Elizabeth DeNoma

Elizabeth DeNoma – Editor

Expert developmental editor/publishing consultant with over 15 years' experience in narrative non-fiction, fiction, and proposal writing.


Former senior editor at one of the "Big 6" specializing in developmental editing of narrative nonfiction and literary fiction. Some of my titles include: The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, An American Princess by Annejet van der Zijl, The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury by Marc Levy, GO by Kazuki Kaneishiro and A Drop of Midnight by Jason Diakité. All these books have been best-sellers in one form or another (Amazon, Wall Street Journal, Audible, and so forth) and several have won prizes.

Development Editing:

Initial evaluation - Books need different attention at each stages of development, tailored by genre and your intended audience. Before undertaking any project, I read your manuscript sample and assess and what working in greater depth would entail in terms of time and compensation.

My feedback at all levels is sensitive, candid, clear, and implementable.

Developmental editing is much deeper than a high-level editorial assessment. At this stage, I’ll help you ensure that your work, whether fiction or nonfiction, reads smoothly in terms of content and structure. I'll make detailed notes throughout your manuscript, as well as providing a detailed summary covering the entire book. We'll have a phone call at the end of the process, if you'd like one, when you've had a chance to review all the suggestions.
Examples of suggestions might include reworking for organization, adding or removing material for flow or clarification - streamlining the narrative arc in a number of different ways

For fiction, a developmental edit takes into account the content and structure of the book - things like the narrative arc, potential plot holes, anything that hinders the reader’s understanding of the narrative (as appropriate, of course, sometimes opacity is intended!).

For nonfiction, the subject of the book and the way the topics are laid out, as well as deep knowledge of the target audience (academic, general, or popular) is of primary importance. In some cases, fact-checking is also involved in a nonfiction developmental edit.

Proposal writing - For those looking to secure literary representation, it's important to know how and who to approach - and to have the materials you need in tip-top shape. Whether you simply need another pair of eyes, or you want to hand over the writing of the proposal, I can help you craft a compelling proposal to improve your chances of getting an agent.

As much as I would love to work on smaller pieces, my current schedule doesn't allow me to take on the management of manuscripts under 40k words or to provide customized work samples, though I'm happy to provide examples of earlier work. Thanks for your understanding!
Biographies & Memoirs Humanities & Social Sciences
Historical Fiction LGBTQ Fiction Literary Fiction Women's Fiction
English (US)
  • Fulbright Scholar, SWEA Literary Scholar

Work experience


Mar, 2012 — Mar, 2020 (about 8 years)

Acquired and edited international works of fiction and nonfiction.

Elizabeth has 34 reviews





Christine K.

Christine K.

May, 2023

Elizabeth was such a pleasure to work with. Her critique, especially about the manuscript's overall structure, has helped me dig deeper into the project than I thought possible. Her feedback was clear, concise, and kind, and she finished editing my work ahead of schedule. I highly recommend Elizabeth for editorial development.
Elizabeth D.
Thanks, Christine! Your feedback means a lot to me. I'm eager to see how the book develops; it's so strong already! Don't hesitate to send your query letter back through to me if you feel like it i...
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Rudy G.

Rudy G.

Apr, 2023

Elizabeth was very thorough and open to discussion. I found her criticisms honest and very helpful. I'd recommend her without reservation.
Yusef B.

Yusef B.

Mar, 2023

I could not have had a better experience with a developmental editor than I have had with Elizabeth. I have given her five stars in each category because she met or exceeded my expectations and requirements in all ways. She is super bright and sharp, thorough, thoughtful, punctual, optimistic and a powerful influence on improving my work. When I've done as she has suggested, I absolutely will...
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Al E.

Al E.

Mar, 2023

She exceeded my expectations, did a thorough and detailed review of my work.
Elizabeth D.
Thank you, Al. It was a real pleasure to work with you!
h H.

h H.

Feb, 2023

Elizabeth DeNoma answered my most important concern by providing clarity and direction for my manuscript. she also suggested alternate wording for sentences that were not clear. Overall,her suggestions provided valuable tools for me to use in rewriting the manuscript.