Laura Mae Isaacman

Laura Mae Isaacman - Editor Tick

New York, United States

I specialize in literary fiction and have worked with Lydia Davis, Joyce Carol Oates, Lara Vapnyar, Aimee Bender, César Aira, etc.

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Overview

Reviews (25)
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Hi, I'm Laura! I'm a freelance editor living in Brooklyn, New York. I help writers publish books they are proud of, and I teach them to wildly improve their writing in the process.

I specialize in literary fiction, including novels and short stories.

Reach out to me if you'd like to:

• Preserve the unique elements of your original voice, style, and perspective

• Build realistic characters through dialogue, gesture, and description

• Make sure the structure, pacing, and tension of your novel is solid, and keeps readers engaged

• Establish a narrator who is consistent, relatable, and enticing

• Get specific examples of what's not working, why, and how to change it

• Learn your most repetitious writing mistakes, so that in the future you can find and fix them

• Wildly improve your overall writing style

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Professional Experience:

I've worked with award-winning and bestselling authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, Lydia Davis, Lara Vapnyar, Noam Chomsky, T.C. Boyle, Reza Aslan, Bonnie Nadzam, Aimee Bender, David James Poissant, Kathleen Alcott, Andrés Neuman, César Aira, Edwidge Danticat, John Freeman, Charles Simic, Amy Grace Loyd, Enrique Vila-Matas, and Sergio Chejfec.

I'm co-founding editor of the literary magazines 'Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art' and 'The Coffin Factory,' which have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and Library Journal.

You can find my webinars on Writer's Digest, or sign up for my free 10-day writing course on Reedsy Learning, 'How to Craft a Killer Short Story.'

I'm also an editor for the NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship at The Center for Fiction, and a copy writer for BuzzFeed.

Languages
English (US)
Fiction
Anthologies
Literature
Short Story

Work experience

Copy Writer

BuzzFeed
May, 2018 – Present (4 months)

Lead copy writer for multi-city marketing tours—
Kamp Kona, in partnership with Hyundai
50 Under 50K, in partnership with Bank of America

Editor

The Center for Fiction
February, 2018 – Present (7 months)

Editor for the NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship at The Center for Fiction.

Editor

Self-employed
November, 2016 – Present (almost 2 years)

A boutique editing company that helps writers bring clarity and cleanliness to their short stories.
We also run writing workshops in Brooklyn, New York.

Co-founding Editor

Tweed's Magazine of Literature & Art (formerly The Coffin Factory)
April, 2011 – December, 2015 (over 4 years)

Acquired and edited work by award-winning and bestselling authors, including Lydia Davis, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Simic, Edwidge Danticat, Lara Vapnyar, László Krasznahorkai, César Aira, etc.

Interviewed Noam Chomsky, John Banville, T.C. Boyle, and Amy Grace Loyd.

Featured in New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and The Library Journal.

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

The Depths

Kirk Kjeldsen

"A gut-punch of a thriller, wickedly paced and beautifully rendered." - Peter Swanson, author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth KillingFrom the author of Tomorrow City and Land of Hidden Fires comes a thriller about a strained expat couple that gets taken hostage while vacationing in Malaysia.After trailing spouse Marah Lenaerts suffers her third miscarriage in as many years, her husband Ed... read more

"A gut-punch of a thriller, wickedly paced and beautifully rendered." - Peter Swanson, author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth KillingFrom the author of Tomorrow City and Land of Hidden Fires comes a thriller about a strained expat couple that gets taken hostage while vacationing in Malaysia.After trailing spouse Marah Lenaerts suffers her third miscarriage in as many years, her husband Ed... read more

Laura Mae has 25 reviews

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KS Woltmann

Laura has been the perfect editor for my book! She provided me with incredibly helpful insight about plot, clarity, purpose, etc. She responds quickly and thoroughly to all of my questions and completed all work in a timely manner. On top of that, she is very positive and kind even while providing constructive criticism. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for editorial feedback!

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KS Woltmann, August 2018


Suzanne Carney

Laura was great, she was insightful, experienced, communicated her points very well, and could explain and understand more than I could, which was the point.

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Suzanne Carney, August 2018


Rae Bryant

Great stories come from dedicated writers, yes, but they are also the product of great editors. Laura is a great editor. She reads with a keen understanding of character development and craft, and more importantly, a dedication to the writer's voice and intention. I highly recommend her.

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Rae Bryant, July 2018


Ingrid Duva

Laura provided incredible insight and has helped me rethink about how to best craft my story. She is truly excellent. I will definitely work with Laura again.

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Ingrid Duva, July 2018


Simon Sobo

There was apparently a miscommunication. I was expecting an editor who was thoroughly involved in my novel. She was focused on structural issues. She may have been correct in her analysis but when I tried to get feedback on specifics (certain scenes, the relationship between character etc) I discovered her knowledge was superficial. Moreover she resented the time I was expecting from her to...

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Simon Sobo, July 2018

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