Madeline Stevens

Madeline Stevens – Editor

Experienced developmental editor and published author specializing in literary, horror, and suspense novels


I would love to read your book!

As a writer myself, I pride myself on being constructive as well as kind when I edit. I know things rarely turn out the way you planned the first time around and you often need an outside voice to guide you during revision. Having someone critique your work can be an anxiety-inducing process. My goal is to have you come away from the experience excited to dig back into the manuscript and make your book the best it can be. I am happy to read your draft whether it's your first or eighth attempt!

In addition to line notes, which represent my reactions as I read, you will receive a detailed editorial letter illustrating what is working so far in as well as what could use improvement. I will help you develop a logical plot that works for your characters, rich settings with intriguing sensory detail, expert pacing, a balance of scene vs. exposition, and consistent, well-illustrated character motivation and arc. I am also happy to meet via Zoom to discuss my notes further.

Response time will typically vary from two weeks to one month. We will decide together on an exact deadline and quote based on the length of your project.

More about me:

My first novel Devotion is out now in the US, UK, France, Portugal, Germany and Mexico. I would be happy to discuss the process of publishing a novel from the author's perspective, and can also provide query letter review. I hold an MFA from Columbia University and my stories and essays have been published in places like The Guardian, CrimeReads, Joyland Magazine, Monkeybicycle, and more.

My client list includes published authors like Diane Ackerman, Lindsay Cameron, and Pragya Agarwal, and several past clients have gone on to secure first time publishing deals, notably Cecilia Rabess's Everything's Fine which sold at auction. I love literary fiction, suspense, and horror, but am open to most genres!


“Madeline was one of the first people to workshop my novel, and her sharp eye and thorough attention helped rework the landscape of the book for the (far) better.”

— Hala Alyan, award winning author of Salt Houses

“Madeline is a shrewd, perceptive, and sensitive reader. She reads into the heart of the matter. Working with her as an editor has helped me make my writing sharper, more precise, and truer to my intentions.”

— Yardenne Greenspan, writer, translator, and blogger at Ploughshares

Horror Literary Fiction Psychological Thriller
English (US)

Work experience


May, 2018 — Present

I teach writing to adults at Catapult, The Center for Fiction, and Write Or Die Magazine. Additionally, I work with children and teens at Writopia Lab.

Madeline has 1 review





Tyrone S.

Tyrone S.

Jun, 2023

I have had the privilege of working with Madeline Stevens on the development and line editing of my horror anthology series, Goldtown. Madeline's input is nothing short of transformative. Her prescisive eye for detail and profound understanding of narrative structure has been instrumental in shaping the series into a compelling and finely polished piece of literature. On a practical level, Ma...
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