About Giant Squid / Audra Sim
I am an academic and nonfiction editor specializing in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences. I edit for Columbia University Press in New York City, Waypoint Ventures in Seattle, and a number of independent clients.
I excel at editing interdisciplinary work that engages critical theory, and I also have special interest and experience in the topic of classical music. My editing services range from early-stage manuscript evaluation and restructuring (developmental editing), to mid-stage line or substantive editing, to final-stage copyediting and formatting. Believe it or not, I also love editing documentation—bibliographies, citations, and footnotes!
There and Back Again: My Journey in Editing
From 2001 to 2006, I was a double-degree undergraduate student in English and music history (initially music composition) at Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In the summer after my junior year, I interned at W. W. Norton & Company in New York City. I worked in the music department, managing copyright permissions databases for song lyrics and other borrowed materials, proofreading book manuscripts, writing flap copy (book-jacket blurbs), and writing reader’s reports on unsolicited manuscripts. Later on, I pursued a career in music librarianship through the Mellon Librarian Recruitment Program.
After working as an academic librarian, I returned to graduate school for a degree that would finally let me integrate my interests in music and language. Being in the interdisciplinary Communication program at UCSD was an incredible experience. It gave me insight into the functioning of institutions, cultures, and politics through the medium of language and other communicative media that deeply changed how I understood the world and my role in it. While I was there, I also taught writing to undergraduates. In the end, writing my dissertation was a transformative experience that helped me see my love for words and language in a new light, and led me back to editing as a career.
Today: The Squid Is Giant
I am a wordsmith, poet, and writer. I read Marx, Weber, and Foucault, but also cozy mysteries, memoirs, and contemporary feminine genre fiction. I listen to Xenakis, Schoenberg, and Ferneyhough, but also Duruflé, Vaughan Williams, U2, Sarah McLachlan, Deerhoof, and Radiohead. I've been playing the piano since the age of four and still like to get the fingers moving sometimes. I sing alto in the Portland Symphonic Choir (low G's, yeah!), and my karaoke anthem is Alanis’s “You Oughta Know.” I am married to fellow Oberlin alum and composer-pianist Stephen Lewis.
Currently reading for fun (last updated 02/08/2023): David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Melville House, 2014); Crissy Van Meter's Creatures: A Novel (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2020); Brian Fies's A Fire Story (Abrams ComicArts, 2019); and Dylan Robinson's Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies (U of Minnesota P, 2020).
PhD Communication | University of California San Diego (2019)
MA Library & Information Studies | University of Wisconsin–Madison (2011)
BA English with High Honors | Oberlin College (2006)
MA Historical Musicology | University of Wisconsin–Madison (2011)
BM Music History | Oberlin Conservatory of Music (2006)
University of Chicago Editing Certificate (2019–2022)
Northwest Editors Guild
American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)
For more details, see my résumé.