Ariel So

Ariel So - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Meticulous editor. Experience at Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, Red Hen Press. Poetry, literary fiction/nonfiction, adult/children's books.

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Hello there!

My passion lies in book publishing as a lifelong career. Currently, I freelance as a copy editor and proofreader at various places including the big-five publishing houses: Macmillan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux imprint), Simon & Schuster (Children’s Publishing), Elite Editing (Adult’s Division), and Reedsy.

I’m also a managing editorial assistant at the independent publisher Starry Forest Books, where I’ve contributed to a range of board books, picture books, chapter books, and more.

Through more than five years of experience in publishing, I’ve guided a total of thirty titles and counting. My most recent project was for US National Book Award–Winner writer Alice McDermott’s WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?: SOME THOUGHTS ON THE ART OF FICTION.

Previously, I worked at the largest literary nonprofit publisher in Southern California, Red Hen Press, where I proofread and copyedited nine manuscripts in literary fiction and poetry. I've contributed to Lara Ehrlich's short story collection, ANIMAL WIFE (Winner of the Red Hen Fiction Award, selected by New York Times bestselling author Ann Hood), as well as Cécile Barlier’s A GYPSY’S BOOK OF REVELATION (Winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction).

Through my familiarity with The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, I am confident in my book editing skills, with a close attention to detail when preparing books for production. From my roles of examining proofs for error-free manuscripts, I am committed to tapping into the potential of authors and delivering bestselling, critically acclaimed books.

I graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing Emphasis from Scripps College. As a literature enthusiast, particularly through an expertise in literary books, I am dedicated to working with emerging and well-established authors to meet their individual needs. With my enthusiasm as a grammar perfectionist, I hope to offer my passion for the written word. I am adept at handing over edited manuscripts within a monthly project schedule or as needed.

Looking forward to working with you!

English (US)
Coming of Age
Literary Fiction
Short Story
Children’s Non-Fiction
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Writing & Publishing


  • English with a Creative Writing Emphasis, Scripps College, Bachelor of Arts
  • MFA Candidate in Writing, Columbia University

Work experience

Book Copy Editor/Proofreader

September, 2020 – Present (almost 2 years)

• Freelancer at Macmillan's Farrar, Straus and Giroux imprint; Simon and Schuster's Children's Publishing; Elite Editing; Starry Forest Books; Reedsy
• Specialty in proofreading and copyediting for manuscripts and other book preparation projects for clients
• Examining proofs to ensure error-free editorial changes, tracking all revisions
• Sending comprehensive editing mark-up notes within tight deadlines (Track Changes in Word or annotations in Adobe Reader for PDFs)
• Worked on 30+ titles, ranging from editorial assessment, developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, query letter review, and indexing

Poetry Reader

The Adroit Journal
December, 2020 – Present (over 1 year)

• Evaluating 1,000+ submissions for online literary magazine featuring world-renowned poets, including Terrance Hayes, Ocean Vuong, Franny Choi, D.A. Powell, Danez Smith, and more
• Providing weekly qualitative comments and voting on poetry pieces to accept for publication

Editorial Intern

Red Hen Press
January, 2020 – May, 2020 (4 months)

• Copyedited and proofread 8+ manuscripts according to The Chicago Manual of Style
• Drafted author queries for edits in literary fiction and poetry
• Conducted fact-checking and research for projects, tracking editorial revisions and progress
• Worked closely with the Editorial Assistant and Production Associate


The Student Life
May, 2018 – December, 2018 (7 months)

• Edited 25-30+ stories weekly for news, life and style, opinions, and sports
• Led a 120-person staff and oversaw all final production aspects including article development, content/copy editing, headlines, visuals, video, podcast, website, and social media
• Previous Managing Editor, Life and Style Editor, Copy Associate, and Staff Writer (Sept ’16 - May ’18)


Scripps College Journal
September, 2017 – May, 2020 (over 2 years)

• Evaluated 230+ submissions for the yearly 60+ page magazine, communicating with authors to revise work for developmental and copy edits for print/online publication
• Kick-started the annual Writing and Art Contest (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and multimedia)
• Directed a team of 32+ staff members, hosted workshops, and coordinated with faculty departments
• Previous Poetry Editor (Jan ’17 - Sept ’17)


Coffee Stained Press
June, 2016 – April, 2017 (10 months)

• Read and assessed 175+ creative writing submissions from local artists for editing
• Compiled pieces for anthology book publishing

Portfolio (22 selected works)

Animal Wife

Ehrlich, Lara

The FSG Poetry Anthology

Galassi, Jonathan, Creswell, Robyn


Rivkin, Joshua

Wave If You Can See Me

Ludvigson, Susan

The Likely World

Conroy-Goldman, Melanie

Open the Dark

Tozier, Marie

Abracadabra, Sunshine

Booth, Dexter L.

The Playwright's House

Suarez, Dariel

So This Is Ever After

F.T. Lukens, Simon & Schuster Audio

The Witch Haven

Smith, Sasha Peyton

Katarina Ballerina & the Victory Dance (2)

Peck, Tiler, Harris, Kyle, Luna, Sara

10 Ideas to Overcome Racism

Fornasari, Eleonora, Corradin, Clarissa

Goddesses and Gardens (Greek Myths)

Tripp, Valerie, Martinez, Teresa

Zeus (Little Library of Greek Myths)

Corvaglia, Sonia Elisabetta, Láng, Anna

Ariel has 14 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Amanda Lauren
Ariel's suggestions really help the writer dig deep into their work and evaluate where they can push their poems/writing to be better. She prompts you to think more fully about your work and what you are saying with your work.

Amanda Lauren, April 2022

Kevin Becker
Ariel was a pleasure to work with on copy editing and proof reading my novel. She was very professional and accommodative, and fulfilled everything I was looking for. I appreciated her feedback and found that her edits consistently made my story better.

Kevin Becker, March 2022

jacqueline miller
Working with Ariel was a weight off my shoulders. She was extremely professional, punctual, and very easy to work with. I could tell that she took the time to truly engage in my writing as an excited reader would. Her edits were to the point, clear and thought provoking. I wasn't afraid to ask my millions of newbie questions to Ariel who never came short in guiding me in the right direction.

jacqueline miller, September 2021

J Limbu
I've found my editor. Ariel was the right person to entrust my second poetry book of 240 pages; not only elevating or garnishing to fit the standards of the world but in the way, it was supposed to be. And she nailed it. Her extensive knowledge of words and the level of dedication she puts into her work simply amazed me. Especially, her attention to intricate details and her method of working ...
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J Limbu, August 2021

Alexis Beale
Ariel was incredible to work with! She did not hesitate to answer my many questions I had throughout the process. Ariel was extremely professional and provided thoughtful feedback on my manuscript. I can tell she took the time to carefully examine my manuscript and noted areas where I could strengthen or tighten up my work. I plan to reach out to Ariel for any future projects! I wish I could ra...
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Alexis Beale, July 2021

Ariel So
Thank you so much for your kind words, Alexis! It was a joy collaborating with you and working on your manuscript. So glad that my feedback and comments have been helpful in your publishing journey...
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Reply from Ariel So

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