For Want of a Nail: Writing and editing the details


"I hired Kay to assist me in getting my novel about the lives of adult children of divorce ready for publication. The novel was originally part of a Masters program project and needed some help to be ready for a wider audience. I was amazed at the way Kay was able to pay attention to the small details of page breaks, chapter length, punctuation, etc., while at the same time grasping the overall scope of the story and noticing which parts needed more work or greater clarity. Kay is also a fabulous writer, creating the content for the back cover of the book and help with other passages that gave me trouble.

"As a first-time author, I had many things to learn: including how to work with an editor in getting my work ready for publication. Kay encouraged me to find my voice, never being pushy with her opinion or perspective. She was incredibly thorough in her work, kept the project moving forward, met her deadlines, cheered me on when I needed encouragement, gave advice and suggestions when I felt stuck, and always treated me and my work with respect and kindness.

"I look forward to working with Kay again on my next project!"

Tanya Lyons, author of Come Home Laughing: A Novel for Adult Children of Divorce

"I worked with Kay on a large, stress-filled, short deadline project with a steep learning curve on technology and procedures content. Not only did Kay master all of what was required to provide excellent work, she became an indispensable part of the larger leadership team for the project, due to her excellent problem-solving abilities. Her many skills, quick turn-around, superb eye for details and ability to grasp new instructions made it possible for her to be entrusted with several additional facets of the project. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She is self-motivated, a quick learner, easy to work with, takes initiative, creative, and deeply committed to excellence in the smallest details.


"I will happily make my contact information available for anyone interested in discussing Kay's qualities and capabilities further."


Lisa Orvis, project leader for the SourceView Study Bible, leadership and curriculum development for YWAM's University of the Nations 



"I hired Kay to work with me on three very different and challenging book projects: a children's book, a book about surviving cancer, and a book on art and architecture in distinctive homes around the globe. As a native Hebrew speaker, I was particularly focused on making sure my books came across well in English, and Kay helped me accomplish that. Two of the books we worked on together reached Amazon's bestseller list! Kay was fun to work with, cooperative, informative, and prompt in responding to my questions along the way. She jumped into the projects without fear and was an important part of getting my books to print. I'd recommend her editing skills to anyone."

Michal B. Peleg, author of Art & Home: Decorating with Art in 21st Century Homes

Cancer: 100 Things to Do Besides Chemo, and Dot, Dot, Dot 

"Kay is a brilliant editor on many different levels. I have worked with her on several projects, from leadership training materials to science fiction to a devotional series. She has a sharp mind and reliably catches anything I am missing. She works with me on concepts, logic, and flow of argument or plot, and then she transitions smoothly into copyediting, helping me tighten up the structure of my prose and phrase my thoughts in the most cogent way. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her and would recommend her to anyone needing editorial help."

Matt Rawlins, founder of Broken Top Leadership Institute and author of

Effective Leadership in Uncertain Times, Courageous Relationships in Uncertain Times, and Humility 

"Kay was a perfect match for me with her editing knowledge and supporting comments to bring my autobiography alive: to give me my voice. Kay rejoiced with me and danced over injustices with me as she helped polish my story, encouraging me to be real with my feelings. Kay was gentle and yet firm when I needed to rethink a point. She discovered in my writings my intent and heart and helped me put into words what I couldn't express for myself. I was not an educated author, but I had a call to write. She helped me take all the years of journaling and memoirs and to put them into a book. I could not have done this without her. I would highly recommend Kay to edit any project: and I do."

Joyce Shankland, author of Threads of Hope: A Story of Healing

"I recently contracted with Kay Ben-Avraham to create a Developmental document for an ongoing book project. She coordinated peer reviewers of several draft chapters, forwarded their raw comments, and coalesced their feedback in a clear and helpful way, adding her own thorough insights. Throughout the process, she kept me informed of progress and checked for new deadlines on my side. Her input was encouraging and constructive, giving me a clear path to follow in strengthening my manuscript. I have no doubt the project will be much better as a result. Her editing input was well worth the investment. I highly recommend her for a variety of editing tasks." 



 John Feaver, author of 

Into the Light: The Academic and Spiritual Legacy of Dr. Howard Malmstadt


“Kay was an excellent editor and teacher, and it is certainly to her instruction that I attribute my successful start to a rigorous writing program… She always inquired about the greater context of assignments and attempted to gauge my preliminary reactions to them. By doing so, she was often able to ensure my thoughts were developed in a creative, yet orderly fashion. Kay never spared advice at the expense of unfamiliarity with the subject matter; she took an interest in my study of politics in order to provide the appropriate assistance concerning a discipline that was not her own.”


Raymond Shalhoub, B.A.

(Read full reference here)

"Kay's influence in my life was transformative. I will never forget the role she played in getting me to one of the most successful achievements in my life---my doctoral degree. I loved that we shared the same work ethic and a dedication to the pursuit of excellence. Her outstanding technical skills and editorial expertise working with me on my final thesis project not only got me to where I needed to be, but enabled me to keep pushing from idea to idea until I at last completed all five chapters."

Elizabeth Hernandez, Executive Director at 

The Place of Refuge, Philadelphia, PA

"As a first-time author, I found Kay's service prompt, thorough, and of the highest quality. I could tell she read through my manuscript (an autobiography) several times, getting the feel for how I write and trying to understand my overall message. Then she very gently, yet specifically, laid out my strengths and highlighted places where I lost the reader. She helped me clarify where my writing grew vague and encouraged me to dig a little deeper to connect more strongly to my audience. She communicated with me while she was editing, letting me know the portions she enjoyed reading and always encouraging me to not give up. She understood that the process of writing a book is hard: like handing someone your newborn baby and hoping she handles it correctly! Kay handled my "baby" with the utmost care and helped me nurture that babbling child to grow into something others could read and understand. I would highly recommend her!"

Julie Steck, author of 

No More Secrets: Set Free from Fear, Shame and Control by Discovering True Grace

“I have supervised Kay during her two-year tenure as a student writer in the office of marketing and public relations at Messiah College, and the experience has been nothing but pleasant. The marketing and public relations office is busy: we generate more than 100 news releases a year, write copy for several newsletters and the web, coordinate events, and manage print and broadcast clippings from a large media pool. Many days, I am not available to help answer questions or provide individualized guidance, and I have never had to worry about Kay. She has shown good judgment in handling challenging people. She has conducted interviews and written thoughtful stories about various individuals and programs on campus, and she has never missed a deadline. Kay has impressed many Messiah College educators and employees by being articulate, helpful, and responsive to their requests.


“I am certain you will find Kay to be a talented and thoughtful writer capable of calmly and effectively juggling multiple tasks…”


Beth Lorow, Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Messiah College

(Read full reference here)


"Kay worked with me editing my doctoral dissertation. Through the course of the project, I found myself more and more grateful for an editor who could take my writing and put the final polish on it after I had exhausted my own energies producing and reviewing my writing. I would recommend her services to anyone undertaking the overwhelming work of earning a doctorate. The peace of mind that came from handing off my drafts to her was priceless. And the results spoke for themselves; dissertations often come back from the review board with hours and hours of further work to be done, but mine came back with only a few minor changes. I know this was greatly thanks to Kay's eagle eye."

Dr. David Miller

“What I noticed at once, with her in the classroom, was the wide range of comparative literature that she had to draw on when she made observations, her ability to speak both particularly and philosophically, her interest in contextualizing whatever subject we discussed in terms of the life we all live, and her buoyant goodwill toward others.  Chief among these qualities, which soon emerged fully as she taught an entire class period, was her ability to articulate difficult ideas simply and conclusively and her creativity in presenting ideas… [she has] remarkable skills of critical writing, creative writing (poetry and fiction), and strong rhetorical prowess…”


Professor Christine Perrin, Adjunct Instructor of English, Messiah College

(Read full reference here)


 “I found her to be smart and articulate—in both oral and written discourse… when Kay was a student in the Capstone course I teach… [s]he distinguished herself not only for the astute comments she made during discussion, but also for the energy and clarity she brought to the task of editing her peers' papers. Not all good writers can help others to improve their writing; Kay, however, has a gift for getting at the heart of a writer's problems while also providing brilliant suggestions how to solve them. I witnessed this not only in the editorial markings she put on her peers' papers, but also in the helpful suggestions she offered in peer-editing groups. I saw her teach composition skills not only to the writer of the paper being discussed, but also to the other editors in the group.”


Dr. Crystal Downing, Professor of English Literature and Film Studies, Messiah College

(Read full reference here)


“Kay is a clear and articulate communicator. In my view, one of the greatest qualities a teacher can possess is the ability to reduce complex ideas or concepts to intelligible plain language. Kay has this gift. She has the background and mind to handle the toughest content and the cultural savvy to translate it into popular discourse. Her demeanor is professional and comfortable…”


Dr. Milton Gaither, Associate Professor of Education, Messiah College

(Read full reference here)


"With English as a second language, [the writing process] proved most difficult... Once I began having Kay edit my papers—over the course of just one semester—my grades on writing assignments went from C’s to A’s. I attribute this not only to her work on the papers, but also to her teaching: the partnership she cultivated with me over each paper has tremendously improved my writing skills."


David ben-Avraham, R.N., B.S.N., Adult Nurse Practitioner with Matrix Medical Network

(Read full reference here