James Gallagher book editor and freelance writer

Castle Walls Editing

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James Gallagher Bio.

James Gallagher graduated with a degree in English from the George Washington University, where he was published in The GW Review and where he was awarded the Vivian Nellis Award for Creative Writing. In his career, James has performed technical writing for the Department of the Navy and has written marketing materials for the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department and Information Management Department (IMD).

James has enjoyed a long career as an editor for the world’s premier audiobook company, Recorded Books Inc.—and even though James has a deep voice, he has never narrated an audiobook, something he has been asked about time and time again!

At Recorded Books, James oversaw the production of a large-print (16-point font) line of books and served as editor for the 80- to 120-page course guides that accompanied the Modern Scholar series of university lectures from such esteemed academics as Alan Dershowitz and Harold Bloom.

James’s time at Recorded Books also included the writing of jacket copy for large-print books and audiobooks, catalog copy, and copy for websites, newsletters, flyers, brochures, and user guides.

James was also able to write and edit marketing materials for children’s reading programs such as Plugged-In to Reading and BookJams.

James is an editing enthusiast and is dedicated to honing his craft through his involvement in professional associations, online groups, writing groups (Writers by the Bay), and training opportunities, including webinars, certificate programs, and editing boot camps. James is constantly on the lookout for newly published works on language and he spends a portion of each day keeping up with language blogs.

James believes that the editing community is a rich, international, curious, accepting, dedicated, and engaged group of professionals, and he is proud to be numbered among their ranks.

James believes that the right work finds the right editor, and rather than seeing fellow editors as competition, James sees them as sources of learning and inspiration, and his hope is that he can give as much back to the editing community as it has given to him.

James has held a lifelong love of horror fiction, and he has been published in such markets as Black Petals, Liquid Imagination, Theme of Absence, Horror Garage, Horrorfind, and Cabal Asylum.


American Copy Editors Society (ACES)

ACES is an international members’ alliance of editors working in digital media, traditional print media, corporate communications, book publishing, academia, government, and beyond. ACES—the nation’s leading organization of editing professionals, educators, and students—is dedicated to improving the quality of communication and the working lives of editors.

A member of ACES, James has pursued career-development opportunities through the society and he has attended the organization’s annual national conventions in 2015 (Portland, Oregon) and 2016 (St. Petersburg, Florida).

Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)

The EFA is the largest and oldest national professional organization of editorial freelancers. The EFA comprises editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, researchers, desktop publishers, translators, and others who offer a broad range of skills and specialties.

Through his membership in the EFA, James demonstrates his commitment to his craft and to seeking out developmental opportunities and to keeping abreast of changes in the industry.


Training Certificates:
  • Editing Specialist Certificate from EEI Communications
  • Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing
  • Certificate of training for ACES Editing Boot Camp
Recent Webinars Attended:
  • How to Edit Marketing Materials with Savvy and Sense
  • The Art and Science of Editing
  • The Web’s Best Editing Resources
  • Clarity Is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise
  • Editing for the Web (call-in course)


James is a dedicated father of two children, and he is proud to have instilled in his children a life-long love of reading. James especially cherished reading to his children Clive Barker’s Abarat series and the wonderful Tiffany Aching series from the late Terry Pratchett.

James is an avid reader and longtime horror fan. In the horror realm, James greatly admires Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Kathe Koja, Dan Simmons, T. M. Wright, Rio Youers, Sarah Langan, and too many others to mention.

Among the classics, James has been greatly affected by the works of Thomas Hardy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mikhail Bulgakov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Samuel Beckett, and, again, too many others to name.

Among contemporary authors, James gravitates toward the work of Ian McEwan, Karen Russell, José Saramago, and Mark Z. Danielewski.

Cooking is another creative outlet for James, and while he’s not a professional chef by any measure, he makes a pretty mean gumbo and a quite passable borscht. James also eats widely and somewhat recklessly, excited most by the world of new flavors he has yet to try.

James also enjoys sports, particularly tennis, which he both plays and watches. James has been especially fortunate to have taken in matches from boyhood idols Yannick Noah and Pat Cash. James also lists soccer as one of his passions, with home club DC United his main rooting interest.