Gleaning for serial commas, whipping discrepancies into shape, and inserting missing content just in the nick of time—is it a superhero? Close! It's CSG's eagle-eyed editor, Lucy Williams.

Lucy leads the proofreading and editing of our projects to make them the best they can be. While she’s a toughie on grammar, her puns and good humor keep everyone at ease!

Q. Let's start really easy, where are you from?

A. I’m from here—Fairfax County, VA, in Oakton. I have three siblings, two of whom also live in the area. I think it's cool to say I’m a native “Washingtonian.”

Q. How did you get started in this field?

A. I was an art history major in college, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue it as a career. After college, I had a couple of jobs as I was trying to figure myself out. Ultimately, I went to work for a nonprofit marketing association for high school students. I enjoyed working in education, so I went to UVA and got my Master’s of Education there. Eventually, I realized that the common thread in all of my different positions had been writing and editing—just words in general! That’s when I decided to take a leap of faith and went to work for a small academic editing firm, which I enjoyed immensely. Now I’m here!

Q. Based on your experience, what makes a good editor? Learning new things every day?

A. I think you read in a very different way when you’re an editor. It's interesting to learn about all these different associations, or coming across a word that’s used in a different way than what you might typically see. Reading for comprehension and thinking about the reader on the other end is important. So is knowing what to fight and what not to fight in terms of language.

Q. Do you still read for fun?

A. I read all the time. I read the newspaper, I read for fun, I read before bed every single night. I like learning new words, new styles, and new techniques. I read a lot about the changing nature of our language. One particular blog I follow, The Conscious Style Guide, is about inclusive language. My favorite book of all time is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I read a great deal of historical fiction because I enjoy the dialogue; through an author’s use of regional words and phrases, a reader can almost hear the characters speak.

Q. Is there one time period you’re drawn to more than another?

A. My favorite era in art history was the Byzantine Empire. In terms of literature, I love books about the medieval and Renaissance eras. But I’m also drawn to the World War II era—both novels and true accounts of the families who lived during that time.

Q. If you could learn any skill, what would you learn?

A. Gosh, that’s so hard, because I’ve always had so many interests! I really wish I knew how to sew. I love fashion, and I’ve tried sewing, tried knitting—but the needle arts have kind of escaped me, which I wish wasn’t the case. I wish I could make my own things.

Q. Do you have a bucket list?

A. My husband and I just got back from a big trip to Europe. We love traveling, so we just want to see as much of the world as we can! We spend a lot of time together outside; we’ve been to Iceland, been to Hawaii, and have done a lot of hiking in California. We always try to push our limits, whether that’s by trying something new, seeing a different place, trying new foods, or recommending a book the other might enjoy.