The Team

Mary B. Johnston, editor, writing coach, and personal historian

MaryJohnstonAcross the last thirty years Mary has been helping people of all ages with their writing skills—as a freelance editor, writing coach, personal historian, and high school English teacher. After teaching English for fourteen years at various New England preparatory schools, she founded Wordworks in 1996. Eager to learn about and preserve people’s personal histories, Mary started a personal history service, Tell Your Stories, in 2009. She has helped hundreds of writers discover their voices and put their experiences and knowledge into words. Many of those writers have published their words—some in academic journals, others in books for family members and loved ones, and still others for the general public. Mary looks forward to helping you share what you know with your target audience.

cj Madigan, book designer

Madigancj Madigan reveres photographs: those magical pieces of chemically-processed paper that have no real market value but, to a particular audience, are priceless. And she positively swoons over books: the cover-bending, page-turning, paper-touching physical bookness of them. cj has been designing and producing print publications since the early days of what was then called “desktop publishing” and is now referred to as simply “the way we create books”.  So she is never happier than when she is able to combine photos and text into beautifully designed privately-published heirloom books, which she has specialized in since 2007. To learn more about cj’s work, take a look at her website:

Laura Pierce, book designer

LauraLaura has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art and has been designing books and book covers since 2012. She also digitizes and restores photos, and creates relevant graphics and promotional materials for the books she designs. She is a CreateSpace pro, serving as production manager for many of her projects. To see Laura’s portfolio and learn more about her work, go to or email her directly at

Caroline Bliss Larsen, copyeditor and proofreader

Caroline Bliss Larsen is a substantive editor, copyeditor, proofreader, and typesetter. Earning a BA in English language with minors in editing and English literature, she has edited in many fields: trade fiction, scholarly work, self-help books, personal histories, corporate copy, magazine articles, cookbooks, and more. Caroline prides herself on her mastery of language and usage as well as her ability to help authors develop their unique ideas and voice in a manuscript. You can reach Caroline at

Ruth Elkin, editor and proofreader

RuthRuth has a B.A. from Colby College with majors in English and music. She has been  copyediting, proofreading, and transcribing since 2000. Meticulous to the bone, Ruth enjoys creating style sheets and reading manuscripts carefully, often catching mistakes that writers and earlier editors did not. Memoirs are her favorite genre. Given her patience, curiosity, and knack for listening, her passion for people’s stories comes as no surprise. You can reach Ruth at 207-774-9378 and

Lil Maughan, editor, indexer, and proofreader

LilLil  has taught English, Literature, Humanities, and research methods at the college level.  She has also worked in university writing centers as a personal editor and writing coach, focusing on graduate theses and dissertations, personal statements, and resumes.  She is well versed in  academic referencing styles required for journal articles, including MLA and APA, and actually enjoys the meticulous work of checking reference lists.  Lil’s areas of expertise as a freelance editor include copy editing and proofreading, developmental and content editing, indexing, and formatting.  She looks forward to helping you produce your very best work. You can reach Lil at