Alja Kooistra

Alja Kooistra – Editor

Academic copy editor, proofreader, editorial project manager with 20+ years experience in the social sciences, humanities, and health


As a freelance copy editor, proofreader, and editorial project manager, I specialize in academic books and articles in the humanities and social sciences and literary nonfiction. After earning a master's in publishing and interning at Routledge, I learned the proverbial ropes at university presses and then served as a senior editor for many years at a highly reputable academic reference publisher. I left the corporate publishing world and now enjoy successfully collaborating with authors and publishers in a freelance capacity, focusing on communication and quality.

Competencies include applying Chicago Manual of Style, APA, AMA, or MLA style guidelines; ensuring accurate references and documentation; editing figures and tables; fact-checking and researching to avoid pesky factual errors; and suggesting editorial changes and querying authors to ensure their voice and intent are both clear and respected. I can work in many disciplines, including literature, education, theory, social sciences, and general health and currently also edit materials for a public health nonprofit. If you seek a kind, thorough, and detail-oriented professional to help you publish the best possible work, please contact me! I'm happy to provide samples and references.
Education & Reference Health & Wellbeing Humanities & Social Sciences
English (US)
  • MS in Publishing

Work experience


Jan, 2018 — Present

Copyediting and proofreading for various academic books and journals. Clients include the University Michigan, the University of Washington Press, and a public health nonprofit based in Washington, DC.

Macmillan/Scribners Reference, Cengage Learning

Aug, 2000 — Apr, 2019 (over 18 years)

Senior editor for large reference works in the humanities and social sciences. Successfully collaborated with academic authors and editorial boards, as well as copy editors, proofreaders, indexers, and other in-house staff, to produce high-quality, comprehensive, and reliable information for instructors and students as well as general readers.

Cornell University Press

Aug, 1999 — Jul, 2000 (11 months)

Manuscript and project editor for various titles in the arts and humanities.


An interdisciplinary journal which includes fiction, poetry, essays, interviews of people of distinction, and annual special issues which focus on a single theme.
Gender: Sources, Perspectives, and Methodologies serves as a primer to the study of gender, including womens, queer, and mens studies. By employing literature, film, art, history, and other disciplines, the approximately 32 chapters identify areas of critical ... read more
In a life full of chaos and travel, Elizabeth Bishop managed to preserve and even partially catalog, a large collection—more than 3,500 pages of drafts of poems and prose, notebooks, memorabilia, artwork, hundreds of letters to major poets and writers, and tho... read more
Women of Trachis

Kitzinger, Rachel

This A-Z, cross-referenced and illustrated title provides a unique overview of the critical period that spans the early national era through the Civil War, and which witnessed the birth of a truly American literature. The set features more than 250 survey entr... read more
Gender: Love takes up the question of where and how love is. The chapters collected in this volume track a variety of locations in which feminist and queer scholars have located, as well as critically interrogate, the multiple meanings of love. The volumeâ??s ... read more
With its initial publication in 1978, Bioethics became the first reference to focus solely on a then burgeoning field, in effect helping to define the discipline. Both the first and second (1995) editions won the Dartmouth Medal, and the set remains the standa... read more

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