Donald Weise

Donald Weise – Editor

Experienced, committed, award-winning editor who's patient and sensitive to the needs particular to you and your book.


I offer more than twenty years’ experience as a line and developmental editor as well as copy editor. Some of my clients have included Doubleday, Penguin, Bantam, Basic Books, Beacon, and dozens of individual clients. Further, my work has been singled out for distinction by the American Library Association,
Publishers Weekly, and Out magazine.

I've edited two New York Times bestselling novels and four national bestsellers (nonfiction). Among the esteemed authors that I’ve worked with are Gore Vidal, Edward Albee, Samuel R. Delany, E. Lynn Harris, and Edmund White. I’ve also edited many debut authors who were brand new to the editorial process, and so I’m sensitive to the needs and concerns of newcomers.

Editing at its best is a collaborative process between an editor and the author, the goal always being what makes for the best book. Happy to answer any questions that might help get us started.


“You are one hell of an editor! I have never, never seen such abundantly thoughtful, insightful, cogent, and truly supportive work. For the first time, I really feel I can make it because of your eye. Your work is brilliant.”

Roberta Degnore, author client

“Regarding your editorial comments, 'Wow!' I found them to be outstanding—you were supportive, honest, and perceptive in crafting your suggestions to my writing abilities. That you were able to point out holes in the plot and narrative while gently leading me toward 'blind spots' in my writing and creative awareness speaks to your experience as an editor and teacher. Thank you, thank you.”

Lars Larsen, author client

“As I drew closer to completing my book, I Googled dozens and dozens of editors, read dozens and dozens of profiles, and was insufficiently convinced dozens and dozens of times. This was too important. Then, after a year of looking, I found Don and my radar pinged. But nothing pinged louder than when I incorporated the edits and realized my novel had been elevated to the land of hopes and dreams—and the kicker was that Don’s such a great guy. Instincts are a funny thing. Thank God for my instincts!”

Carlos Aguila, author client

“Don exceeded expectations. The level of detail, thought, and advice he provided was beyond valuable. I was blown away. Specifically, I could tell he put a lot of thought into the structure, rhythm, and sense of my content and offered specific guidance on how to rectify.”

John Diefendorf, author client

“I am a first-time novelist and was nervous about working with an editor. Don helped walk me the through the process with patience and the guidance I needed. His edits were more than just comments and suggestions, they challenged me to rethink and improve my storyline. I would recommend his talents to any new writer and can see that the benefits of his detailed work could be appreciated by seasoned writers as well.”

Ina Shicoff, author client

African American Fiction LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime
Biographies & Memoirs History LGBTQ Non-Fiction Political Science & Current Affairs
English (US)
  • American Library Association Keynote Speaker
  • Publishers Weekly Industry Changemaker
  • Lambda Literary Award
  • Out 100 Award
  • BA English

Work experience


Jun, 2007 — Present

Since 2007, I've freelance edited and/or ghostwritten for numerous publishers and private individuals. Past clients include Doubleday, Penguin, Bantam, Beacon, Basic Books, Da Capo, and Seven Stories, among others. My two projects for Doubleday became New York Times bestselling novels.

Alyson Books

Nov, 2008 — Nov, 2010 (about 2 years)

I oversaw publication of 20 new titles a year, including memoir, sexuality, mystery, popular culture, history, and fiction. I was responsible for all manuscript evaluation, acquisition, and line editing, as well as writing all cover copy and sales, marketing, and publicity materials. I was honored by Publishers Weekly for work performed.


When a burned-out Hollywood sketch show writer named Nelson Kunker meets and falls for Roy Briggs, a part-time salmon fisherman/full-time archaeology student who's visiting from Alaska, hilarity, love, and debauchery ensue.Bob Smith has the distinction of bein... read more
When We Were Outlaws

Jeanne Cordova

Lambda Literary Award Winner - Lesbian Memoir 2011A sweeping memoir, a raw and intimate chronicle of a young activist torn between conflicting personal longings and political goals. When We Were Outlaws offers a rare view of the life of a radical lesbian durin... read more
In this insightful and inspirational memoir, Michael Ward returns to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when so little was known and so few who were diagnosed survived. He chronicles in candid detail his partner Mark's decline and eventual death. By looking... read more
They entered the world just five minutes apart, twins swimming out of the womb together, already arguing about who got to lead the way. They grew up together, best friends with rhyming names. They even went to the same college — where one of them had a nervous... read more
Mama Dearest

E. Lynn Harris

One of E. Lynn Harris's incomparable heroines, Yancey Harrington Braxton, is working her way back to Broadway and beyond. And this diva supreme always stirs up drama in and out of the spotlight.... New York City, you've been warned: Yancey Harrington Braxton i... read more
Basketball Jones

E. Lynn Harris

AJ Richardson is living the good life. Thanks to his longtime lover, NBA star Dray Jones, he has a gorgeous townhouse in New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles, and an MBA he’s never had to use. Built on a deep and abiding love, their hidden relationship ... read more

Charles Rice-Gonzalez

"A tremendous debut...full of heart and courage and a ferocious honesty."-Junot Diaz, author of The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan's piers, Chulito is a coming-of-age, c... read more
The Anthony Award winning first book in the John Ceepak/Jersey Shore mysteries."From page 1, this debut stands out as refreshingly different . Grabenstein brilliantly evokes the endearing seediness of a Jersey Shore town in summer but it's his development of t... read more
The book is about what it is really like to be a flight nurse. Kurtis Bell brings over twenty years of flight nursing to bare in this no holes barred account of life working on a medical helicopter. With the most common question asked of him, "What's the worst... read more
Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, syndicated columnist, and AIDS activist, breaks new ground by going beyond the hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation. Unlike all previous accounts on the topic, Beyond the D... read more
The Assistance of Vice

Roberta Degnore

The Assistance of Vice tells the story of a New York City woman living on the edge. It's 1983 and she's faced with a dilemma. Choosing from too many women should be easy, and so should making it in the downtown art scene as a talented photographer. But nothing... read more
Celebrating Leonard Bernstein's centenary with an intimate and detailed look at the public and private life of the Maestro written by his former assistant. Foreword by Broadway legend Harold Prince."An affectionate portrait of an eminent musician who was drive... read more
The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens is Jerry Torre’s touching and at times haunting memoir about his teenage days as caretaker of Grey Gardens, the now-celebrated mansion chronicled in the iconic documentary Grey Gardens and two feature-length films. The book is a... read more
Like his legendary Hogg, The Mad Man, and the million-seller Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany’s major new novel Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders—explicit, poetic, philosophical, and, yes, shocking—propels readers into a gay sexual culture unknown to most ur... read more

Donald has 79 reviews





Rae D.

Rae D.

Jun, 2024

Don offered both insight and compassion. He was meticulous in his editing, and made creative suggestions for how to frame the story. I would work with Don again on any future project.
David T.

David T.

May, 2024

For a writer at any stage of their career, Donald Weise, will prove an able support and guide. I have incorpoated almost all of his comments about my submission, My "reader's ear" (thank you, MIss Welty) cam already hear the improvements. I would recommend Mr. Weise to you with no reservations. Sinceerely, D.B. Tipmore
Mirko N.

Mirko N.

May, 2024

Don's advice was invaluable. His suggestions improved my manuscript immensely. He answered all my questions and helped in so many ways. I highly recommend him.
Brandon P.

Brandon P.

May, 2024

It's been a great collaboration working with Donald. He responds on time, is very polite and easy to work with. I recommend his editing services to anyone in need.
Elena P.

Elena P.

May, 2024

Don's gentle, but always to-the-point remarks were exactly what I needed to bring my book to the next level. He has a truthful approach to the characters, story plot, and dynamic of the story. Eternally grateful! Elena.

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