Nothing brings me greater joy than working one-on-one with fellow writers. If you’re interested in working together, please send me a note via my email.
One of Boston’s essential women of letters, Cat Parnell writes stories that bite you where it hurts. Her essays and fiction are fearless, funny, and unforgettable. Among writers who’ve worked with her, her meticulous and devoted labor as an editor—with Salamander, Consequence, and at Arrowsmith—is already the stuff of legend.
Askold Melnyczuk— author of Man Who Would Not Bow and others
Catherine Parnell is the writer’s best friend. Her edits are astute and her encouragement is invaluable. Every writer, at any stage, needs the compassionate support and intelligent advice that Catherine can offer.
JoeAnn Hart— author of Highwire Act, Float, Addled, Stamford 76
Working with Catherine Parnell has been an absolute pleasure. I presented to her a collection of linked stories that I wanted to get whipped into shape for publication as individual stories and as a collection. Catherine’s responses were always detailed and timely. The manuscript was challenging because the stories span thirty years in the narrator’s life, from early childhood to adulthood, requiring close attention to details of time and place as well as an aging voice. Not only did Catherine guide me through an effective approach to the revision project, but she truly “got” what I was trying to do; this ensured that we stayed true to my vision throughout, which was incredibly important to me.
Catherine’s drive for clarity between and within the stories was instrumental. Her approach to the manuscript was to engage in a series of probing questions that led me down my own path to resolution, while her openness to entertain different approaches allowed me to experiment until I “got it right.” Catherine’s keen eye and massive heart were key to my ability to get my book ready for submission. I look forward to working with her on my novel, and I recommend her to anyone needing the very best in editorial support.
Ciaran Cooper— writer
It was my good fortune to meet Catherine Parnell. As my editor, Catherine shaped this biography with astute observations, patient diplomacy, and top-notch publishing expertise.
Denise Doherty Pappas— author of John Simmons: The Measure of a Man
Catherine’s edits were excellent and have made us much more confident this manuscript isn’t just good, but stands apart.
I was put in touch with Cat when I was organizing “Poets for Haiti,” a benefit reading following the earthquake in Haiti involving many of Boston’s most renowned poets. From our first phone call, I knew I was working with a serious powerhouse. Cat is one of the smartest, savviest, and most capable people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. She stepped in without a second thought and basically ran the public outreach for the benefit, which ended up being one of the most visible and well-attended poetry events of the year (covered by NPR, Boston Globe, Forum Network, etc). She just knows how to make things happen and make them happen in the best possible way. In all my working years, I have only come across a few people who have the kind of professionalism, energy and know-how to pull something like this off, and Cat is unquestionably one of these. I could not recommend her more highly, as a colleague and as a person.