People hire me to look over first drafts, polish a final, query-ready manuscript, or for tasks in between. Many of my clients go on to publish their work traditionally; others choose to self-publish; some want to improve their work solely for themselves, or to share with their family.
Projects and writers differ wildly, and I'm adamant about working on an individual basis to meet authors' and books' needs. To that end, I offer a few different levels of service:
Level 1: Pure Proofreading
This covers edits for grammar, usage, spelling, word repetitions, & basic visual consistencies. When you're sure of your content but need it to be mistake-free and clean as a whistle, this is the level for you.
Level 2: Limited Critique
Includes Level 1 proofreading, along with comments that are reader-centered, offering feedback without actually rewriting or re-structuring; this includes suggestions on cutting or expansion. When you're not sure you've gotten your story across and would like a kind but keen eye.
Level 3: In-depth Critique
This most comprehensive edit includes all the benefits of the first two levels, as well as professional writers' workshop-style notes, suggestions for re-structuring and organizing information, and occasional re-writes if necessary. For fiction manuscripts, this level includes feedback on four major elements of fiction: character, structure, plot, and style.
Format: I edit in Microsoft Word, using the Track Changes feature. I've found this is most convenient for everyone involved, since it makes the whole process go much faster than on pen and paper (though we can send the paper ms. back and forth via snail mail if you prefer.)
For payment, I accept personal check, Paypal, and Google wallet.
From My Clients
I've been working one-on-one with clients and their manuscripts since 2003. I've edited literary tomes, fantasy trilogies, short fiction, picture books, young adult novels, mysteries, family histories, psychology textbooks, medical brochures, & promotional materials for non-profits.
As a writer myself, I understand how important it is to find an editor with whom you connect, and who understands your project. The best editing not only corrects mistakes, it polishes and sculpts the manuscript into a truer version of itself.
I'm also a fiction writer and essayist. My work has appeared in New York Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, O, the Oprah Magazine, Salon, The Southern Review, and other publications. My award-winning story collection was published in 2013 and my debut novel (which the New York Times says "wastes no time grabbing our attention") was published in 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I received a B.A. in cognitive science from Northwestern University and an MFA in Fiction & Screenwriting from the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin. During 2016-17, I was a fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. My author website can be found here.
I get excited when good things happen for my clients. Like, really excited. I also feel happy when they're happy. Here's some of their news and feedback from the past few years.
Sue Zeidler's second YA novel, Flying Through Music, received a wonderful review from Kirkus Indie! Here's a little of what they had to say:
"A girl morphs to an alternate musical universe to save her friend in Zeidler’s (The Practice Room, 2009) mystery for young teens...The premise is original...young readers with an interest in music will relish the trivia and lessons embedded in this story. Zoey develops as a musician while grappling with typical teen issues—her relationship with her father, a crush on a cute older boy, self-awareness."
"I want you to know that I really appreciate your work. I think that you would be wonderful in academia; there are so many writing instructors who can’t teach." --Michael K., author of a sci-fi story collection
"What an eye. My editors at Macmillan didn't catch that calculation error. Now I can embarrass them!"--John C., textbook author and University of California, Santa Cruz professor
"These edits are perfect. Exactly what I wanted. Kudos to you!" --Eric R., author of a non-fiction book on Mars
"Oh (bleep), you're a godsend. They decided to take it after this round of edits. You're going in the credits." --Anthony E., author of a travel memoir
"I’m so glad I found you! Your editing of --- has been excellent. I’ve rewritten much of the middle section and will let you know the outcome of its sojourn with the agent." --Laura T., author of a series of detective novels
"Thanks so much. I agree with every one of your edits. I'm so glad I finally found someone who understands the vision here." -Jason B., author of four YA novels
"Thanks a million for the edits; this is just what I needed. The book is starting to shape up quite nicely after changing what you suggested." --Gabby I., author of a literary coming-of-age novel