McKenzie Bookworks


I always wanted to be a writer. At five I had a little typewriter with a dial for getting the letter I wanted. I didn’t know what letter I wanted at five because I wasn’t reading yet, but I sure loved that typewriter. I continued writing as an adult and was the book buyer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Press. A natural move from there (and a dream come true!), was becoming the managing editor for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Press. (see the books I helped create!) There I wrote and published three of my children books, and got to help others make their books reach publication. After the publisher left, I moved into the job of publisher. It was challenging and so much fun. What wonderful people I met as we made gorgeous natural history books together. See my books here!

The Press is no more, and I moved from Monterey to the Sierra Nevada foothills while continuing to work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a science editor for their fabulous Seafood Watch Program. How lucky was I?!

Today I write articles for magazines and grants.  Need a ghostwriter? I’m your woman! 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.

Jack Kerouac with a student

About Michelle

I am a professional writer and editor based in Penn Valley, California. My clients include nonprofits, life coaches, and health care professionals such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Retired Teachers Association and more.

I edit a wide range of nonfiction from healthcare and coaching books to science reports and children’s books. As the publisher for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Press and managing editor, I helped create many natural history books.

The published author of three children’s books, I am currently working on a book about end-of-life care for companion animals and the people who love them.


My 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!).

I have written brochures, children’s books, articles, catalog copy, card mailers, and press releases and have a keen eye for turning your information into the marketing piece you need for growing your business.

SERVICES INCLUDE: (take this link)

  • Writing
  • Nonfiction editing
  • Proofreading
  • Article research, interviewing and writing
  • Nonfiction writing
  • Social media management
Awards/Advisory Positions

•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

Formal Education
•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, Sterling College, 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


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