Marian Pierce


Portrait of Marian PierceMarian Pierce is a proofreader, editor, and writer based in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories and essays have appeared in GQ magazine, Portland MonthlyThe Wordstock Ten, The Japan Times, Creative Writers’ Handbook, Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops 1997, STORY magazine, The Mississippi Review, Confrontation, Puerto del Sol, Yomimono, Yoga Rahasya and Hospital Drive.

She was the featured speaker at the 2017 Write to Publish conference, sponsored by Portland State University’s Ooligan Press. The Multnomah County Library selected her short story collection, Finding Land: Stories of Japan in 2016 for their e-book catalogue. She won the Wordstock Short Fiction Prize in 2009, sponsored by Portland’s book festival, the Frederick Exley fiction competition, sponsored by GQ magazine, in 1995, a Michener fellowship from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1996, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 1997, a Literary Arts fellowship for fiction in 2004, and a KHN Center for the Arts fellowship, also in 2004. She was a 1999 Finalist for the Bakeless Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the 2008 David Wong Fellowship at the University of East Anglia for an author writing a work set in the Far East. She gave a popular presentation at the 2010 Japan Writers Conference in Tokyo.

She also co-authored a science biography with Terri Fergason Neal, Mr. Liquid Crystal: The Untold Story of How James L. Fergason Invented the Liquid Crystal Display & Helped Create the Digital World.

Her clients say of her:

Marian Pierce is my invisible, talented writing partner. She knows when to leave a piece alone, and how to improve and refine my writing when necessary. Her painstaking, word-by-word editing is impeccable. The story remains mine, but Marian’s editing makes it lighter, tighter, and stronger.

Ellen Rogers

Writing dialogue presents different challenges than writing for the page only. But it is easy to get lost in the trappings of a conversation and lose sight of the need to steer the scene in the direction of your story’s end, hold onto theme, maintain character through language, present important information while engaging in conflict and of course, suggest some degree of writerly style or poetic leaning. Marian’s gift for simplicity and wit as well as her ability to go deep and take risks, make her a natural fit and perfect choice as a script advisor. She suggests edits and prompts with questions that aim to regain clarity when the dialogue gets messy or drifts. Marian is a person I feel I can easily trust with my work; she understands how to be supportive without being imposing and how to be specific so that changes are practical and achievable. Working with Marian is a productive pleasure.

Sarah Shively, actress, playwright, filmmaker

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