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Laura Mae Isaacman

Laura Mae Isaacman - Editor

New York, United States

I've worked with T.C. Boyle, Lara Vapnyar, Joyce Carol Oates, Noam Chomsky, Lydia Davis, Andrés Neuman, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, etc.

Overview

Reviews (16)

Quality editing requires constructive criticism, step-by-step resolutions, experience, and most importantly, edits need to be in line with a writer's unique voice, style, and aesthetic.

Whether you're self-publishing or seeking an agent, you want your book to be interesting and relatable so it finds a wide readership.

By focusing on a few key elements, I can make you a stronger writer and show you how to improve your book. I teach writers exactly how to identify their weak writing patterns, improve their plot, refine their narrative voice, create realistic and relatable characters, and strengthen descriptive language.

If you're wondering what's working in your novel (so you can do more of it) and what's not (so you can do less of it), I'd love to hear your story and I welcome your questions! In your query, please include the concerns you have for your manuscript and tell me a bit about what your editing process has been so far.

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EDITING EXPERIENCE:

I've worked with Joyce Carol Oates, Lydia Davis, Aimee Bender, John Banville, Noam Chomsky, Dale Jamieson, Bonnie Nadzam, Sergio Chejfec, Enrique Vila-Matas, Lara Vapnyar, Andrés Neuman, César Aira, Chinelo Okparanta, Chiara Barzini, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Edwidge Danticat, John Freeman, Charles Simic, T.C. Boyle, Nelly Reifler, David James Poissant, Justin Taylor, Sjón, Amy Grace Loyd, Lipika Pelham, Kathleen Alcott, Carlos Labbé, Jacques Strauss, Adam Wilson, and Bernard Quiriny.

For six years I was the editor of the literary magazines “The Coffin Factory” and “Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art” and I currently run an editing company at Clyde Editing.

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

Services
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Health & wellbeing LGBTQ (non fiction)
Fiction
LGBTQ Literature Short Story Women's Fiction

Work experience

Short Story Editor

Self-employed
November, 2016 – Present (about 1 year)

We are story lovers and editors and we want writers to succeed. We know you've got a unique voice, perspective, style, and aesthetic, and our goal is to make sure you know how to hone your magic so you can start getting published.

Editor

Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art
May, 2014 – December, 2015 (over 1 year)

A literary magazine with a political slant. Tweed's published fiction, essays, and interviews on topics like climate change, gender identity, politics, art, and writing culture.

Contributors include Reza Aslan, Amy Grace Loyd, Siri Hustvedt, Lydia Davis, Dale Jamieson, Bonnie Nadzam, John Freeman, Lipika Pelham, and Edwidge Danticat.

Editor

The Coffin Factory
April, 2011 – January, 2014 (almost 3 years)

A print literary magazine in the age of "print is dead." The Coffin Factory published fiction, essays, interview, and art, circling around literature and its place in today's culture.

The Coffin Factory has been featured in New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and The Library Journal.

Contributors include 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 (13 selected works)

The Dark

Sergio Chejfec

"Early in Sergio Chejfec's The Dark, the nameless narrator describes his disorientation when looking over a landscape as 'the vertigo of simple things.' This phrase describes the experience of reading Chejfec's novel. . . . These moments, when Chejfec combines exquisite prose with the human yearning for truth and beauty, keep us reading, weighing the novel's contradictions, sifting through the... read more

"Early in Sergio Chejfec's The Dark, the nameless narrator describes his disorientation when looking over a landscape as 'the vertigo of simple things.' This phrase describes the experience of reading Chejfec's novel. . . . These moments, when Chejfec combines exquisite prose with the human yearning for truth and beauty, keep us reading, weighing the novel's contradictions, sifting through the... read more

Book of Hats

Dov Zeller

Hats and fashion. Ida Velikowsky's family has been in the business since biblical times--for so long, they've created their own holy book. Centuries of lore carried from continent to continent. An ancient home and a springboard for new beginnings. When Ida studies the book with her father, its magic draws all her worries away. But being a transmasculine kid in a small town in the 1930s puts pr... read more

Hats and fashion. Ida Velikowsky's family has been in the business since biblical times--for so long, they've created their own holy book. Centuries of lore carried from continent to continent. An ancient home and a springboard for new beginnings. When Ida studies the book with her father, its magic draws all her worries away. But being a transmasculine kid in a small town in the 1930s puts pr... read more

The Loudest Silence (Part One)

Olivia Janae

Kate, an up and coming cellist, is new to Chicago and the ‘Windy City Chamber Ensemble’. During her first rehearsal, she is surprised and intrigued to meet Vivian Kensington, the formidable by reputation board president who also happens to be…deaf.As Kate treads the waters of a rocky relationship with the young and foolhardy Ash, she develops a tentative friendship with her cold-hearted boss. ... read more

Kate, an up and coming cellist, is new to Chicago and the ‘Windy City Chamber Ensemble’. During her first rehearsal, she is surprised and intrigued to meet Vivian Kensington, the formidable by reputation board president who also happens to be…deaf.As Kate treads the waters of a rocky relationship with the young and foolhardy Ash, she develops a tentative friendship with her cold-hearted boss. ... 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

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

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

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

A Strange Companion

Lisa Manterfield

Kat Richardson isn't running away from grief; she's just hiding out in a gloomy Welsh university town until she's sure it's gone. Now, one year, nine months, and 27 days after the climbing death of her first love, Gabe, she thinks she's ready to venture out into the relationship world again. And Owen--a cake-baking, Super Ball-making chemistry student--appears to be a kind, funny, and very att... read more

Kat Richardson isn't running away from grief; she's just hiding out in a gloomy Welsh university town until she's sure it's gone. Now, one year, nine months, and 27 days after the climbing death of her first love, Gabe, she thinks she's ready to venture out into the relationship world again. And Owen--a cake-baking, Super Ball-making chemistry student--appears to be a kind, funny, and very att... read more

The Power of Time Perception: Control the Speed of Time to Slow Down Aging, Live a Long Life, and Make Every Second Count

Jean Paul Zogby

Wondering how time flies? Want to slow it down?Live the Longest Year of Your Life & Make Every Second Count!With the latest in brain science, discover how to stretch the good times and fast forward through the bad ones. Understand how your brain perceives time, why it speeds up, and how to make the most of it!"This is Psychology, Neuroscience, and Self Help material, all rolled into one!"- Psy... read more

Wondering how time flies? Want to slow it down?Live the Longest Year of Your Life & Make Every Second Count!With the latest in brain science, discover how to stretch the good times and fast forward through the bad ones. Understand how your brain perceives time, why it speeds up, and how to make the most of it!"This is Psychology, Neuroscience, and Self Help material, all rolled into one!"- Psy... read more

Fender: A Novel

Brent Jones

How far must we travel to find our way home?Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest fri... read more

How far must we travel to find our way home?Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest fri... read more

Laura Mae has 16 reviews

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Linda Bernal

Laura told me what four other editors didn't. The first page wasn't working and I needed to open my story differently. I agreed with her helpful suggestions. I was especially pleased that she wrote "excellent ending" because endings are a challenge for me. I would recommend Laura to writers who wants to move their stories forward toward publication.

, October 2017


Cole Medeiros

Great!

, October 2017


Meredith Blau

There were chapters without comments and I am reviewing these now with her. Too soon for a total appraisal but she was most helpful so far, giving me clear direction and input.

, September 2017


Aaron Bowman

Laura's feedback and written deliverables were extremely valuable to the improvement of my manuscript. Additionally, the time time we spent talking on the phone through the desires of what the novel wants to be really helped in guiding me to a stronger backbone to anchor the book to, as well as how to polish it. She challenges the author to really get at what the story being told is, as well ...

, August 2017


Kirk Kjeldsen

Laura Mae is professional and thorough, and her feedback is insightful and constructive. I'd work with her again given the chance, and I'd recommend her to anyone else.

, August 2017

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