Karen Sumner VP Narrative Operations
Warren Lang Chief Preposition Officer
A long time ago, we decided that the joy of our work came from helping people get what they need. So our company is like an agency instead of two writers clacking away and then sharing finished copy with each other. We take the ampersand seriously because it’s a symbol not only of our commitment to collaboration, but our relationship with you.
If you bring us on, you’ll hear the same phrase over and over: “whatever works for you.” We’ll do the work however you need it to happen – including meeting tight deadlines. We’ll talk the project through with you, hammer out a workable process and then get started. And if you’re not sure how you want to proceed, we can give you options to consider and then figure it out with you.
We approach fees with an emphasis on relationships. Our desire is to create a fluid, open and ongoing rapport. And we want to ensure that you never feel like you are “on the clock.” We do not charge for phone calls, meetings, emails, travel, small edits, short jobs, conversations or brainstorming. We only bill for actual reading, writing and editing. And we can bill you hourly, by the project or by the word – whatever works for you.
Yes. Sometimes our clients have something added to their list at the last minute. Sometimes they planned on getting it done but ran out of time. Either way, we can get started on it right away. Why? Because we control our work flow. If you need something tomorrow or next week, we just push the current pile aside and get at it. We’ve never missed a deadline.
We are both in everything. Sure, we’re not clicking on the same keyboard, but no job is undertaken separately. When the finished work zooms over the airwaves to your inbox, it has both of our mindprints on it. This is our equation for success: two brains + a rock solid rapport + complementary skills = our clients get what they need.
We spent fifteen years on the front lines and in management before building S&L. We understand the complexities that come with getting the job done: coping with conflict, implementing strategy, serving your constituency, wrangling stray colleagues (or supervisors) and stretching time. You need high-quality, low-headache writing. And a place to go when the pot boils over.
Every author wants the same result: their book in print. But no two authors need the same process. Maybe you want editors who can talk about everything from the big picture to small details. Maybe you are a great talker but not a strong writer. Or maybe you have a shoe box full of notes and want a ghostwriter to do the whole thing. We’ve been through it all – including working with major publishers – and will help bring your vision to life.
Long story short: Karen did a literature PhD at Western and then turned down a job offer at Western to work at The Country Day School in King where she was Head of English and then Director of Research and Innovation. Warren spent 15 years in independent school leadership first at Crescent and then as Director of Senior School at CDS, while also teaching English and philosophy. After several years in senior management, we starting talking about doing our own thing. Sumner & Lang began three years ago and, aside from missing the students, we have never looked back.