Who is M.S. Wordsmith? That would be me, Mariëlle S. Smith.
But who am I? And how did I get from being regular old M.S. Smith to being M.S. Wordsmith?
Being the child of a Scottish expat father and a Dutch mother, I have always been intrigued by language and how it works: how is meaning created and what becomes lost in translation? As a child, I was either writing stories or reading them—I always wanted to borrow more books in one go than the library allowed—and often carried around a heavy dictionary to translate Dutch songs into English or vice versa. I excelled in English at secondary school level, and my love for this language brought me to the University of Utrecht, where I studied English Language and Culture, with minors in Gender, Post-Colonial, and Conflict Studies, followed by a Research Masters in Gender and Ethnicity.
Throughout my studies, teachers, professors, and anonymous peer-reviewers from academic journals complimented the quality and clarity of my writing. The moment my professors started asking me to translate and edit their work, I realised I needed to start using this skill to help others. Originally starting out as an academic editor, the rekindling of my passion for creative writing inspired me to expand my services to include the mentoring of creative writers and the editing and critiquing of their work.
Next to being M.S. Wordsmith, I am also editor-in-chief of the bilingual journal Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies). I also teach several Gender and Post-Colonial Studies courses at the University of Utrecht. In between these jobs, I call myself a writer of fiction.