Courtney Oppel

Courtney Oppel - Editor

Helena, MT, USA

Experienced editor specializing in biography, regional interest and history. Clients include Rowman and Littlefield and Pearson Education.

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I'm a Montana-based freelance acquisitions editor with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Company experienced in all stages of editing non-fiction books, from developmental editing to copy editing and proofreading. Over the past decade my focus has been on biographies of prominent men and women in American (including Native American) history (Mochi’s War; The Trials of Annie Oakley; The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives, and Spies with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency; Mrs. Earp: The Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers; The Cowboy President: The American West and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt), books on infamous Americans (Ma Barker, Bad Blood, Wicked Women, The World of Doc Holliday, Globe Pequot Press’s Speaking Ill of the Dead and Outlaw Tales series--who doesn't love a good book about a rotten character?) and regional interest titles (Smaller Stories of Greater Yellowstone, The Cowboy of the Pecos, The Lost Canyon of Gold, Globe Pequot Press’s It Happened In and state Curiosities series).

I offer considerable expertise in locating hard-to-find archival images for publication in American history titles. My passion is helping good writers become better writers, and shepherding them through the process of getting their manuscripts publication-ready. I consider my work successful when the writers I collaborate with have gained confidence in their abilities and greater knowledge of the publishing process.

Here is some feedback from authors I've worked with:

You were wonderful to work with . . . so professional and insightful! Had a great experience on the 2nd edition. (I've written 50 books so I've seen good, better, best . . . you are among the best.) And I'm pleased with how this book "looks" and "reads." A lion's share goes to your direction and feedback. You are really, really good: truly an editor! You bring out the best work I can do. As I reviewed the final proof, I need to call out a thank you. I so appreciated your help and guidance. (And your work on the visuals.) I'd work with you again in a second.
-Michael Rutter (author of Myths and Mysteries of the Old West)

On this, the actual pub date of my book, just wanted to say a direct and personal “Thank You” for your great help and support. I hope we’ll have an opportunity to work together again sometime.
- Ted Reinstein, Reporter, WCVB-TV (author of New England Notebook)

I appreciate all of your support. You are a great friend and editor, and long after our paths part, I hope you have a wonderful editing and writing career.
- James Crutchfield, Historian (author of Globe Pequot Press's It Happened In series)

Thank you SO much for all of your editing. You made a silk purse out of the sow's ear.
- Missy Wolfe (author of Insubordinate Spirit: A True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America 1610-1665)

Thank you, Courtney. I can tell you intuitively get it that we are bringing people’s lives back to life! Thank you for supporting me in this quest ... it means a lot to me. Many, many thanks!
- Tricia Wagner (author of It Happened on the Underground Railroad)
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
True Crime
Historical Fiction
Historical Mysteries

Work experience

Assistant Acquisitions Editor

September, 2011 – October, 2020 (about 9 years)

Working with authors on manuscript preparation for nonfiction titles for Globe Pequot Press (regional interest) and TwoDot Books (Western history) imprints; developmental editing; preparing materials for project editors; negotiating author contracts; proofreading galleys; writing cover copy; acquiring art and permissions for publication


January, 2010 – June, 2010 (5 months)

Researching and writing articles on various topics for online publication

Editor (contract)

Pearson Education
August, 2007 – August, 2010 (about 3 years)

Collaborating with textbook authors, developers and production staff to copyedit and proofread online nursing course tests, comparing them against electronic source documents for content accuracy, format consistency and bugs/errors

The Trials of Annie Oakley

Kazanjian, Howard, Enss, Chris

The Great Divide

Grace, Stephen, Havey, Jim

Mochi's War: The Tragedy of Sand Creek

Enss, Chris, Kazanjian, Howard

Broken Stained Redeemed

Warner Heidrick, Karen

Courtney has 6 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dell Allen
I appreciate the job Courtney did on my manuscript. She was thorough, timely and very good at what she does. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone needing an editor. Dell M. Allen

Dell Allen, June 2021

Courtney Oppel
Thank you, Dell--it was a pleasure to work with you. Best of luck with your book!

Reply from Courtney Oppel

David Faith
I hired Courtney to do a copy edit and proof read of my manuscript for a work of historical non-fiction. She did a superb job, from the basics of correcting typos and grammatical errors, to more substantive suggestions for re-wording difficult passages. Also, critically for a history work, she double-checked my facts and caught several instances where I was off on something. She was professio...
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David Faith, May 2021

Courtney Oppel
Thank you so much for your positive review, David! It was my pleasure to work with you, and I'd welcome the opportunity to do so again in a heartbeat.

Reply from Courtney Oppel

Eric Reid
Courtney has become part of our publishing team. I now say "its done after Courtney says it's done" Her attention to detail, professional comments, and commitment to excellence make her invaluable. As a Coach who works with coaches and influencers using a book as part of their platform building, I can only take a project so far. Having a virtual team was allows me to offer more and my client...
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Eric Reid, April 2021

Courtney Oppel
Thank you, Eric! (And, aw, shucks! *blushing*) Working with you continues to be a tremendous pleasure. Your dedication to your clients is refreshing after my years working for big publishers where ...
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Reply from Courtney Oppel

Eric Reid
AMAZING X 10 This is the second project I have worked on with Courtney and again she was amazing. Amazing in her communication Amazing in her details and feedback Amazing in her knowledge of the process and "rules of great writing" What I really enjoy is Courtney's ability to provide not only professional services and feedback but her eye towards the reader and makes suggestions that can ...
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Eric Reid, March 2021

Eric Reid
AMAZING! The notes and comments that were given during the copy/proof editing were helpful and showed her attention to detail and research. When you hire a copy/proof-editor, you want someone who brings a fresh set of eyes and addition to details. Courtney brought both and not just the punctuation policy level you would find on other cheaper sites. No Courtney researched facts, quotes, and p...
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Eric Reid, March 2021

Courtney Oppel
Thank you, Eric! Working with you has been an absolute pleasure, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to do so again.

Reply from Courtney Oppel

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