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Aja Pollock

Aja Pollock - Editor

Austin, TX

Making sure your prose sings, your facts and story are straight, and your unique voice shines through.

Overview

Reviews (4)

My mission is to enable writers to connect with readers through clear and vibrant prose. I approach every project with sensitivity and respect for the author's voice and vision. For me, the goal of every edit, no matter how big or small, is to build a stronger bridge between writer and reader.

I've spent over a decade as a freelance editor for Simon & Schuster (where I began my trade publishing career as an in-house production editor), Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Macmillan as well as smaller houses and self-publishing authors. My reputation as a sensitive, careful, and thoughtful editor has brought me manuscripts from just about every genre by an incredibly diverse array of authors, from first-time novelists to beloved, long-established writers, from twentysomething bloggers to globe-trotting journalists with decades of experience, and even a former president, for good measure.

And now a few words from authors who were kind enough to thank me in their books:

[Thank you to] everyone at Scribner—especially copy editor Aja Pollock, who knew the correct spelling of “Yog-Sothoth.”
--Patton Oswalt, author of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

Copy editor Aja Pollock's eagle eye took the book to a higher level.
--Bill Parcells and Nunyo Demasio, authors of Parcells: A Football Life

Aja Pollock is not only a brilliant copy editor but saved me countless times from undoubtedly incurring the wrath of horror fans everywhere with careless mistakes.
--Adam Rockoff, author of The Horror of It All

Special thanks to my amazing copyeditor, Aja Pollock. Outstanding work! Thanks for putting the polish on the shine.
--Eric Jerome Dickey, author of Naughtier Than Nice

My copy editor, Aja Pollock, saved me from countless errors.
--H. D. S. Greenway, author of Foreign Correspondent

Special thanks to Aja Pollock for all the ways you bettered the manuscript.
--Lauren Weisberger, author of Revenge Wears Prada

And [thanks] especially to Aja Pollock, my copy editor, an unsung hero, who was meticulous and supersmart.
--Rachel Greenwald, author of Have Him at Hello


Services
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Crime & Mystery Fantasy Historical Fiction Humor & Comedy Literature Science Fiction Short Story Thriller Women's Fiction
Non-Fiction
Arts & Architecture & Photography Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment History Music Travel

Certifications

  • NYU Summer Publishing Institute
  • BA in Medieval Culture from Brown University

Work experience

Freelance editor

on my porch, at a coffee shop, in far-flung places . . .

April, 2004 – Present (over 12 years)

Freelance copy editor, line editor, and development editor for publishers large and small, as well as self-published authors.

Senior Production Editor

Simon & Schuster

March, 2004 – March, 2006 (about 2 years)

Freelance production editorial work for book and magazine publishers, including HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin; copyediting, line editing, and structural editing for self-published authors; freelance writing and editing for businesses and creatives.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

Born to Run

Bruce Springsteen

[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif] “Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the... read more

[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif] “Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the... read more

41: A Portrait of My Father

George W. Bush

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President. Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and inti... read more

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has authored a personal biography of his father, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President. Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and inti... read more

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

Neil Gaiman

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...

Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy

Ken Follett

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper f... read more

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper f... read more

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Ben Fountain

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award!From the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, comes Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ("The Catch-22 of the Iraq War" —Karl Marlantes).A razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq, it explore... read more

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award!From the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, comes Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ("The Catch-22 of the Iraq War" —Karl Marlantes).A razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq, it explore... read more

The Melody Lingers On

Mary Higgins Clark

From #1 New York Times bestselling “Queen of Suspense” comes a thrilling novel about missing billions, a disgraced financier, and those determined to learn the truth at any cost…As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to five-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tri-state area. A born optimist, Lane finds the glimpse into t... read more

From #1 New York Times bestselling “Queen of Suspense” comes a thrilling novel about missing billions, a disgraced financier, and those determined to learn the truth at any cost…As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to five-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tri-state area. A born optimist, Lane finds the glimpse into t... read more

The Japanese Lover: A Novel

Isabel Allende

From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their o... read more

From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their o... read more

Yes Please

Amy Poehler

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recrea... read more

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recrea... read more

Girl in a Band: A Memoir

Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith's Just Kids.Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Ban... read more

Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story—a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith's Just Kids.Often described as aloof, Kim Gordon opens up as never before in Girl in a Ban... read more

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film

Patton Oswalt

New York Times bestselling author, comedian, and actor Patton Oswalt shares his entertaining memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late ’90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film. After moving to L.A.... read more

New York Times bestselling author, comedian, and actor Patton Oswalt shares his entertaining memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late ’90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film. After moving to L.A.... read more

Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings

Ron Burgundy

The autobiography every true American has been waiting for: a shockingly candid and raw confessional from a national treasure.From his humble beginnings in a desolate Iowa coal mining town, his years at Our Lady Queen of Chewbacca High School to his odds-defying climb to the dizzying heights of becoming America’s most trusted and beloved television News Anchor, Ron Burgundy pulls no punches in... read more

The autobiography every true American has been waiting for: a shockingly candid and raw confessional from a national treasure.From his humble beginnings in a desolate Iowa coal mining town, his years at Our Lady Queen of Chewbacca High School to his odds-defying climb to the dizzying heights of becoming America’s most trusted and beloved television News Anchor, Ron Burgundy pulls no punches in... read more

Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir

H.D.S. Greenway

David Greenway, a journalist’s journalist in the tradition of Michael Herr, David Halberstam, and Dexter Filkins. In this vivid memoir, he tells us what it’s like to report a war up close.Reporter David Greenway was at the White House the day Kennedy was assassinated. He was in the jungles of Vietnam in that war’s most dangerous days, and left Saigon by helicopter from the American embassy as ... read more

David Greenway, a journalist’s journalist in the tradition of Michael Herr, David Halberstam, and Dexter Filkins. In this vivid memoir, he tells us what it’s like to report a war up close.Reporter David Greenway was at the White House the day Kennedy was assassinated. He was in the jungles of Vietnam in that war’s most dangerous days, and left Saigon by helicopter from the American embassy as ... read more

Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir

Cyndi Lauper

Legendary and iconic singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper offers a poignant account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar—from her years growing up in Queens, New York, to the making of enduring hits like “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “True Colors,” to becoming an actress, a mother, an outspoken activist, and maintaining a music career that has last... read more

Legendary and iconic singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper offers a poignant account of the journey that led her to become an international superstar—from her years growing up in Queens, New York, to the making of enduring hits like “Time After Time,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “True Colors,” to becoming an actress, a mother, an outspoken activist, and maintaining a music career that has last... read more

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Sylvie Simmons

Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years—and one of the most elusive. In I’m Your Man, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock ’n’ roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen.I’m Your Man is an intimate and insightful appreciation ... read more

Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years—and one of the most elusive. In I’m Your Man, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock ’n’ roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen.I’m Your Man is an intimate and insightful appreciation ... read more

A Burnable Book: A Novel

Bruce Holsinger

In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, royal intrigue, mystery, and dangerous politics swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings. Bruce Holsinger's A Burnable Book is an irresistible historical thriller reminiscent of the classics An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Name of the Rose, and The Crimson Petal and the White.London, 1385. Surrounded b... read more

In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, royal intrigue, mystery, and dangerous politics swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings. Bruce Holsinger's A Burnable Book is an irresistible historical thriller reminiscent of the classics An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Name of the Rose, and The Crimson Petal and the White.London, 1385. Surrounded b... read more

The Red: First Light (The Red Trilogy)

Linda Nagata

Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad membe... read more

Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad membe... read more

Wool

Hugh Howey

For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly uphel... read more

For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly uphel... read more

The First Bad Man: A Novel

Miranda July

From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny—so Miranda July—that readers will be blown away.Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who some... read more

From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny—so Miranda July—that readers will be blown away.Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who some... read more

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography

Richard Hell

From an early age, Richard Hell dreamed of running away. He arrived penniless in New York City at seventeen; ten years later he was a pivotal voice of the age of punk, cofounding such seminal bands as Television, The Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids—whose song "Blank Generation" remains the defining anthem of the era, an era that would forever alter popular culture in all its f... read more

From an early age, Richard Hell dreamed of running away. He arrived penniless in New York City at seventeen; ten years later he was a pivotal voice of the age of punk, cofounding such seminal bands as Television, The Heartbreakers, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids—whose song "Blank Generation" remains the defining anthem of the era, an era that would forever alter popular culture in all its f... read more

Glow: The Autobiography of Rick James

Rick James

Best known for his song “Super Freak,” hitmaker, singer, innovator, producer, award-winning pioneer in the fusion of funk groove and rock, the late Rick James collaborated with music biographer David Ritz in this posthumously published, wildly entertaining, and profound expression of a rock star’s life and soul.He was the nephew of Temptations singer Melvin Franklin; a boy who watched and list... read more

Best known for his song “Super Freak,” hitmaker, singer, innovator, producer, award-winning pioneer in the fusion of funk groove and rock, the late Rick James collaborated with music biographer David Ritz in this posthumously published, wildly entertaining, and profound expression of a rock star’s life and soul.He was the nephew of Temptations singer Melvin Franklin; a boy who watched and list... read more

Sometimes the Wolf: A Novel

Urban Waite

Set in the Pacific Northwest, a spellbinding story of family, violence, and unintended consequences that showcases the searing prose, soulful characters, and vivid sense of place of an acclaimed writer in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, and Elmore Leonard.Sheriff Patrick Drake tried to lead an upstanding life and maintain some financial stability until his wife passed away. He... read more

Set in the Pacific Northwest, a spellbinding story of family, violence, and unintended consequences that showcases the searing prose, soulful characters, and vivid sense of place of an acclaimed writer in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, and Elmore Leonard.Sheriff Patrick Drake tried to lead an upstanding life and maintain some financial stability until his wife passed away. He... read more

The Siege Winter: A Novel

Ariana Franklin, Samantha Norman

A powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman, The Siege Winter is a tour de force mystery and murder, adventure and intrigue, a battle for a crown, told by two courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in twelfth century England’s devastating civil war.1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie ... read more

A powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman, The Siege Winter is a tour de force mystery and murder, adventure and intrigue, a battle for a crown, told by two courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in twelfth century England’s devastating civil war.1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie ... read more

All Fall Down: A Novel

Jennifer Weiner

From a #1 New York Times bestselling author comes her “best book yet” (Philadelphia Inquirer), a “compulsively readable” novel that shows “there’s no doubt Weiner knows how to deliver a certain kind of story, and well” (The New York Times Book Review).Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waitin... read more

From a #1 New York Times bestselling author comes her “best book yet” (Philadelphia Inquirer), a “compulsively readable” novel that shows “there’s no doubt Weiner knows how to deliver a certain kind of story, and well” (The New York Times Book Review).Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waitin... read more

Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives

Hoda Kotb

In Ten Years Later, New York Times bestselling author and beloved coanchor of the Today show’s fourth hour Hoda Kotb examines game-changing moments experienced by six different people—then revisits those people a decade later. From a mother of two who struggles with an abusive relationship, to a civilian hero of 9/11 who suffers tremendous personal loss in the wake of the terrorist attacks: th... read more

In Ten Years Later, New York Times bestselling author and beloved coanchor of the Today show’s fourth hour Hoda Kotb examines game-changing moments experienced by six different people—then revisits those people a decade later. From a mother of two who struggles with an abusive relationship, to a civilian hero of 9/11 who suffers tremendous personal loss in the wake of the terrorist attacks: th... read more

Parcells: A Football Life

Bill Parcells, Nunyo Demasio

Bill Parcells may be the most iconic football coach of our time. During his decades-long tenure as an NFL coach, he turned failing franchises into contenders. He led the ailing New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories, turned the New England Patriots into an NFL powerhouse, reinvigorated the New York Jets, brought the Dallas Cowboys back to life, and was most recently enshrined in the Pro F... read more

Bill Parcells may be the most iconic football coach of our time. During his decades-long tenure as an NFL coach, he turned failing franchises into contenders. He led the ailing New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories, turned the New England Patriots into an NFL powerhouse, reinvigorated the New York Jets, brought the Dallas Cowboys back to life, and was most recently enshrined in the Pro F... read more

Aja has 4 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Kenneth Britz

Excellent work and thoroughly detailed, pointing out continuity errors that not I had not noticed after five revisions! Would use and recommend Aja and her skills to others.

Kenneth Britz, November 2016


Philip Carlisle

Sweet and simple. Everything went off like clockwork and I got my section back with intelligent and clear edits.

Philip Carlisle, October 2016


Natalie Barelli

I'm very fortunate that I got to work with Aja on my novel. Her edits were incredibly thorough and improved the novel beyond my expectations. And she was lovely to work with! I can't wait to do it again.

Natalie Barelli, October 2016


Jaxon Shiner

Wow! What can I say about my collaboration with Aja Pollock? How about: She walked an emotionally immature debut writer through the the chaos and insecurity of his first novel. She suggested changes that molded rough edges of ideas and plot sequences into a smooth flowing narrative. Her uncanny attention to detail was absolutely revelatory to me. She helped a self proclaimed writer become an a...

Jaxon Shiner, October 2016

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