Melanie Spiller & Coloratura Consulting
A Tonic for Ramshackle Wordsmiths
Copyright Melanie Spiller 2012. Do not copy without permission.
Freelance Editor/Writer: Specializing in technical editing, especially working with those who do not already write well. Writing historical fiction, focusing on Medieval musicians. Write and maintain two blogs about music theory and the writing/revising/getting published process.
Previous Employment Highlights
* As a Content PM (18 months) at Microsoft, looked into new ways of producing content by looking at community, delivery processes,
prioritizing which documents to produce, and creating new teams across feature sets. Specialized in terminology and localization issues.
As a Technical Editor (3.5 years), worked with neophyte, struggling, and non-native English-speaking writers to hone skills. Wrote
Writing Workbook and led workshops about the craft of writing.
* As a self-employed editor and writer, wrote, edited, proofread,
and desktop-published technical articles and test questions on Microsoft products, Feldenkrais® technique, singing and performance
technique, retail advertising copy, historical references, resumes and theatrical biographies, performance programs, fiction, and
poetry. Began writing a guide for high-tech authors based on my blog (now defunct but which morphed into the Writing Workbook at Microsoft).
As Documentation Manager at myCFO, hired and managed three technical writers and editors, wrote and edited user documentation,
marketing materials, online content, and client communications, managed third-party content authors (seven vendor writers). Worked
with engineering, design, marketing, senior management, client acquisitions, product marketing, usability staff, Web development,
and financial experts to build content. Responsible for corporate voice.
* Acquisitions and Developmental Editor at Sybex Computer
Books for databases, ERP, CAD, presentation, drawing, and music notation software books. Responsible for finding authors, guiding
organization, focus, and structure of new books, training new authors, and helping existing authors improve their books thorough analysis
of their work, competitive works, and the existing market for both software and books. Frequent ghost writing for authors on database
topics and CAD products. Provided support for book projects through editorial and production process, including CD creation and new
series designs. Over 200 books in print.
* Editor for lab reports and articles published in twelve Ziff-Davis computer magazines.
Also created and maintained personnel database for the Lab division, created and maintained technical and software libraries
and their associated databases. Freelance substantive editor for PC Week (a Ziff publication) with an emphasis on networking products.
*Freelance editor for white papers, fiction, retail advertising, and press releases.
* Textbook writer and Instructor for
a Business Communication course at the community college level.
* Literacy tutor at minimal security youth prison, maximum security
adult prison, and private tutoring, including at a drug rehabilitation center in Berkeley, California.
* Over eight years of increasingly
responsible experience in materials management and the documentation of policies, procedures, and training with four major high-tech manufacturing
* Clerical support through temporary agencies in medical office, professional association, and human resources.
Freelance Editor/Writer: various clients, including vendors for Microsoft, A23 Consulting, fiction writers, poets, and music programs.
Maintain two blogs about writing and music theory.
* Content PM: Researched Content Model, SEO, alternative page designs, community contributions, and channels for content
types. Primary Localization contact and Terminology expert for SQL Server UE, including Windows Azure and SQL Azure.
Editor II: Edited SQL Azure, Entity Data Model, Entity Framework, PHP, JDBC, SQL Compact, Velocity, SQL Server BOL, Oracle, ADO.NET,
WCF Data Services, and SNAC. Wrote Writing Workbook to improve writing skills. Specialized in editing neophyte, troubled, or non-native
Freelance Editor/Writer: various clients, including including Office Zealot, MCW Tech, Informant, Inc., CoDe Magazine, BrainCore,
A23 Consulting, Electric Head, GISTICS, Tribal Brands, Village Heartbeat, Macy’s West (Federated), and individual (non-corporate)
writers. Created a blog about writing for technical people and established a Web site containing those blogs and other helpful items.
myCFO, Inc.: Documentation Manager, Corporate Editor
February 1995 - March 2000
Sybex, Inc.: Acquisitions and Developmental Editor
March 1992 - February 1995
Ziff-Davis Labs: Copy Editor/Librarian, Freelance Editor
June 1991 - August 1991
Masters Institute: Business Communications Teacher
September 1989 - June 1991
Sacramento Neighborhood Study Center: Literacy Tutor in prisons and privately
Olsten Temps: Personnel Clerk, Purchasing Agent, Administrative Assistant
TechAid Temps: Master Scheduler, Senior Planner, Expediter
Applied Materials, Inc.: Planner II, Planner I, Expediter, Departmental Assistant
Roberta's Temps: Document Control (assigned to Applied Materials), Stock Clerk
B.A. in English, California State University at Sacramento, 1991
Copyediting Courses at U.C. Berkeley Extension, 1993
Technical Writing Course at U.C. Berkeley Extension, 1993
CBEST-Qualified to Teach Music, English, and History in California and Oregon, 2003
Golden Key National Honor Society
Sigma Tau Delta (an International English Literature Honor Society), Lambda Omega Chapter
Dean's List consecutive terms 1987–1991
APICS certified in MRP and Production Planning
Academic but functional German.