Herta B. Feely

My passion resides in the written word! I’ve been an editor and writer for the past 20 years, though I wrote my first short story around the time of the Cuban missile crisis (“Bombs Away!”) and received an A!

Back in 2007, after working as the executive editor for a literary agency, I established Chrysalis Editorial to focus on serving writers in a variety of capacities. My manuscript critiques have helped countless writers hone and revise their work into publishable shape. I’ve copy edited manuscripts and supported numerous clients as their writing coach. I recently worked as a developmental editor with Lee DiPietro, a world-class tri-athlete, on her memoir, Against the Wind, released by Skyhorse Publishing. I’ve also ghostwritten the memoirs of several other aspiring writers.

Seeing hard-working, talented authors receive their due gives me tremendous satisfaction.

As a Writer

I recently had a novel published that revolves around a cyberbullying incident. Saving Phoebe Murrow found publishers in both the US (Upper Hand Press) and the UK (Twenty7 Books–an imprint of Bonnier Fiction UK) and was released for sale in the fall of 2016.

I’ve written assorted short stories and essays, which have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including The Sun, The Potomac Review, The Griffin, Big Muddy, and Enhanced Gravity. I edited and conceived of the anthology Confessions: Fact or Fiction?, which explores the blurred line between fact and fiction. One of my memoir pieces on immigration, “The Wall,” received the American Independent Writer’s Award for Best Personal Published Essay in 2010. For more, see Herta’s Author Website.

I strongly encourage writers to submit their stories, novels, creative non-fiction and memoir to writing contests, fellowships and writing grants. In 2007, I received both the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist Fellowship in Literature from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for a novel in progress. A previous grant from the DCCAH funded travel to Peru, enabling me to complete the research for my novel, Serra Blue, an excerpt of which was featured in Provincetown Arts Magazine, but was never otherwise published.

Two years ago, I joined the online book review magazine, Washington Independent Review of Books, as a reviewer.

In My Previous Life

I have a BA in Latin American History from UC Berkeley and attended graduate school there in the field of journalism. I also have a Master of Arts in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. After attending UC Berkeley’s graduate journalism school, I worked as a reporter, editor, and press secretary. Of all the work I’ve done, I am perhaps proudest of having co-founded the National Safe Kids Campaign (now Safe Kids Worldwide) in 1988 and worked as its first executive director.


I was born in Yugoslavia, emigrated to Germany when I was three, and left there for the US on a ship at the age of seven (with my parents and other relatives). I grew up in St. Louis, left there at 18, and moved to California, where I spent the next decade. Now, I live (quite happily) in Washington, DC, with my husband and two cats. We have two grown sons. At all times, in all those places, including on the Atlantic Ocean, books have kept me company.