writer, editor, researcher, audio storyteller
Sheryl Kaskowitz just completed her second book, A Chance to Harmonize: How FDR’s Hidden Music Unit Tried to Save America from the Great Depression—One Song at a Time (Pegasus, April 2024). She is represented by Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company. She also writes and produces stories for radio as an Audio Academy Fellow at KALW Public Media.
Since earning her PhD from Harvard, Sheryl has written extensively about music in American culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the role that music can play in civic life. Her first book, God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song, was published in 2013 to positive reviews (including pieces in The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor) and won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Book Award for music writing. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Slate, Humanities, The Avid Listener. She has appeared in the BBC audio documentary “Government Song Woman” and has been interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” WNYC’s “The Takeaway,” the Washington Post’s “Can He Do That?” podcast, the ABC News podcast “Start Here,” and the public radio news show “The Texas Standard.”
As a writer and independent scholar, Sheryl has received research support from a Public Scholars Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2018), a Kluge Fellowship from the Library of Congress (2016), and research grants and awards from the Southern Association for Women Historians, American Musicological Society, Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, Music Library Association, and Society for American Music.
In addition to her own writing projects, Sheryl’s freelance communications practice provides writing consulting, content development, qualitative research and analysis, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading services, working with individual authors, nonprofit organizations, and research firms. Her professional work experience has focused on research, writing, and editing for projects working toward equity in education.
“Sheryl was such a joy to have on our team. . . . She's a great writer. She conducted extensive research and interviews for each piece and then brought what she heard to life through a writing style that was this amazing blend of storytelling and journalism. Grateful for her contributions!”
—Nonprofit writing client (online article series)
“Sheryl is a beautiful writer and terrific editor. She is extremely responsive and raises the level of my work with her incisive feedback and thoughtful suggestions. My work is more powerful and impactful due to Sheryl’s input.” —Developmental editing client (academic book)
“Working with Sheryl is an absolute pleasure! She handles everything quickly and does an amazing job. I continue to work with her on various personal and professional projects.” —Copyediting client (trade book)
“Sheryl’s editing skills and attention to detail were invaluable while I was writing my dissertation. She was always very conscientious and saved me from a huge number of errors. Most importantly, when I first started working with her during a time when I was ready to give up, she got me back on track!” —Developmental editing client (PhD dissertation)
“I will be forever grateful for Sheryl’s editing work on my PhD dissertation. She read my work quickly and offered concise, easy-to-implement suggestions that clarified the material for readers and for me as well! I really cannot overstate what an enormous help she was. My only regret is not finding my way to her sooner—I’m confident she would have saved me many months of agony.” —Developmental editing client (PhD dissertation)