Elisa Faison

Elisa Faison – Editor

Author & editor with a PhD in literature & publishing industry experience. I have a thoughtful, collaborative, & enthusiastic style.



I am an author and freelance editor with academic training and publishing industry experience! I have a passion for working closely with fiction writers and I specialize in developmental/conceptual editing, line editing, and evaluating query letters and submissions.

In my academic and professional roles, I have edited a wide range of written works, from scholarly nonfiction to works of popular cultural criticism, from memoirs to short story collections. In the realm of fiction, I love working with literary and upmarket fiction, women's fiction, and speculative fiction. In the realm of nonfiction, I particularly like editing cultural critiques, reviews, and personal essays. I also evaluate scholarly writing such as academic books, dissertations, and journal articles.

Working at Algonquin Books offered me practical experience in the publishing industry. I had the opportunity to read and evaluate hundreds of pitch letters and manuscripts. I assisted acquiring editors in offering editorial feedback and line revisions to new authors. I also participated in editorial meetings, learning first-hand what editors are looking for when they consider acquiring new works. I understand what will sell and what trends are developing in both fiction and nonfiction.

As a fellow author with a debut novel forthcoming, I will offer you solidarity and compassion as you work to make your text the best it can be! I understand the frustrations that come along with querying agents and submitting manuscripts; I will be able to draw on my experience as I help you craft the best possible documents!

I'm friendly, thoughtful, and candid with my recommendations. When I work with authors, I set up a collaborative, open working relationship because I believe that the stronger the author/editor relationship, the better the finished product.


"Elisa approaches editorial evaluations with keen insight, precise attention, and energizing enthusiasm. Her advice is thoughtful, clear-eyed, and actionable. She also reads incredibly widely, positioning her well to understand what your book is and how it fits into the publishing landscape." -- Abby Muller, Editor at Abrams Books.

"I have sought out Elisa’s help for multiple writing projects over the last few years. I keep coming back because she has provided invaluable expertise when it comes to providing both clarification on big picture issues and close attention to detail. I trust her keen insights to help me sort through early drafts that haven’t yet found their voice, and I appreciate her reliability when it comes to more developed projects that require a quick turn around in order to bring them to completion. I strongly recommend Elisa for editorial work, no matter the project’s genre or stage of development."-- Sean DiLeonardi, Professor in English at the Georgia Institute of Technology, author of Improbable Realism: The Postwar American Novel and the Digital Aesthetic (forthcoming from Post-45).
Biographies & Memoirs Sex & Relationships
Contemporary Fiction Dystopian LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Post-Apocalyptic Women's Fiction
English (US)
  • Erika Lindemann Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition and Literature, Spring 2020
  • Doris Betts Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition, Spring 2021
  • PhD in English from UNC-Chapel Hill
  • BA in English from Sewanee: The University of the South

Work experience

Algonquin Books

Apr, 2021 — May, 2022 (about 1 year)

• Read fiction manuscripts and nonfiction proposals and produced evaluative reader’s reports
• Participated in weekly editorial meetings and circulated additional research about comparative titles and sales trends
• Drafted jacket copy and materials for front and back matter
• Integrated digital edits for first pass pages
• Attended seasonal book launches, sales conferences, and art conferences

The Carolina Quarterly

Mar, 2021 — Jun, 2022 (over 1 year)

• Requested and assigned ten to fifteen advanced reader copies for review seasonally, ensuring relevancy of content by following publishing news and trends
• Worked with authors to address editorial concerns and propose changes for purposes of clarity, grammar, and stylistic consistency
• Forged and maintained relationships with book reviewers and with marketing and publicity associates at small presses


Mar, 2020 — Present

I am the author of WELL-REHEARSED, a work of literary women's fiction with elements of suspense. I also write flash fiction, short stories, and book reviews. You can find my writing in Electric Literature, The Missouri Review, Orca, Lumiere Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Extrapolation, The Carolina Quarterly, The Women’s Review of Books, and more.


Jan, 2020 — Present

• Read fiction manuscripts and offer thorough, thoughtful notes for revision, paying special attention to plot development, character, narrative structure and pacing, and writing style
• Assess query letters and offer advice to aspiring authors about finding the right literary agent
• Edit cover letters and resumes

Note: I have offered full developmental edits for a wide variety of literary works, from realist fiction to war novels to works of queer science fiction. I love working with authors whose points of view expand my own! One of my authors is in the process of self-publishing. Another is currently querying agents and has received three full agent requests so far.

UNC Chapel Hill

Aug, 2013 — May, 2022 (over 8 years)

• Taught sixteen courses on writing and literature to college-aged students
• Reviewed student writing and offered timely, extensive feedback for each student in order to improve writerly logic, organization, clarity, correctness, tone, and consistency
• Maintained regular office hours and email availability for student support

Ethos Review

Jan, 2013 — Jan, 2015 (about 2 years)

• Solicited and edited eight to ten articles of cultural criticism per month for online journal
• Ensured consistency of format and style across pieces to be published



Jennifer Savran Kelly

Made with Reedsy

Hall, M. L.

Made with Reedsy
The Dent in the Universe

E.W. Doc Parris

To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that Einstein was right once again— information c... read more
Made with Reedsy
Where the Stars Hide

Patricia Gulzar

Puberty can be a scary time for the youth in Eradeem. Breasts are developing, hair is showing up in strange places, voices are deepening, and unsightly, gray vine-like markings called Abnormal manifest over the body. Yet for 14-year-old Mae, Abnormal hasn’t ha... read more
Clean Air

Blake, Sarah

Elisa has 29 reviews





Holly C.

Holly C.

Jun, 2024

Elisa is brilliant. I am undoubtedly a better writer because of her, and I feel like my story finally has the chance to reach its potential. There were problems with my manuscript that I could feel, but couldn’t see, and she provided the light I needed to clarify everything. I highly recommend her editing skills to anyone needing some remarkable insight!
Elizabeth G.

Elizabeth G.

May, 2024

I am very impressed with thr helpful and clear insight Elisa has provided. I will use her analysis as a guide to help me polish my manuscript. Thank you so much!
Chip M.

Chip M.

Apr, 2024

I had the pleasure of working with Elisa on developmental edits of my novel. Her insightful feedback and attention to detail were invaluable in refining my work. Elisa perfectly balanced constructive criticism and encouragement, inspiring confident revisions. Moreover, her clear and timely communication throughout the editing process made the collaboration seamless. I highly recommend her servi...
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Olivia E.

Olivia E.

Mar, 2024

Elisa was great to work with! This was my first time working with a Reedsy editor and I was very satisfied. She was fast, thorough, and confirmed a lot of the issues I had with my work and offered suggestions to fix them. I really appreciate her work and would definitely collaborate with her in the future!
Theresa R.

Theresa R.

Sep, 2023

Eliza’s recommendations encouraged me to dive deep into my characters and helped me shape and even better outcome than I can have ever expected. I loved how insightful she was throughout my manuscript. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to work with her.

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