About Michelle

I’m mad about writing and will share my writing thoughts and tips here, along with my failures and successes. I’ve been a writer all my life (as a little kid, these writings were horse stories –always about animals).

michelle rock
I continued writing as an adult and was the book buyer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A natural move from there (and a dream come true!), was becoming the managing editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Press. After the publisher, Nora Deans, left her role as publisher, I moved into the job. It was challenging and so much fun. What wonderful people I met as we made gorgeous natural history books together.
The Press is no more, and while I have moved from Monterey to the Sierra Nevada foothills and have views of the Tahoe National Forest, I continue to work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium as an editor for their fabulous Seafood Watch Program. How lucky am I?
I write articles for magazines and the local newspaper (which is mostly ‘call to action’ type of writing) and grants. Need a ghostwriter? Need an article researched and written? I’m here for you. And of course, I’m always ready to help you with your nonfiction, natural history and science editing needs.

I’ve had three children’s books published, all nonfiction.

Michelle McKenzie is a professional writer and editor based in Grass Valley, California. Her clients include nonprofits, life coaches, and health care professionals. Her client list includes the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Retired Teachers Association and more.
Michelle edits a wide range of pieces from healthcare and coaching books to science reports and children’s books. As the publisher for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Press and managing editor, she worked on many natural history books.
The published author of three children’s books, Michelle is currently working on a young adult science fiction novel.
Michelle’s 20+ years of experience in the publishing industry include editing, contract negotiations for artists and authors, project management, budgeting, product development, proof reading, writing (and even book buying!).
Michelle has written brochures, children’s books, articles, catalog copy, card mailers, and press releases and has a keen eye for turning your information into the marketing piece you need for growing your business.
• Writing
• Nonfiction editing
• Proofreading
• Article research, interviewing and writing
• Nonfiction writing
• Social media management

•Communications Committee – California Society of Association Executives 2007 to 2009
•Editor/Designer – Newsletter, Western Haflinger Association 2006 to 2009
•Vice president of the San Francisco chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. 2002-2004
•AWARD–Independent Publishers Book Award 2004; finalist, Jellyfish Inside Out

•AWARD–Publishers Marketing Association – Benjamin Franklin award 2003– Best Nature Book Jellies: Living Art , Managing Editor
•AWARD–Children’s Choice List 2002 Award– Children’s Literature; Ocean Pop & Pull –author
Western US Book Design Award – Best Publisher’s Catalog 2001 – Coordinator/ Editor
•AWARD–Recipient for the Butterfield Scholarship, for publishing and marketing – 2001
•AWARD–Publishers Marketing Association – Benjamin Franklin award – Best Trade Catalog 2000

•Bachelor of Arts, Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, CA
•University of California, Davis, Research and Interview Techniques for Non Fiction Writers•Wildbranch Nature Writing Workshop, Craftsbury Common, VT•Stanford Professional Publishing Course, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
•Stanford Web Publishing Course, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
•Natalie Goldberg Writers’ Retreat, Taos, New Mexico
•American Booksellers Association – Professional Booksellers School


The Editorial Freelancers Association EFA
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI
Bay Area Editors Forum  bay area editors forum