Elaine Marie Carnegie
Ann & Ruth The Gemini Wordsmiths
When they grew up during the Jurassic Period, Ann Stolinsky and Ruth Littner knew they wanted to become writers and editors. As time progressed, continents drifted, the written word was invented, and their dreams came true. Here is some crucial information about how the company began, who really wears the pants in the family, and what expectations can be exceeded:
Fictional Moderator: How did you start your business?
Ann: Ruth and I met at one of the monthly meetings of the Writers’ Coffeehouse in Willow Grove, PA, during the roundtable introductions.
Ruth: I saw a woman across the table who looked exactly like me. It was a bit unnerving and I felt sorry for her. When she said she was interested in starting an editing company, I knew we were long-lost twins and I had to approach her.
Ann: When we met after the meeting to introduce ourselves, it was confirmed that we were identical twins, except for one detail: Ruth is 6 feet tall and I’m barely 5 feet.
Ruth: And to reinforce kismet, it turns out that our daughters have known each other for years.
Moderator: How well do you work together?
Ann: Ruth and I work superbly together. Our work ethic and our desire to deliver the best possible product are very much in sync.
Ruth: The yin and yang of our editing strengths are only surpassed by our ability to laugh together and face work issues from differing approaches.
Ann: As for the question about who wears the pants in the family, that should be answered right here, right now. We both do. It’s a pair of pants.
Moderator: What types of clients do you attract?
Ruth: It’s crazy, but many of them are normal! We have a niche in editing game rules and testing for game playability, so we attract a large gamer market. We’ve edited manuscripts ranging from vampires to baseball, from “strong adult content” to children’s book series. Additionally, we polish documents produced by folks who have English as a second language so the docs appear “native” to the reader. We create or improve newsletters for organizations. We attract writers needing developmental or line editing for their manuscripts. We edit websites, write scripts for website videos, and even guest blog!
Ann: The children’s song, "I’m Gonna Eat Some Worms" comes to mind: “We attract short, fat, skinny ones, big, tall, juicy ones. …” LOL. We attract a variety of clients with our twin-ship accident of birth. Our first client was in California and our second was in Canada. We became international superstars with that second job since we went “global.”
Moderator: How do you find work?
Ann: We market, market, market. We utilize Facebook and other social media. I attend board game and other types of conventions and I market in person.
Ruth: Word-of-mouth is our best marketing tool. Our previous clients are happy to share their “find” of Gemini Wordsmiths. Additionally, sometimes we randomly cruise websites, laugh/cry at their grammatical and typographical errors, and contact the site owners to discuss improvements. This works!
Moderator: Do you work independently on each job?
Ann: At the beginning of each project, we do. One of us takes the lead on each project, editing or writing content. She then sends it to the other, who does the same review. We then get together to to polish our product. I guess this is really where the wearing of the pants comes in. If we are in conflict, we discuss our positions and come to an agreement. Clients are not just getting one pair of eyes, they are getting two pair — or four pair, if you count our glasses.
Ruth: We work on most jobs independently using our individual strengths, as Ann said. Then we collaborate. If we have a discrepancy, I point out to Ann that I am correct and we continue. Just kidding. She’s right sometimes, too. Kidding again.
Moderator: How do you exceed expectations?
Ann: With most companies, the client gets one editor, one edit. If the client would like a second edit, they have to pay another company and/or another editor. With Gemini Wordsmiths, the client gets two editors for the price of one. We have no lives outside of our jobs (oh wait, that’s just me!), but we both devote an enormous amount of time to ensuring that the final products are the best they can be. Quality work is our signature.
Ruth: What she said. And, by the way, we’re nice. And who can resist working with two gorgeous redheads?
This is us together. 😁
Moderator: Tell us about Celestial Echo Press.
A few years ago, Ruth had a crazy idea about forming a publishing company. We were swamped with work at the time, and put the idea on our agenda under “Some day.” “Some day” came two years ago. We began researching how to form an imprint late in 2018. We sweated the name selection, but when we finally agreed on something celestial to maintain our Gemini connection, the words simply flowed from our mouths and Celestial Echo Press was born. CEP’s birthday is also in Gemini! We opened submissions for The Twofer Compendium on May 21, 2019, and closed them June 20, 2019, dates coordinating with the astrological sign of Gemini.
We’re currently focusing CEP on anthologies. (Elaine’s story, “The Halston Butcher,” will appear in The Trench Coat Chronicles, an anthology based on murder mysteries, due out by the end of this year). Our goal is to expand into publishing novels.
We also run a CEP Facebook group. When we formed the group, our vision was for it to be a valuable resource for writers. We believe we have achieved that goal. Come join us!
(You can buy The Twofer Compendium at this link:
THE TRENCH COAT CHRONICLES