red pen for hire

Maybe this is your first draft, or maybe you’re ready to send your words out into the world. Novels to nonfiction, whatever you’re writing—you need a second pair of eyes to catch what you’ve seen so often you can’t even see it anymore. I offer standard services and then some: spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, consistency, brevity, sentence structure, basic logic, and clarity.

Today, I’m one of several copy editors at Hippocampus Magazine.  Prior to that, in-house editor for Midnight Heat Books. I’ve worked for magazines including High Times, VIBE, Ski, Motorboating, and BUST for more than 20 years. I’ve written small business training manuals and user manuals for proprietary software, managed social media campaigns, created newsletter and website content, and been responsible for proofreading sales, marketing, and collateral documents. I recently finished collaborating with an indie film director on a television pilot. I produce quizzes, articles, and stories for print and online magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Penthouse, Playgirl, BUST, xoJane, and The Fix, and my essays and nonfiction can be found in a number of anthologies

My BA is in English Language Arts, and I hold an MFA in creative writing, with an emphasis on nonfiction. For several years, I was involved as a mentor and tutor working with inmates through the PEN Prison Writing Program. Today, I advise creative writing seminars specializing in memoir for one of the country’s top-rated MFA programs, as well as adult learning programs.

I’m familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press Stylebook, and The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage.


Do You Need a Line Editor or a Copy Editor?
In a nutshell, a general or line editor can help you tell a story, better. A copy editor makes sure your grammar and punctuation are correct.

Scenario A) You’ve worked hard on that first draft, and now you need a second pair of eyes.

line editor is concerned with the craft of writing, focusing at creative content at the sentence and paragraph levels. (S)he can make suggestions to improve the way a document sounds, correcting content-related issues like word choice, sentence structure, flow, style, and tone;  pointing out inconsistencies or redundancy in plot, motivation, pacing, dialogue, and characterization.

Scenario B) Okay, now you’ve been over a dozen times, edited it, and you’re ready to send your words and your hard work out into the world.

Copyediting is checking for flaws on a technical level and it requires an understanding of the rules of standard English usage. This is the final polish.
• Correcting errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting
• Confirming consistency spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization
• Performing a final fact-check, if necessary
• Checking for internal consistency and continuity in plot, setting, and character.

How Will This Work?

  1. Send me a brief summary of your goals, timeline, and status of your project—there’s a form below to make it easy. I’ll get back to you asap, answering any questions, and asking a few of my own.
  2. You’ll send your project to me in Microsoft Word, GoogleDocs, or Final Draft.
  3. After a quick review, I’ll give you an estimate of what I think we need to do, how long it will take, and what it should cost. I ask for a 50% deposit for new clients. Payments are made via PayPal.
  4. On our agreed due date, if not earlier, you will receive a memo with both general feedback and specific notes, and the edited manuscript.
  5. You can follow-up via email or phone with any questions or clarifications

How Will You Know What I’ve Changed?

I leave comments and suggestions in the margins and record all changes and corrections using Microsoft Word’s track changes feature, GoogleDocs editing suggestion feature, or Final Draft’s revision mode feature. You can spot the changes I’ve made and maintain complete control over any changes in the final product. Here’s a quick tutorial on using the track changes function.

unedited-document-791x1024 edited-document1-966x1024
original unedited  text edited & notated using tracking


How Much Will This Cost?

Line editing is $6.00/pg (8 pgs at $45/hr)
Copy editing is $3.50/pg (10 pgs at $35/hr)
Telephone and Skype sessions (45 minutes) are available at an hourly rate.

Please note: Rates are calculated with the assumption of the industry standard of 250 words/page, double-spaced, 12 pt Times or Times New Roman font.