You have a story to tell—in sharing your work and ideas; in promoting your company or cause; in educating your audience through articles, presentations, manuals and online courses; in writing that book that’s stuck in your head and/or in various drafts on your hard drive.

I’m here to help. Over thirty years as a writer and editor, my objective has been to bring clarity and creativity to a wide range of publishing projects working in partnership with my clients, primarily in the fields of business, financial services, health care, and education. Before launching my freelance practice in 1991, I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor (with the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois, and the Janesville (Wis.) Journal-Gazette) and as the production editor of a health information clearinghouse affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My training and early work in journalism and publication production continue to guide my conviction that the best way to inform and educate is to tell the story accurately and as simply as possible.

I enjoy consulting with clients and navigating through the process of translating your plans and ideas into content that meets the needs of your audience. When I’m not working, I love spending time with family and friends; exploring the Pacific Northwest (our current home base); traveling to discover new favorite places; reading, reading, and more reading; gardening; and maintaining the illusion that our two cats are not in charge of the household.

~ Karen Bankston

Book Open Words


A Client’s View on Working with Precision Prose

“Writing and publishing a book can be as daunting an endeavor as climbing Mount Everest—that is, unless you have a trusted Sherpa. For me, that came in the form of Karen Bankston. If not for Karen, my first book would be still be somewhere between ideas in my mind and a draft manuscript. Karen listened to my ideas for the book and then set a working cadence into motion that moved the book along, all the while bringing out my creativity. Weekly accountability calls were key to moving the book forward, concluding with a project that was on time, under budget, and with quality that exceeded my expectations. Simply put, there would be no book if not for her guidance and mentoring. This fledgling author will be forever in her debt and can only hope to climb more peaks with Karen by my side.”

— John Janclaes, founder of The CEO Corner
and author of Doing What Matters

Recent Projects

Leading Cultural Change

A new white paper for the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Leadership Council examines the role of human resources executives in the credit union industry and wider business sector in aligning their company’s mission and values to create a positive, productive workplace. In writing this publication, I interviewed HR professionals and researched current best practices shared in business journals and other online resources.

Click here for overview

Doing What Matters - John Janclaes

Doing What Matters

John’s book for business leaders, which launched in April 2016 (published by his company The CEO Corner), unfolds as a story of an executive’s progression from declining returns to a purposeful resurgence that grows the organization and rekindles his professional passion. I worked with John as editor and production manager through the self-publishing process.

Click here for details

Home Decorating articles for Quarters

Recent assignments for this decorating magazine and newsletter designed for consumers and published by the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association include stories on “White Done Right” (monochromatic décor), “Think Big” (making small spaces seem more spacious), “Apartment Chic” (personalizing the pad), and “Decorating Disagreements” (how compromise can create style that makes both parties proud).

View sample issue