Hello and welcome!
I'm a freelance editor specializing in horror, thriller, speculative, and fantasy novels, both upmarket and commercial. As a first-generation American and lifelong folklore enthusiast, I'm especially suited to multicultural novels and working with authors whose mother tongue isn't English.
**Please be aware that my work hours are Eastern Standard Time (EST), and I am a part-time freelancer with a limited schedule best reached evenings and weekends.**
My teaching experience honed my proofreading skills, my poetry background gave me a keen copy editing eye, and my creative writing classes taught me the craft of developing narrative arcs. I believe in the power of stories to change the world, and believe that power must be wielded responsibly: from thorough research and authenticity reads to inclusive language and complex characters. I also believe in the magic and power of awe and wonder as hugely important and necessary functions of art, especially for those whose lives do not have nearly enough of that magic and power due to struggle, trauma, oppression, etc. Nothing perhaps sums up my philosophy better than the core belief that it is the duty of art to "comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."
I currently work in copyrights at Penguin Random House, where I've learned about the commerce of intellectual property and how to assess and negotiate permissions for use of previously published material. I also have over seven years of experience tutoring in English Language Arts (ELA) and English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL). My love of language learning, cultural exchange, and literary activism brought me to serve on the Associate Board of Literacy Partners and volunteer with PEN America. In my former internship at Tor Books, I put what I learned in my Irish Lit course to use working with Alex Bledsoe's Tufa novels, and as an intern at what is now the Dystel, Goderich & Bourret literary agency, I requested and vetted manuscripts for agents. I served for a stint as flash fiction editor of Silver Pen’s Liquid Imagination, and poetry editor of the Christian horror magazine, The Midnight Diner, and in a former professional life, I co-taught 6th-grade English, working with over 50 students from 7 countries in my career. Among my favorite units to teach were The Hero's Journey with Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief; historical fiction with Margi Preus's The Heart of a Samurai; comparative, multimedia folklore with various versions of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" and the Japanese "Yuki-onna" tale; and Gothic literature with William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and William Carlos Williams's "The Use of Force."
I'm an alumna of the Columbia Publishing Course, a six-week intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. I've also taken a proofreading and copy editing course from NYU; an editorial masterclass by Fiona McCrae, Director and Publisher of Graywolf Press; and a webinar entitled "Finding Your Characters' and Your Voice" from National Book Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward. I earned my B.A. in creative writing and business administration from Iowa's Coe College. There, I served as a fiction and communications editor for the literary magazine, The Coe Review, and practiced literary fiction, poetry, and folklore under a slate of professors who all studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
I start every project with a thorough conversation to clarify your needs--I like to communicate with all parties (author, agent, editor, etc.) to sharpen the vision of the project. I then will provide a quote, and if all is amenable and I take the project on, I begin with a once-through with my reader hat on, noting first impressions.
- For an editorial assessment, this is the only step--I will then provide you with an editorial letter of overall commentary and feedback.
- For a developmental edit, once I've completed my initial read, I then take a short research period to explore similar works and literary archetypes/genres you're working in, to help better inform and contextualize my commentary. I then go into a second read, commenting directly in the manuscript as I go, and once that is complete, I will send you the edit with an editorial letter.
- For copy edits and proofreads, I skip the research step and move straight into a second read, adding in-line commentary and Track Changes. On a copy edit, I will include an editorial letter and style sheet free of additional charge, and on a proofread, I will provide a style sheet for an additional fee.
No matter the project, I close with a debrief to answer any questions or comments the author may have after receiving the feedback. I do provide package rates, but don't recommend this unless you're far enough along in the project that you're confident in the number and type of passes you'll need.
Looking forward to working with you!
Current pleasure reading:
- Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019, edited by Carmen Maria Machado and John Joseph Adams
- China Dream by Ma Jian, translated from the original Chinese by Flora Drew
- Horror: A Literary History edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes
- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (speculative memoir, best use of authorial craft)
- The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling by Charles Johnson (best chapter on revisions, best intensive writing practices)
Some fantastic articles on diversity, inclusion, and professional responsibility/duty of care:
- PEN America's "Equity in Publishing: What Should Editors Be Doing"
- Mira Jacob's "I Gave a Speech about Race to the Publishing Industry and No One Heard Me" (BuzzFeed)
- Lee & Low's "Where Is the Diversity in Publishing? The 2019 Diversity Baseline Survey Results"
- The Bookseller's "Survey Reveals Extent to Which Working Class Feel Excluded from the Book Trade"
- Lorraine Berry's "How the Literary Class System Is Impoverishing Literature: On the Systemic Economic Barriers to Being a Writer" (LitHub)
Cultural & Ethnic
Middle Grade Fantasy