Hi, I’m Naomi Racz, a writer, editor and publications coordinator based on Vancouver Island. I’m originally from Manchester in the UK and studied a BA in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews and an MA in Writing, Nature and Place at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus. After graduating I spent a year in Nottingham and then, in 2013, I moved to Amsterdam and lived there for four and half years, before moving to Canada in 2018. I lived in Toronto for two years and have finally (hopefully!) settled down in a small village on Vancouver Island. I live with my husband, daughter and dog.
Here you can find a bit more background on my writing, editing and publications coordinator experience, as well as a peek into my hobbies and interests.
I write creative non-fiction about nature, the environment, sense of place and parenting.
I have been honing my writing skills from an early age—at 16 I was selected to be a Young Writer in Residence at Manchester’s Contact Theatre and had my short play “The Dove in the Magnolia” performed by a cast of professional actors, including an early role for Fisayo Akinade (fun fact!).
In 2012, I earned an MA in Writing, Nature and Place from the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus. This programme involved reading a wide range of British nature writing, as well as getting outside the classroom to write about nature and sense of place. I wrote my dissertation on “Rain and the Myth of Northerness.” Since completing the MA, I have written for a number of publications including Literary Mama, Zoomorphic Magazine, The Learned Pig, City Creatures and The Real Story. In 2021, I was accepted onto the highly-selective Orion Magazine Environmental Writers’ Workshop.
I am currently worked on the first draft of a memoir about home, belonging and motherhood called Tethered. I am also compiling a list of urban nature writing and slowly blogging my way through the list over at Small Rain.
I got my first taste of editing during my MA in Writing, Nature and Place. As part of the MA, my course mates and I formed the editorial board of Peninsula Magazine. After the MA, I worked for five years as a communications professional and gained further experience in editing. I edited the politics blog Ballots & Bullets for the University of Nottingham, and edited annual reports, funding bids, blog posts, news articles, press releases, web copy and promotional publications for Dutch environmental non-profits Eurosite and Wetlands International.
In 2018, together with illustrator Holly McKelvey, I co-founded Stonecrop Review, a literary magazine with a focus on nature in the city. We publish fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art and photography that explores the ways in which humans and nature rub up against each other in built environments. Themes have included overgrown, sky, and fauna. I review submissions and provide editorial feedback, as well as ensuring the smooth running of the magazine, such as updating the website, writing newsletters and compiling documentation.
I am honing my editing skills through the X University (colonially known as Ryerson University) publishing certificate, where I have taken courses in grammar and punctuation, copy and stylistic editing, and the basics of trade publishing. In 2019, I was awarded the university’s Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award, which recognises a student who shows promise in the field of magazine publishing. I was also nominated for the Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Editing. I am a student affiliate member of Editors Canada and in 2020 I was awarded the association’s Claudette Upton Scholarship.
As a communications officer for two Dutch environmental nonprofits, I gained experience in shepherding a range of publications from conception to print, including workshop and project reports, annual reports, magazines and promotional materials. I have worked with writers, graphics designers and printers, acting as a spider-in-the-web to ensure publications moved smoothly through each stage in the production process.
I now apply my writing, editing and publications coordinator skills in my role as editor of the Diocesan Post, a monthly newsletter from the Anglican diocese of Islands and Inlets (BC). I copy edit contributions, write original articles, and liaise with the designer and proofreader to ensure the Post makes it to the printer on time.
Reader, biker, hiker and tea drinker
In my spare time, I like to read creative non-fiction books about nature, the environment, place and parenting. You can see what I’m reader over on Goodreads. I love cycle touring and have cycled along the Rhine from Zurich to Bonn; from Prague to Budapest via Vienna; and around New Zealand’s South Island from Christchurch to Haast. These days I can mostly be found cycling around our village with my daughter in a trailer. I also like to go for long hikes on the trails around our home and I sometimes manage not to think about bears. Mostly, I like drinking tea.