Authors published by big houses consist of seasoned professionals with solid followings, along with (a few) talented new voices each year . . . yet every one of them has not just an editor, but an editorial TEAM.

If pros benefit from the support of objective eyes and expert insight, what makes you think you have to go it alone?

Here's the deal:
Great content remains the most important element of a successful book.
And in today’s market, where anyone can publish quickly—there are nearly 49 MILLION books for sale on Amazon alone—it’s more important than ever to publish well.

That makes a good editor an indispensable member of any author’s team. 

After all: to write is an act of creative engagement. To ask people to pay for a product you publish is a business.

The good news is editing begins much earlier, and provides many more benefits, than emerging authors realize.

The Writing Cycle

a little bit about

What’s more, 

You don't have to go it alone.

If you follow the stages of The Writing Cycle, you will succeed.

I know. Not only am I an author myself, I've edited dozens of books published with indie presses and large houses,

The Writing Cycle evolved out of my desire to help writers get better books into the world, with less isolation and more artistic results.

If you develop your manuscript with proven story structure, you'll save YEARS of wasted drafting?

If you need encouragement while you draft, the accountability of coaching can help?

If you hire an editor, elements of craft or grammar will no longer prevent you from publishing with pride?



What if I told  you :

DREAM up your story with inspiration from the BLOG + FREE resources.


DEVELOP story structure with custom outlines. 


DRAFT new material with the support of a writing coach.




POLISH & DELIVER a better book with professional editing.



Reach out


Desert-born word charmer, novice dog-dominatrix, and founder of The Writing Cycle. 

I’m an award-winning short fiction writer in Phoenix, Arizona, who helps aspiring writers and get better books into the world by equipping them with craft to elevate ideas into art. 


I grew up in old Phoenix, where sun-ripened grapefruit fell from trees and rotted along sidewalks.

In grade school, I stole paperbacks from the Scholastic Book Fair to read to my grandmother, skipping endings I deemed too sad, or flat-out rewriting them. My siblings and I weren’t allowed to watch television, so reading became my window into the outside world.


I spent summers on tarred beaches before escaping to Kenya, Seoul, and finally an MFA in monsoon-soaked Tucson, 

where I sipped tequila late into nights with classmates, many who would go on to become acclaimed writers of our age. 


Over the course of my life, I’ve spent nearly fifteen years teaching college creative writing, 

worked as editor of literary and commercial publications, and managed editorial for one of the world’s largest women’s web properties. 


The longer I taught, the more I recognized personality could never be extricated from the things (and ways in which) we create.

Who we are imprints distinction and relatability on the page. This inspired me to undertake study in trauma psychology, MBTI certification, and creativity coaching with America’s foremost expert.


I came to realize that while I was a good writer, I am a transformative editor and coach.

So if there is a story in you just waiting to be written, let me guide you through each
stage of the writing cycle, from inspiration to publication.

Reach out




Hardships including blood cancer, complex trauma, and traumatic bereavement taught me how to create amidst chaos, and make meaning in whatever context life provides.

Not only do I write and teach, I also live my purpose by helping other writers communicate authentic experience and harness the transformative power of stories.

After all, worlds are made by words.

Most aspiring authors have a knack for story: avid readers who captivate friends in conversation, they harbor a tale they’ve waited a lifetime to tell. 

But even gifted storytellers find themselves at a loss when faced with challenges such as limiting point of view, or controlling past-perfect tenses in flashback scenes.

Writers who haven’t logged ten thousand hours studying craft lose heart in the face of such challenges. They forget voice is the very thing that adds value.

By contrast, the need for assistance may not enter others' minds until they've been at work on a project for years. At that point, many are impatient to move on to the publishing side of things. (After all, it's much more fun to choose cover art than diagram story structure!) 

But a meaningful book should neither be rushed, NOR abandoned.: it's worth investing in. Choose to take your work to the next level with expert editorial support. After all, you’ve put your heart into it. 


But let’s talk about you . . .

'm the editor for you, if you’re ready to:    

Dig deep into your purpose, for a project.


Shape  your story.

Convey your signature style on the page. 

Emphasize the inner journey.

Translate ideas into successful story structure.

Clarify your book's trope, timeline, and theme.

Leave with a professionally-edited manuscript. 

Transition from aspiring to professional author.

Reach out and tell me about your book.


that guide my process.


Read  them here.

To learn more about The Writing Cycle, take a peek at

Professional bio:

CAROL TEST holds an MFA from the University of Arizona, where she served as editor-in-chief of Sonora Review. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart prize and two Glimmer-Train Short Story Awards for New Writers,, her debut collection for The Flannery O’Connor Award by the University of Georgia Press. 

She has taught creative writing through The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Phoenix and Mesa Community Colleges, and The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. 

Her work has been published in journals including Night Train, Red Rock Review, The Normal School, The Coachella Review, Monsoon Voices, The Review Review, Pilgrimage, and Other Voices, among others. She is the recipient of Arizona Commission on the Arts awards and scholarships to Sewanee, Bread Loaf, and DISQUIET. Her memoir is forthcoming.

During quarantine, she took up poetry to explore the loss of her youngest brother during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can listen to those poems through the Piper Center for Creative Writing, or check out Carol’s fiction in The Coachella Review.

Stop by!