Welcome

New York Technical Writer Karen Rempel
New York Technical Writer Karen Rempel

Hi, I’m Karen Rempel, a New York-based documentation specialist, senior technical writer, and experienced technical editor. This is my website for showcasing my technical writing experience and helping you get to know me a little. To discuss how I can create great documentation for your next project, please call me at 347.362.5677 or send an email to kyr@karenrempel.com.

Technical Writer with Experience and Extraordinary Ability

I have been producing top-notch technical documentation for over 20 years. I’ve served my profession, the Society for Technical Communication, as both Chapter President and International Competition Judging Manager. I’ve won technical writing awards at both the national and international levels, and have been recognized for my extraordinary ability in this profession.

I have a passion for technical writing and all the related tasks that support bridging the gap between people, processes, and technology. I specialize in taking on tough technical project challenges and then turning over an easy-to-update system for my clients to maintain. I create the documentation you need to help your people and business succeed.

Whether your project is big or small, I’d love to discuss how I can help you solve your documentation challenges. Contact me at  347.362.5677 or send an email to kyr@karenrempel.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

International Consultant

I am located in Manhattan, NYC, NY, and work as an incorporated consultant on a C2C basis. If you need a local New York, NY, technical writer, I am available to work on site anywhere in the five boroughs if this suits your project needs. I also work on site as needed for clients in Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ. I typically work via telecommuting for my clients around the globe, and maintain a Vancouver telephone line for my Canadian clients.

Technical Writing Recommendations

“Karen is an excellent technical writer and has a great ability to take a high-level approach and translate it to tangible, detailed steps. Her work ethic and quick ability to understand and document requirements is fantastic. She also has a keen eye for the usability of the target system and a strong understanding of what the business needs.”

Christopher Fay, Executive Director, JP Morgan, New York City

“Karen is fantastic with everyone she works with, an important skill for capturing the input of a large team.

I would not hesitate to use Karen’s services again. She was instrumental in making this project a success and is a true professional in her field.”

Brian Harrington, Capital Projects Lead, Chevron Canada

“Karen has worked on a Delivery Standardization Handbook for Sysco Canada and has provided outstanding technical writing services. Her ability to provide technical direction on the project was superb; she was further able to quickly integrate as a team member on the project and was able to quickly gain trust with the project committee. We are extremely satisfied with her work and contribution and will look to engaging her service for future projects.”

Jon Tuttle, Vice President Standard Operating Excellence, Sysco Canada

“Karen’s attention to detail, professionalism, and quick turnaround times were much appreciated in our project. Her expertise and enthusiasm in using MadCap Flare was evident and the detailed training documentation she provided will ensure our success going forward. It was a real pleasure to work with Karen! Thank you!”

Karin Dyck, HR Analyst, BC Hydro

For more reviews of my work, please see Recommendations.

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New York, NY Technical Writer Looks at High Rises in the West Village

Karen Rempel New York NYC Technical Writer article for WestView NewsI recently toured one of the newest high rises that’s taking shape along the Hudson River in the West Village of New York City. 160 Leroy Street has a unique curvy design by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, making this star the most glamorous on the block. I wrote an article about the West Village’s new neighbor for the WestView News.

As neighbors go, 160 Leroy is more like Sophia Loren than Ralph Kramden, with the two private-elevatored penthouses selling this year for $51 million (7,750 square feet, with a rooftop pool) and $31.5 million (4,849 square feet, with a rooftop oasis), and a modest 9th floor one-bedroom (1,096 square feet, with double exposures) listed at $3.2 million. I concluded that this neighbor is going to be viewed 100 years from now as one of the most exciting architectural examples of our era.

New York, NY Technical Writer Publishes Tribute to Thomas Meehan in WestView News

Tom and his wife, Carolyn, having fun at a party in Fairfield, Connecticut during rehearsals for Ain’t Broadway Grand, which opened on Broadway in 1993. Photo by Merwin Goldsmith.

I was honored to write a tribute  to Thomas Meehan for the WestView News. He is the only librettist who had three Tony Award-winning musicals run for over 2,000 performances each on Broadway: Annie, The Producers, and Hairspray. He was so highly regarded that the marquees of Broadway theaters were dimmed for one minute in Tom’s memory on August 30th at 7:45 p.m.

The WestView News is published by and for the residents of the West Village of Manhattan; it is a monthly paper with a circulation of 20,000. This is my first piece in a New York publication, and I am thrilled to add this to my list of publication credits, and to be able to celebrate Tom’s life with his family, friends, and neighbors. He will be missed and remembered with love and admiration.

New York, NY Technical Writer and Web Content Developer designs Etsy store

Krystyna's Place Etsy StoreI worked a part-time job at Krystyna’s Place on Cornelia St. in New York this summer. I wanted to connect with people on the streets of New York, as a way of solidifying my transition from Vancouver to New York. I opened and closed the store, served customers, dressed the windows, and created an online store for Krystyna’s Place on Etsy. This web content development project entailed creating all the visual and design elements for the store, including a logo and header. I photographed 30 pieces that Krystyna had selected, measured them, wrote descriptions, and fell in love with the clothes!

This was the ideal summer job, allowing me to bring together my technical writing, photography, and design skills into a practical, hands-on situation with New York people and fashion. Now I can add fashion to the list of industries I’ve written for. For a fuller account, see my Wild Visions site.

New York, NY Technical Writer of Extraordinary Ability

Visa 2I fell in love with New York City (NYC) on my first visit in October, 2014, and moved here from Vancouver in 2017. I petitioned for immigration to the US on my own behalf (without a sponsor or employer), on the basis of being an Alien of Extraordinary Ability (I love that title!) in my field of work, technical writing. The photo above shows my initial application, which was 450 pages long and weighed 8 pounds. Note the patriotic red-white-and-blue color scheme.

I made the decision to immigrate in March 2016, and submitted my application on July 4 of 2016. My application was approved in late December. Super fast! Being accepted for immigration to the United States is a wonderful privilege, and many people helped me by writing letters on my behalf for the application. Thank you all!

Visa 3From the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, this is the requirement for the EB-1 employment-based immigration category:

“You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.

“You must meet 3 of 10 criteria, or provide evidence of a one-time achievement (i.e., Pulitzer, Oscar, Olympic Medal).”

I was able to provide documentation that showed I met not 3 but 8 of the 10 criteria, both in the first submission and in this second submission that provided additional evidence (350 pages, 5 pounds):

RFEThis was a rare opportunity to turn my technical writing skills to the task of preparing an immigration petition on my own behalf, and I was accepted as a permanent US resident on this basis. This means the US government considers my technical writing accomplishments to be equivalent to winning an Oscar or an Olympic medal. If you need a rock star technical writer to perform extraordinary technical writing and editing for you, you know who to call!

And if you need assistance preparing your own Alien of Extraordinary Ability application, I can certainly help you with that.

New York, NY Technical Writer Running for Team for Kids

New York NY Technical Writer After the Marathon!I had a blast last November running in the New York marathon. I exceeded my fund-raising goal for Harlem United, with the help of many generous friends, clients, family members, and colleagues. Together we raised over $3,000! And I ran in memory of David Bowie, which added another special element to the day and made the crowd interaction along the race course even more fun.

Bowie in blue suitI had such a great time that I am running in New York Road Runners’ 9 + 1. That’s 9 races and one volunteer shift in 2017 to qualify for the New York Marathon 2018. I’ll be running a crazy 5 races in June! This will include one in a mini-skirt, a retro run in old-school track clothes, a pride run, a dash through the Bronx, and a special race in Queens where I’ll be raising funds for Team for Kids.

I am thrilled for this chance to support kids to learn the love of running. Something that will last their whole lives and lead to life-long health and fitness. If you’d like to make a donation of $5 or more to Team for Kids, please visit my fund-raising page.

BTW, I just ran in the Central Park Classic 10K last weekend, and the oldest runner, an 82-year old New Yorker named George Hirsch, ran faster than me! So you see, it really is possible to run for a lifetime, for those of us who are lucky.

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New York, NY Technical Writer running in New York Marathon to raise funds for Harlem United

Vancouver technical writer racing in the Scotiabank half marathon, 2008
New York technical writer racing in a half marathon in 2008, leading up to the NY Marathon of 2016!

I have exciting news. As many of you know, I love running, especially on the awe-inspiring trails in Vancouver. To me, running provides a great balance to working as a technical writer at my computer. Much as I love working on projects for my clients, it can take a physical toll to spend too many hours at my desk, so I try to balance it out by running four times a week.

Now I have a great motivation to hit the trail at the end of the work day! I will be running in the New York Marathon on November 6, 2016 to raise money for Harlem United. My goal is to raise $3,000 for this fantastic organization that helps Harlem community members by providing access to health care, resources, and education about AIDS and HIV. They provide quality HIV prevention, housing, and care services in a safe and nurturing environment to unite Harlem’s diverse communities and address the needs of all people living with and threatened by HIV/AIDS.

I’m asking all my friends, family, clients, and colleagues to help support the amazing work that Harlem United does, and cheer me on in my dream of running the New York Marathon.

If you can help, please visit my donor page. You can sponsor me by:

  • Mile ($26 for the 26.2 miles of the marathon)
  • Kilometre ($42 for the 42 kilometres of the race)
  • Meal ($100 to buy a group lunch for LGBT youth at risk for contracting HIV)
  • Or pick your own amount!

Here is an inspirational video on YouTube about the impact Harlem United has made in helping people who had no hope.

I’ve been wanting to run in the New York Marathon for 20 years, since I first began running in 1996. It’s the largest marathon in the world (yikes!) and goes through all five boroughs of New York City. This will be my first full marathon, though I’ve run ten half marathons. I’m thrilled to finally run this race and to raise money for Harlem United.

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New York, NY Technical Writer creates art video project Another New York Love Affair

Although my first passion is technical writing, recently I’ve been developing video skills as well. I am excited to share Another New York Love Affair #25 with you:

I took this footage of the “Sterling Cooper” building in my final week in New York, at the end of March. At the time I was midway through watching Mad Men on Netflix, and in love with the cast of characters. Also in love with New York, and the beautiful strangeness of Madison Avenue. Enjoy!

I am aiming for 100 over the next three years.

New York Technical Writer teaches Instructional Design for Smartphones

SmombiesTHEY’RE UBIQUITOUS. People—especially technical writers—love their smartphones the world over, from Vancouver to New York, and the smombies are among us! Yes, the smartphone zombies are among us! You’ve seen them—people walking slowly, looking down at their phones, oblivious to their surroundings, possibly risking an accident—an increasingly common social phenomenon.

To smombies, the content on their phones seems more interesting than real life. I did a one-minute video of a New York subway platform, and almost everyone on the platform was looking at their phones while waiting for the train. The situation is becoming extreme. But I understand, because I’m addicted to my smartphone, too! It seems like fun, not work, to learn on a smartphone instead of a computer. So how can we use this technology to teach?

The idea is to design short training pieces that can be delivered via your app or website. Keep the training sessions to 10 minutes or less. Make the training tasks interactive, so people can use the fun features of their smartphones. Deliver some of your content using video—people just love watching video!

Instructional Video Design Tips

Here are some tips for designing effective videos for learning:

  • Include a title slide for orientation
  • Use high resolution (1080P HD)
  • Include still pictures—both iconic (resembling
    real objects) and analytic (symbolizing objects
    or states)
  • Include short on-screen texts—labels, call-outs,
    short text slides
  • Facilitate closed captions and subtitling—create
    your own or use YouTube’s automated features
  • Include background music
  • Eliminate unpleasant background noise (electronic
    hums, static, and so on)
  • Use a speaking rate of 180 words per minute
    (faster is more popular than slower)

These 8 tips adapted from Petra ten Hove and Hans van der Meij’s research (2015).

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