Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin – Editor

CAREER COPY EDITOR/PROOFREADER, 20+ YEARS’ EXPERIENCE. Fiction, nonfiction, screenplays. Worked for Kirkus/CreateSpace, Scholastic + more.


SUMMARY: I am a career copy editor and proofreader of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays with 24 years of experience. I have worked for Kirkus/CreateSpace self-publishing and Scholastic. I clean up copy! I have also taught copyediting and college English.

EDUCATION: I love stories! I have a bachelor's degree from New York University in dramatic writing (plays and screenplays) and a master's degree in creative writing (fiction and nonfiction) from Emerson College. I have been studying story in school and out for over 20 years.

EXPERIENCE: After teaching college English, I became a freelance copy editor for magazines in 1998. I have worked in both print and online, in journalism and books, since then. I worked as a copy editor at Martha Stewart Omnimedia for four years, as a copy editor and copy chief at Slate magazine for eight years, and at numerous other publications as a freelancer. I copyedited, proofread, and line-edited hundreds of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplay manuscripts for Kirkus/CreateSpace, Super Copy Editors, and Scholastic.

1. I can PROOFREAD your manuscript if you just want a final cleanup for submission.
2. I can COPYEDIT or line edit your manuscript for a deeper/first cleanup.
3. I can give you an EDITORIAL ASSESSMENT/critique if you'd like to do a deeper rewrite.

I've worked on hundreds of manuscripts and can help get yours into the shape you want.

I like to underpromise and overdeliver. I always meet or beat my deadlines!
Biographies & Memoirs Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Plays & Screenplays Romance Young Adult
English (US)

Work experience

Super Copy Editors

Aug, 2015 — Apr, 2018 (over 2 years)

Copyedited and critiqued books, screenplays, and teleplays, as well as brochures and other marketing materials for copyediting company.


Sep, 2014 — Mar, 2018 (over 3 years)

Copyedited, line-edited, and critiqued hundreds of fiction and nonfiction books, screenplays, plays, and teleplays including a full critique and grammar report to the author.


Mar, 2005 — Jul, 2013 (over 8 years)

Managed desk of 6 copy editors, created daily schedules, set style policy/revamped style guide, hired/trained 5 new copy editors, underwent extensive social media training, shepherded a lot of copy through editorial, art, production, publication; wrote daily 6-week food blog, Clean Plate, garnering more than 1 million page views (voted Best Opinion piece by The Week; administered Poems department; wrote pieces and contributed to DoubleX (women’s) and Brow Beat (culture) blogs; managed Magnum Photos partnership.


Aug, 2004 — Present

Clients include Agora Publishing (newsletters); American Express Publishing; American Homestyle and Gardening; Aperture magazine/Aperture Foundation; Bob Vila; Bonner and Partners; ARPA Journal; Avery Review; Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (books); Condé Nast; CreateSpace (books); Futures; Glamour; Hachette Filippachi Media; HBO (marketing/advertising); Hearst Magazines; Kirkus Media; National Geographic Adventure; Martha Stewart Omnimedia; McKinsey and Co.; Meredith; mindbodygreen; New York University School of Business (books); Redbook; Roman Filanovsky graphic artists (books, ebooks); Scholastic (books for teachers and students); Super Copy Editors (screenplays, books, brochures); Swing; ThinkAdvisor; Travel + Leisure; TV Guide; Us; Vogue; We; The Week; Winthrop Group (books); Woman’s Day Special Interest Publications; Woman’s Day; YM; and private clients


The Two Weddings of Zhao Ping

Williams, Patricia Ann

Copy Editing
Made with Reedsy
First Burning Bright

Bondurant, Kelly

Made with Reedsy
For the Forces of Good: The Superpower of Everyday Negotiation

Kanter St. Amour, S. Lucia

Made with Reedsy
Good Decent People: A Short Story Collection

Tewogbade, Portia

Made with Reedsy

Louison, Garvey

Copy Editing Proofreading
Made with Reedsy
Good Town

Wells, Mary Louise

Made with Reedsy
Mushroom Cloud: Book I of the First Strike Series

Yeggy, Thomas J.

Made with Reedsy

Sloan, A.C.

Copy Editing
Made with Reedsy
The World Is Ours

Chihandae, Lucie

Copy Editing
Made with Reedsy
The Prince and the Witch

L. A. Thompson

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
WASP Sting

Sweetapple, Lee A.

The Trespasser

Lynn, Penelope

The Infinite War

Ndiaye, Abe

The Christmas Delivery

Hannawell, Jessica


Mongilutz, Mark Joseph


Ahmed, Maryam

Death of a Movie Star

Patrick, Timothy


James Flynn

Casino Blues: A Novel

Stiffin, PhD, Rose Mary

Blood Horse

Thomas, Mr Christopher

A New Land: Book 1

Davis, Areulia

A Devil's Ladder

Eliot, Anne G.

Interview Season

Chin, Torrey H.

It's In His Kiss

Lester, Vickie

Copy Editing
Elastic Girl

Rana, Olivia

Ellen has 34 reviews





Stephanie Nina P.

Stephanie Nina P.

Nov, 2023

as always, great edits, always on time if not earlier. explanations provided and available for questions.
Shauna B.

Shauna B.

Oct, 2023

Ellen worked swiftly and efficiently, communicated beautifully, and made excellent revisions. She is an extremely clean and prompt editor and I look forward to working with her again!
Judith D.

Judith D.

Sep, 2023

I've so benefited from Ellen's work that this is the second time I've engaged her to proofread for me. Easy, positive working relationship. My needs are well understood by her, she's prompt and no complaints at all.
Ellen T.
Thank you, Judith. it's always a pleasure!
Stephanie Nina P.

Stephanie Nina P.

Sep, 2023

As always: fast, detailed in explanations , and skilled.
Ellen T.
Thank you, Stephanie. It’s always a pleasure to work with you and your writing!
scott M.

scott M.

Sep, 2023

Ellen was outstanding in every way on this project. It was my first time using Reedsy, and I won't hesitate to use it in the future again. Ellen gets my highest praise. I've had other manuscripts edited by others, and they did a nice job, but were much more expensive and took far longer. If the opportunity arises again, she'll be my first choice.

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