Editing and Mentoring

As a writer, as well as an editor, I understand the time and passion writers invest in their manuscripts, and how difficult it can be to open that writing to criticism. That’s why I believe in creating a literary relationship with my clients—one in which we work together to achieve a finished manuscript that truly communicates the writer’s intent, and has the potential to be published.

As much as possible, I do not evaluate a manuscript based on my own reading or writing preferences, but on the author’s intent and how well the book adheres to the literary conventions of the genre in which it is written.

I pay close attention to such elements as character development, story arc, climax and resolution, and causality in plot. I also evaluate in terms of the connections the author makes (consciously or subconsciously) between character and setting, cause and effect, scene and summary, and similar relationships. And of course I also evaluate the voice of the writer to determine whether it is as fully developed as it needs to be for the particular story.

Authors who have influenced my critical approach include James Wood, Zadie Smith, Robert Olen Butler, Robert McKee, Francine Prose, Gordon Lish, William H. Gass, and many others. But I also have learned much from the great writers and critics of decades past, especially Chekhov, Joyce, Forster, James, and Stein.

Here are some endorsements I’ve received over the years.

Manuscript Fees and Submission Requirements

Novels, Novellas, Non-Fiction Books:
The fee to edit a book-length work is typically $3 per page. This may vary depending on the number of pages and my assessment of the amount of time and effort necessary to guide you in making it a publishable manuscript. I usually ask to see a few sample chapters
before quoting a price.

Although I’m not specifically a copyeditor, I do suggest grammar and spelling corrections as I read in addition to the contracted substantive edits.

Short Stories, Articles, Essays, Chapters: $95 per hour.

Mentoring: $95 per hour (negotiable, based on a free consultation). These are one-on-one sessions that involve teaching, editing, and discussions about craft, as well as the business aspects of writing.

See the Publications, Etc. Page for a list of my books, stories, clients, and other literary involvement.

Please note:

  • For longer works such as novels and books, I first request a few sample chapters to determine if I’ll be able to adequately help your writing. This initial review is free.
  • Time spent on developmental editing typically falls within 5-15 pages per hour, depending on how much editing is necessary.
  • Payment for services is done according to a fee schedule to which we have both agreed.

Submission Requirements and Suggestions:

  • Electronic submissions in Word or Apple Pages required. This allows me to use the Comments and Track Changes functions. I generally use Comments to list thoughts and notes about a manuscript while I develop my overall evaluation, which is presented in a written essay form, or a chapter by chapter assessment. Track Changes allows you to review all copyedits before accepting them. For hard copy submissions, edits are noted on the copy itself and you must manually input them.
  • Double space all pages.
  • Margins of at least 1 inch on all sides
  • Standard font: 12 point Times or Times Roman. Please, no Courier!
  • If you are submitting a full length work, a novel or novella, I will ask for a 20-30 page sample (preferably the opening pages), and conduct a free assessment, from which I can determine your needs and our ability to work together.
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