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VIRGIE TOWNSEND

About Virgie

I’m a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, medicine, law, and state policy. My work has been featured or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Washington PostHarper’s Bazaar, VICEChicago Tribune, and other publications. I also write fact sheets, case studies, press releases, and guidance documents for public health clients. I pride myself on quickly and thoroughly finishing projects, making academic studies easy to understand, and pairing data with personal narratives to illustrate broader trends or ideas.

As a fiction writer, my short stories been featured in such publications as Tin House’s Flash Fridays, Gargoyle, Pif Magazine, and WhiskeyPaper, as well as the best-of anthologies SmokeLong Quarterly: The Best of the First Ten Years and Best of Pif, Volume One. My fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions. I’ve served on the SmokeLong staff since February 2016.

What People Are Saying

Virgie is a thorough, detail-oriented editor with a gift for working with authors, drawing out what they really want to communicate, and helping them do that effectively. Her helpful attitude and grace under pressure make her a pleasure to work with.

Lisa Junker, Director, Publications and Communications, Entomological Society of America

What People Are Saying

I’ve worked with many editors across many genres of writing and Virgie is simply one of the best. Virgie has an unmatched eye for storytelling and, specifically, providing guidance on structure to make any article, essay, or long-form piece be as clear and concise as possible. She’s helped me edit an essay for the New York Times, which was exponentially more compelling after her input. Her edits don’t over power the writer’s voice, rather enhance it. Anyone would be lucky to have her as an editor or on a team.

Angelina Fanous, Writer and Associate Editor, VICE

What People Are Saying

I’ve had the privilege of working with Virgie in her roles at ASTHO and as a contractor on my projects. She’s wonderful! She has been a great interviewer and writer for several state stories, producing rich case studies on state health programs. She has also written short fact sheets on a variety of topics very quickly. Her work is clean, requiring nearly no editing, which saves a ton of time and effort.

Ellen Schleicher Pliska, Family and Child Health Senior Director, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

What People Are Saying

It can be very difficult to find a reliable and thorough freelance writer, and so finding Virgie was a terrific gift. I assigned Virgie several freelance magazine feature articles on higher education, and each time I was impressed with her creativity and effective reporting and writing skills. She’s always on-time, responds to edits and questions quickly, and treats sources with respect. I would hire her again in a millisecond.

Tara Laskowski, Senior Associate Editor, ASCD

CONTACT

Have a health or medical writing or editing project? Please contact me using the form below.