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J Burton 

Story Grid Certified Editor

Story Grid Editor Seal - Crossed Pen and Wrench

What is a story grid certified editor and why should you care?

The Story Grid, invented by veteran editor Shawn Coyne, synthesizes thousands of years of thinking, talking, and writing about story and distills that wisdom into a reliable, reproducible method for creating and editing stories.

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What I Can Help You With


Writer Coaching



As your development editor, I'll meet you wherever you are on your writer's journey, whether it's brainstorming, drafting, or revising your book, and become your go-to guide. I'll help you to recognize your innate gifts and guide you in applying those gifts to build a better story - more efficiently and with less pain than if you were working alone. 

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The future is unwritten
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Do you want support in beginning, sustaining, or returning to a regular writing practice? As your writer's coach, I will be a no-nonsense but nurturing partner - a cheerleader when you need cheering or a nudge when you need nudging - who holds you accountable for the promises you make to yourself.

Want to know more about the self-publishing process and if it might be right for you? Have questions about the writing and editing professions? Weighing the pros and cons of MFA programs or need help writing an application essay? My brain is for hire.

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Photo by Jude Beck, Unsplash


"J’s greatest strength is writing characters whom we connect with emotionally. When I was writing my female protagonist’s 'all is lost' moment, I didn’t know how to do it so that readers would feel her pain. J coached me through it. She gave me advice that helped me envision and transform that pivotal scene into something powerful and moving."

~ Melinda, Novelist

“One of the gifts of life is curiosity and the ability to use that to explore. Exploring ourselves can be hard- but also fun. I know this from my work as a psychologist and so, as I set out on my exploration on how to become a writer I needed a guide and mentor. And what a stroke of good fate that I found one in JS Burton! Clear in her observations of both the writing and the writer, patient but also reminding of the need to persevere. I'm fully enjoying working with, trying to reach the professional...and human, bar that she sets. Would recommend her to anyone who is serious about themselves and their craft.”

~ Dr. Paul Winkler, PsyD, Memoirist

"J was able to read a subtle shift in tone that was throwing off the end of my author's note for my novel. This observation, along with other key questions and suggestions, helped me to improve my work, making it clearer and improving its flow. J is an intuitive and creative person - this combined with her skill set makes her an editor who can help any writer realize their best work. "

~ Elisa, Novelist

"J has had an enormous impact on my writing methodology. She has helped me see things clear, what I needed to change and improve to get my story to where I want it to be, without the blur distracting the reader. I'm looking forward to working with J in the future and would highly recommend her to anyone seeking to take their story to the next level."

~ M. Fjellstroem, Novelist

About Me

My editing advice always comes from a place of deep respect and aspiration for both the work and the writer; and that approach has been shaped by both the experience of becoming a Story Grid Certified Editor and everything that came before that. Before studying with Story Grid founder Shawn Coyne, I earned an MFA in fiction from Colorado State University (2009) and a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University (2005). 

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