discussions, small workshops and readings throughout the day.

I’ll be reading my short story The Price Is Right at 1:00 p.m.-ish on Connelly Green. I will also be reading excerpts from my non-fiction narrative Living with Ghosts.

Rosemont College 1400 Montgomery Avenue Rosemont, PA 19010 1.888.2.ROSEMONT / 610.527.0200. For further information, click here.



Everyone’s a Comedian (or an Editor)!

04.19.13 Posted in Uncategorized by

My fiancé and I host a game night the first Saturday night of every month. We’ve been doing this for several years. The four other couples know they’ll be receiving an email reminder from me sometime during the last week of the prior month.

My fiancé and I also get together separately with two of the four couples. (We laugh till we cry.) I sent an email to one of the gentlemen, who responded with the dates mixed up. I emailed him, “No, my house is the 11th.”

Here’s where I refer to the phrase, everyone’s an editor. Before I became a professional editor, no one edited my emails. No one, except me, that is. And if I was in a hurry and just wrote shorthand, it was fine. My friends understood my meaning. Now that I’m a professional editor, they don’t understand me anymore. That gentleman wrote back asking me how my house could be a number, an 11. Well, OK, I know the sentence should have read, “No, you’re coming to my house on the 11th” but I wrote shorthand. He knew; he was just being a comedian. Everyone now loves to edit the editor. As a professional editor, I need to show the world that even my emails are polished.

Last month I attended the Writers Coffeehouse, hosted by Barnes and Noble in Willow Grove and led by members of the Philly Liars Club (named so because they all lie for a living). One of the discussions centered on “presence,” and how a public figure such as a recognized author must always be “on.” Keith Strunk, accomplished actor and author, said when he walks in his neighborhood, or the area near the theater where he performs, he doesn’t know who he’ll run into. He could have had the crappiest day, but he has to put on that smile and shake a hand or two. Authors must project an image as well, because an author doesn’t know when they’ll run into a fan. The public image projected, at all times, must be professional and energetic.

When Ruth and I work on a client’s manuscript, or game rules, or promotional materials, we ensure the final product is as polished and perfect as it can be. We know the pieces we’re creating or editing will be used by our clients to project and enhance their professional images. From now on, the image I project in my emails will reflect a more polished and professional stance too.