Meet The Writers' Retreat Affiliates


About Cindy Barrilleaux 



Cindy Barrilleaux is passionate about helping people write, whether for work or pleasure. She has worked with nonfiction writers as an editor and coach for more than 25 years. As features editor and later, managing editor of the Psychotherapy Networker (a magazine for psychologists, social workers, and counselors), Cindy helped new and experienced writers clarify their ideas and structure their articles for publication. During her tenure as managing editor, the magazine won the prestigious National Magazine Award for its category.

In 2001 she established her business, Write Your Best, Inc., offering coaching and editing services to writers around the world. In addition to individual coaching and editing, Cindy teaches teleseminars on writing and getting published and leads writing retreats in New Mexico and around the country.

One client, after publishing an article Cindy had edited, wrote to Cindy: “ You have turned a rock into a river.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, sophistication, and encouragement.” Another client, who had just published her memoir, wrote to Cindy, “Thanks so much for your expertise in every regard. You are a master at what you do!!!  And the best teacher I have ever had. I’m grateful for your showing me how to write and how to love writing. Your sense of timing and knowing what’s helpful are awesome.”

Cindy lives between the mountains and the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys walking in the foothills, hanging out with friends, reading poetry, and playing with her cat, Sasha.

For more information about Cindy and to read about her Special Introductory Offer, visit her website at or e-mail her at




Denise DiPietro, copy editor


         Denise DiPietro believes that when a good writer teams with a good editorone who questions, researches, suggests, refines, and tweaksgood things happen.
         Denise compares editing to a Fabergé egg
one that has been sitting around in a basement for a long time, just as many a good manuscript by uncertain writers lies in a drawer for a long while. She takes the egg and carefully cleans the goo that has detracted from its beauty, tightens up some ornamentation, and reshapes a little piece that has broken. What she does not do is add anything new, change the color, or pound it into another shape.
         An avid reader, she collects words, lots of them. Big words, little words, obscure words, it does not matter. She absorbs them and tucks them away in a corner of her brain for later retrieval. Not only does she collect words, she collects pens and pencils
everything from fine-point roller balls to expensive fountain pensin all colors.
         Denise welcomes writers to her compulsive world of professional copyediting. A bit obsessive about commas, misspellings, and dangling participles, she encourages writers to communicate what is burning inside them, and she edits to allow the fire to show through the smoke. An avid reader too, an exasperating moment for her is finding a big, fat typo halfway through an already published novel.
         A professional copyeditor for more than fifteen years, Denise's editing repertoire includes more than fifty-two novels, twenty-three nonfiction works, and uncountable magazine and newspaper articles, corporate newsletters, and Web sites.
         She has co-authored a cookbook, Cooking Smart Using Ingredients on Hand and a Southwest gardening book, Son of the Soil.
Denise is a 1977 University of Washington graduate with a bachelor's degree in Journalism/Communications. She is the former editor of Alaskafest, the in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines and was Literary Editor for The Prescott Times. She has contributed feature articles to the Daily Courier and the Chino Valley Review, and has worked in television production in Seattle, Washington.  
         Denise and her husband, Douglas, a writer and manuscript evaluator, live much of the year in a bright fuchsia 1940s boutique hotel, now a residence, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Summers often find them at their cabin in the high desert not far from Seligman, Arizona.
         If you have a project and are uncertain whether you need an editor, send a few sample pages to Denise. She will be happy to perform a sample edit on your work and make recommendations. She likes to keep things simple. All of her editing projects are accomplished by Internet transfers. She can be reached at