Reed Hellman Wordsmith

Technical writer/editor, professional wordsmith, and regularly published journalist, taking contract and fulltime positions with businesses, institutions, and government agencies. More than 30 years of technical writing and editing for diverse clients. Projects include proposals and request for proposal (RFP) responses, manuals and training documents, technical marketing materials, systems documentation, Web content, and creative nonfiction. More than 20 years of experience writing and editing documents for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies and contractors. Frequently publish in business, technical, and popular periodicals; culinary columnist for Recreation News. MS in Professional Writing; teaching certification; Public Trust clearance.

I have operated Reed Hellman Wordsmith, a professional writing company, since 1988. My clients have included:

  • IMPAQ International, LLC, Columbia, MD. Technical editor contractor since October 2010. Frequent project assignments from this public policy research company include editing RFP responses and social sciences research reports for HHS agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); US Agency for International Development (USAID); US Department of Labor; and other state, national, and international governmental organizations. Established editorial standards.
  • Fleet Transit, Inc., Baltimore, MD. Technical writer/editor contractor since June 1995. Write and edit technical marketing materials including RFP responses, corporate profiles, and administrative and executive communications for this integrated transportation services company.
  • SRA / Starry Associates, Woodlawn, MD. Lead technical editor, February through August 2013. Edited deliverables and work products for information technology teams maintaining the CMS Healthcare Integrated General Ledger Accounting System (HIGLAS), one of the world’s largest double entry ledger systems. Helped modify and maintain a SharePoint-based deliverable tracking system. Established writing and editorial standards.
  • Seamon Corporation, Greenbelt, MD. Technical writer/editor contractor, 2012. Provided on-call writing and editing support, primarily on RFP responses and HHS contracts.
  • Valley Times, Alberton, MD.  2011.  Contracted to manage and edit this respected niche magazine. Initiated a new business model, built a new editorial staff, and revived the magazine financially and editorially.
  • SoBran, Inc., , Burtonsville, MD. Proposal manager, March 2008 to October 2009; technical writer/editor contractor until October 2012 for this company specializing in biomedical research, homeland security, logistics, and supply chain management. Produced a range of written products including RFP responses, instructional materials, executive communications, white papers, periodical articles, internal and external newsletters, capabilities statements, press releases, and other technical marketing documents. Established and directed daily operation of in-house writing shop and developed standard operating procedures. Managed more than a dozen successful RFP responses to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Army, and others. Used SharePoint and modified Shipley proposal model.
  • National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, Chicago, IL.  2007 to 2008.  Researched and wrote content for two major commercial Websites.  Wrote marketing materials, fishing content, and an encyclopedia of boating terms for the Discover Boating site (  I successfully completed the encyclopedia assignment in a greatly reduced amount of time. 
  • Recreation News, Managing Editor  2005 to 2008.  Edited this monthly travel and leisure newspaper reaching a quarter-million readers, primarily federal and corporate employees in the National Capital Region.  Worked with more than two dozen freelance writers and columnists, edited text, made advertising calls, coordinated edit with destination marketing organizations and advertising agencies, presented a weekly radio spot, and ensured that each issue met the publisher’s specifications.  Helped increase the paper’s baseline size and enabled the paper to expand into radio and Webcasting. 
  • Winning Solutions, Fairfax, VA  Since 1996  Proposal specialists crafting responses to Federal government RFPs.  I wrote or edited portions of RFP responses for L-3 Stratis, Tampa, FL; SETA, McLean, VA; Day & Zimmermann, Philadelphia; Covance Clinical and Periapproval Services, Radnor, PA; Titan, Annapolis Junction, MD; Bowhead, Lexington Park, MD; and Raytheon, Hanover and Landover, MD.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, HHS, Rockville, MD.  1993 to 2005  Provide writing and editing services including building Web content and Web-based tutorials for Agency Internet and Intranet.  Tested and documented online database access procedures.  Edited clinical guidelines; established reporting systems.
  • CareFirst / Blue Cross Blue Shield / PKW, Owings Mills, MD, 1998 to 1999, 2005  Working as a part of PKW, provided a range of computer documentation services for analysts supporting the deployment of new systems in the Maryland and Washington DC companies.
  • Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Woodlawn, MD.  2003  Wrote and edited portions of Data Assessment and Verification (DAVE) Project for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Booz Allen Hamilton / Technical Quality Management (TQM), Linthicum, MD.  2002 to 2003  Working through TQM, provided editorial support to engineers.
  • Building Owners and Managers Institute, Arnold, MD.  2003 Edited and proofread environmental and regulatory training document.
  • Econometrica, Inc., Bethesda, MD 1998 to 2003  Contracted to this economic services provider on a range of proposal writing projects for responses to numerous federal RFPs.
  • Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD.  2002 to 2003  Working with an inhouse team, helped design and create content for a recruitment Website.
  • Discovery Channel Ducks, Baltimore MD.  2002  Amphibious tours of Baltimore and Inner Harbor.  Researched the tour route and the history of Baltimore; worked with professional comedians to build a tour script.  Created tutorial and exam for tour guides.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS, Woodlawn, MD.  (Formerly Health Care Financing Administration, HCFA)  1989 to 2001  Held four contracts including:  Producing a book to showcase communications channels (2001); documenting HCFA information system responses to Y2k (1996); documenting Litigation Support System; historian during litigation (1993); documenting Model204 databases (1989 through 1991).
  • GE Global Exchange Services, Gaithersburg, MD  2000  Researched, designed, and wrote initial drafts of a users' guide and other technical documentation to support development of an electronic data interchange (EDI).
  • ROW Sciences (a subsidiary of Federal Data Corporation FDC), Rockville, MD.  1999  Prepared and edited responses to several different types of invitations to bid, RFPs, and proposals.  Revised and updated corporate resume and project description databases.
  • US Army Infantry School, Ft. Benning, GA, 1998  Researched, planned, and wrote a script for Infantry Branch Heritage recruiting video, produced by USAI-ETV.
  • ADC Apex, Columbia, MD 1998  Telecommunications and information technology.  Wrote proposal responses to commercial organizations including Sprint and Pele Phone, an Israeli telecommunications provider.
  • EVI, Inc., Columbia, MD  1998  Electronics engineers.  Provided a variety of technical marketing services for this electronics engineering firm.  Work included writing corporate profiles, Website content and design, and tracking RFP and SBIR opportunities.
  • Johns Hopkins Institutions, Baltimore, MD.  1997  Built Web-based software users' manual for an Oracle system used by Development and Alumni Relations.
  • Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., Baltimore, MD. 1997  Documented two information systems and built online help using Doc-to-Help.
  • Federal Data Corporation (FDCT), Bethesda, MD 1997  Responded to an RFP from the National Institutes of Health for LAN/WAN equipment and services.


  • Jack Dale Associates, Inc.  Energy Engineers, Vice President, 1981 to 1988
  • Howard County (MD) Board of Education, Teacher, 1980
  • Whitman Requardt Associates, Construction Inspector, 1979
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Dredging Division, Hydrographic Engineering Associate, 1973 to 1978; Wetlands surveyor, 1972; Field Technician, 1965 to 1971

Professional Training: Repurposing Documents for the Web, CAPCON, 2003; Writing Accessible Web Materials, CAPCON, 2002; Writing for the Web, Information Mapping, 1999.
Master of Sciences in Professional Writing, Towson University, 1991
Certification to Teach, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1980
Bachelor of Arts in English, Towson State University, 1977