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Laura Mae Isaacman

Laura Mae IsaacmanEditor

Brooklyn, New York

I've worked with T.C. Boyle, Lara Vapnyar, Joyce Carol Oates, Noam Chomsky, Lydia Davis, Justin Taylor, Aimee Bender, Lydia Davis, etc.

Overview

Reviews (7)

You’ve got to think of your novel in terms of its need for a facelift—you want to keep all of its features in place but it could use some snips, a tightening.

If you've been reworking your manuscript for months or years, it becomes impossible to identify sections that are clogging the flow of your narrative. Or, if you've got the storyline down, you may still be tripping on your own bad writing habits.

What I offer is a fresh take on your novel that calls into question every detail, observation, word choice, plot decision, character motive, and punctuation mark.

My method for editing is careful, comprehensive, and precise, and I strive to work within a writer’s vision without leaving trace of my voice, opinions, or style.

Each project includes detailed feedback on narrative, characters, tension, consistency, and pacing. I also provide a chapter breakdown to help you with organization, as well as a Style Sheet so that any revisions you make remain consistent with the editing I've done.

I’ve worked with Joyce Carol Oates, Lydia Davis, Amy Grace Loyd, Lara Vapnyar, Justin Taylor, Kathleen Alcott, Enrique Vila-Matas, Lipika Pelham, Jacques Strauss, David James Poissant, Bonnie Nadzam, Noam Chomsky, Chinelo Okparanta, César Aira, T.C. Boyle, Andrés Neuman, Aimee Bender, Carlos Labbé, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, and Edwidge Danticat. I’ve also worked with publishers from Other Press, Twelve, The Overlook Press, New Directions, and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

I’ve given lectures on writing, editing, and publishing at The New School, The New York Society Library, The New York Public Library, and The Asian American Writers' Workshop Publishing Conference.

Past projects include novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, interviews, and children's books.

I am the co-founding editor of “Tweed’s Magazine of Literature & Art” and “The Coffin Factory.”

Services
Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Children's Picture Books Historical Fiction Humor & Comedy LGBTQ Literature Short Story Women's Fiction Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Health & wellbeing

Work experience

Novel Editor

Clyde

November, 2016 – Present (5 months)

Clyde helps writers to build, shape, and edit their novels.

We call into question every detail, observation, word choice, plot decision, character motive, and punctuation mark. We also look for any opportunity to enhance humor, depth, and emotion.

Editor

Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art

May, 2014 – December, 2015 (over 1 year)

Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art is a journal featuring short stories, essays, poetry, art, and interviews.

I've worked with Reza Aslan, Lydia Davis, C.K. Williams, Siri Hustvedt, Amy Grace Loyd, Lipika Pelham, Edwidge Danticat, John Freeman, Sjón, Nelly Reifler, David James Poissant, Bonnie Nadzam, Dale Jamieson, and Justin Taylor.

Editor

The Coffin Factory

April, 2011 – January, 2014 (almost 3 years)

The Coffin Factory is a literary magazine featuring short stories, essays, poetry, art, and interviews.

I've worked with Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Simic, T.C. Boyle, Joshua Cohen, John Banville, László Krasznahorkai, Sergio Chejfec, Lara Vapnyar, Andrés Neuman, John Reed, Pablo Medina, Bernard Quiriny, Jacques Strauss, Carlos Labbé, Adam Wilson, César Aira, Chinelo Okparanta, Chiara Barzini, Enrique Vila-Matas, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Kathleen Alcott, and Aimee Bender.

Portfolio (9 selected works)

The Fifteenth of June

Brent Jones

Can we lose a loved one without losing ourselves?Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Thomson is haunted by a troubled past. After struggling for years with alcoholism and antisocial behavior, he ends a stable relationship with his girlfriend and finds himself without a home, job, or purpose.Just as he learns that his father is terminally ill, he meets a stranger who offers him a flicker of hope for a b... read more

Can we lose a loved one without losing ourselves?Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Thomson is haunted by a troubled past. After struggling for years with alcoholism and antisocial behavior, he ends a stable relationship with his girlfriend and finds himself without a home, job, or purpose.Just as he learns that his father is terminally ill, he meets a stranger who offers him a flicker of hope for a b... read more

What's Important Is Feeling: Stories

Adam Wilson

Bankers prowl Brooklyn bars on the eve of the stock market crash. A debate over Young Elvis versus Vegas Elvis turns existential. Detoxing junkies use a live lobster to spice up their love life. Students on summer break struggle to escape the orbit of a seemingly utopic communal house.And in the title story, selected for The Best American Short Stories, two film school buddies working on a doo... read more

Bankers prowl Brooklyn bars on the eve of the stock market crash. A debate over Young Elvis versus Vegas Elvis turns existential. Detoxing junkies use a live lobster to spice up their love life. Students on summer break struggle to escape the orbit of a seemingly utopic communal house.And in the title story, selected for The Best American Short Stories, two film school buddies working on a doo... read more

Flings: Stories

Justin Taylor

The acclaimed author of Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and The Gospel of Anarchy makes his hardcover debut with a piercing collection of short fiction that illuminates our struggle to find love, comfort, and identity.In a new suite of powerful and incisive stories, Justin Taylor captures the lives of men and women unmoored from their pasts and uncertain of their futures.A man writes hi... read more

The acclaimed author of Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and The Gospel of Anarchy makes his hardcover debut with a piercing collection of short fiction that illuminates our struggle to find love, comfort, and identity.In a new suite of powerful and incisive stories, Justin Taylor captures the lives of men and women unmoored from their pasts and uncertain of their futures.A man writes hi... read more

Selected Later Poems

C. K. Williams

A selection from the last twenty years of C. K. Williams's career, plus new work―proof of his enduring powerC. K. Williams's long career has been a catalog of surprises, of inventions and reinventions, of honors. His one constant is a remarkable degree of flexibility, a thrilling ability to shape-shift that goes hand in hand with an essential, enduring honesty. This rare, heady mix has ensured... read more

A selection from the last twenty years of C. K. Williams's career, plus new work―proof of his enduring powerC. K. Williams's long career has been a catalog of surprises, of inventions and reinventions, of honors. His one constant is a remarkable degree of flexibility, a thrilling ability to shape-shift that goes hand in hand with an essential, enduring honesty. This rare, heady mix has ensured... read more

Seiobo There Below

Laszlo Krasznahorkai

ATTENTION!: A (short) History

Joshua Cohen

You've paid money for this book in order to pay attention. You are skeptical, which is to say, unforgiving. You have enough money to afford this book or you have family or friends who do and who don't mind your borrowing, or you have the type of family or friends who gift books like this on auspicious, and even for no, occasions, in which case perhaps you're only being attentive because you're... read more

You've paid money for this book in order to pay attention. You are skeptical, which is to say, unforgiving. You have enough money to afford this book or you have family or friends who do and who don't mind your borrowing, or you have the type of family or friends who gift books like this on auspicious, and even for no, occasions, in which case perhaps you're only being attentive because you're... read more

The Dark

Sergio Chejfec

Opening with the presently shut-in narrator reminiscing about a past relationship with Delia, a young factory worker, The Dark employs Chejfec’s signature style with an emphasis on the geography and motion of the mind, to recount the time the narrator spent with this multifaceted, yet somewhat absent, woman. The Dark is the most captivating example of Chejfec’s unique narrative approach.

Opening with the presently shut-in narrator reminiscing about a past relationship with Delia, a young factory worker, The Dark employs Chejfec’s signature style with an emphasis on the geography and motion of the mind, to recount the time the narrator spent with this multifaceted, yet somewhat absent, woman. The Dark is the most captivating example of Chejfec’s unique narrative approach.

The Things We Don't Do

Andrés Neuman

"Good readers will find something that can be found only in great literature, the kind written by real poets, a literature that dares to venture into the dark with open eyes and that keeps its eyes open no matter what . . . . The literature of the twenty-first century will belong to Neuman and a few of his blood brothers."—Roberto BolañoPlayful, philosophizing, and gloriously unpredictable, An... read more

"Good readers will find something that can be found only in great literature, the kind written by real poets, a literature that dares to venture into the dark with open eyes and that keeps its eyes open no matter what . . . . The literature of the twenty-first century will belong to Neuman and a few of his blood brothers."—Roberto BolañoPlayful, philosophizing, and gloriously unpredictable, An... read more

Happiness, Like Water

Chinelo Okparanta

"Astonishing. Okparanta’s narrators render their stories with such strength and intimacy, such lucidity and composure, that in each and every case the truths of their lives detonate deep inside the reader’s heart, with the power and force of revelation."—Paul HardingHere are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, t... read more

"Astonishing. Okparanta’s narrators render their stories with such strength and intimacy, such lucidity and composure, that in each and every case the truths of their lives detonate deep inside the reader’s heart, with the power and force of revelation."—Paul HardingHere are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, t... read more

Laura Mae has 7 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Eddie Reeves

Laura was a valuable asset in my effort to write something worth reading. She was a pleasure to work with: great attitude, very professional, makes good use of the Chicago Manual of Style, and she is a nice person. Accomplished the work on time and answered my follow-up questions. I highly recommend Laura.

, March 2017


Brent Jones

I can't say enough about Laura. She's conscientious and meticulous; she's timely and kind; she's an excellent communicator and really knows her stuff. (I can't be certain if I just used those semicolons correctly, but I'm positive Laura would know...) The process of hiring an editor to work on my debut novel was daunting. Aside from the sheer terror of having a professional dissect my work, I...

, February 2017


Lisa Manterfield

When I first requested a quote from Laura, she responded promptly with details of her process and what the quote would include. She was very flexible, going back and forth with me until she was sure I was getting the kind of edit I needed. Then she delivered on her promise. Laura's work was thorough and thoughtful. In edition to precise copy edits, she also provided many suggestions to help t...

, February 2017


Karen Garrett

This was my first Reedsy experience, and I'm so glad I was able to work with Laura Mae Isaacson. She contacted me with a very comprehensive quote within hours of my query. She broke down the scope of work she could offer and was very flexible with me on the pricing, able to provide a tremendous amount of work and analysis for my meager budget. Once we agreed on the project, she immediately got...

, January 2017


Erin Augustine

Laura went above and beyond to help me improve my short story. I can not recommend her enough. Her notes were encouraging, clear, and thoughtful. Working with Laura motivated me to push my story to where it needed to be.

, November 2016

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