Welcome to Carolyn Dale's writing and editing pages


Carolyn Dale

Pages offer browsing in history, fiction and essays

"You'll be able to see some of my researched articles, stories, and essays here. Lately, I've been focusing on fiction as a great way to explore themes of social conflict and progress and, I hope, to give voice to women’s perspectives and experiences.
"But I don’t seem to stray far from my journalistic roots, for the novel I just completed is based on five years of historical research and writing. I often find that true stories are more compelling than any I would make up.
"Researched articles and photos are available for you to explore in the Family History pages, and below, you'll find links to some of my current fiction and essays.
Under the section for Editing, you'll find more about the book I co-authored, and about a conceptual approach to editing.
I hope you enjoy visiting, and that you'll feel free to get in touch using contact information on the About page."

Present imperfect


These current writings -- essays and short stories -- may be inspired by events in the present but also merge with influences from the past and ideas about the future. Please take a look at recently published pieces, as well as a new column, or blog each month.

Read more: March's column takes pages from a 100-year old school notebook to look at what a high school valedictorian said and felt in 1917, on the eve of the United States' entry into World War I. The hope, courage and patriotism expressed publicly overlie more private fears and doubts.


Some practices can encourage creative and helpful editing, even in writing groups or when editing one's own work. Here are some some quick tips Carolyn has developed through years of editing, as well as discussion of key concepts that apply to editing across all media: priority, unity, clarity, contrast, beauty, and community.

The concepts are developed in the book by Carolyn Dale and Tim Pilgrim, Ph.D., Fearless Editing: Crafting Words and Images for Print, Web, and Public Relations, Focal Press, Routledge, 2015.

Read more: Approaches to editing


Adventures abound in 1923 road trip to Yellowstone

Join Ella Jordan as she and her sister set out in their Model T Ford in July 1923 to drive 800 miles on primitive roads from southwest Washington state to Yellowstone Park. In this year celebrating the centennial of the country's National Parks, the excerpt from Ella's memoirs gives a detailed account of rustic car camping, challenging roads, ingenious repairs for mechanical problems, and characters met along the way, including a young man who, a short time later, became nationally notorious for murder.

After arriving and seeing the sites in Yellowstone Park, the sisters took a route home through southern Idaho, logging another thousand miles and additional adventures. The seventeen-day trip cost $150, including towing and repairs after a breakdown.

Read more: We Model T'd to Yellowstone

Family history

Several centuries of history

More background on Ella's forebears appears in Family history . Separate sections cover early French communities in Illinois, Stephen Austin's colonies in Texas and the War for Independence from Mexico, a covered-wagon journey out west, and early pioneer days in Washington Territory.