Having spent many years as a writer, print editor, media educator and storyteller in documentary film, I have been delighted time and time again with both the breadth and depth of Jean’s talents. She writes with elegance, economy and grace in many different genres: creative non-fiction, poetry, short stories and novels. Her use of language is satisfyingly precise, highly visual and very sensuous . . . Due perhaps to her years of teaching literature, drama, writing, media analysis and critical thinking, she gives our writers’ group the benefit of her unerring sense of structure and talent for being able to pinpoint when less is definitely more.
Arlene Moscovitch, writer and documentary filmmaker
I cannot recommend Jean Sheppard highly enough as an editor: for the last 13 years, she has been an invaluable editor of my poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction. She is highly dedicated and skilled, with a wonderful sense of humour, and a great deal of compassion. She makes you want to continue to write, but to write better!
Camilla Morrow, author of Loulouthi
Jean’s own writing has been an inspiration for me, since it unites a classic feel with nuanced language and image. Her pieces are fresh and experimental while eschewing techniques designed to garner attention through shock rather than substance. Her edits of my work always clear away the extras that weigh down my poems, clearing space for the best of my work to emerge. It is rare to find an editor who respects the work of the individual and makes it the best it can be, so that the editing process is a process of refinement and crafting, never the application of an alien taste to your text. Jean is just such a sensitive and sympathetic editor.
Laura Kathryn McRae, teacher and poet
One of the ways Jean has been so helpful to me is with her expertise. And believe me she’s loaded. I am a romantic. I need grounding. I have fabulous ideas, but sometimes I let them just float up in the sky of my mind and possibility. She is a tender Yanker to Earth. I am working on a project only because of her. I mean working on it as in actually giving it concrete form. She has not only encouraged me; she has offered real and possible ways of turning my lovely ideas into concrete words on the page. With suggestions picked from a vast bag of writing wisdom, she has helped me shape those ideas into a tangible project others can enjoy. The teacher in her is rich with methods, ways, assignments. Oh, and the crafting. The editing. I deked out of the grammatical aspects of English classes. My teachers then were so dry and not fun. Jean’s finesse with the necessary tools is delivered kindly and patiently and, thank God, with humor.
Sage Walker, spiritual counsellor and educator