Madeline Woda

Madeline Woda - Editor

New York, NY, USA

Developmental and Copy Editor with a specialty in memoir, fiction, and academic humanities writing. Previousy FSG and Oxford U Press.

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I am a Columbia University-educated editor with experience at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; Oxford University Press; the National Book Foundation; and others. After specializing in South Asian literature, I was the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Review for over two years. I have worked on books by Lydia Davis, Ben Lerner, and Jonathan Safran Foer. I have seen a book through every stage of development: from an agency, to the editorial process, to the marketing and publicity campaign.

While I am committed to assisting a client craft a perfect sentence, I believe that beautiful words mean nothing without innovative, organized ideas behind them. I focus first on developmental edits and then copy edits, working with an author to bolster their ideas before fixing their word choices. This technique applies to both fiction and nonfiction--I hold every story to the same level of clarity as a thesis chapter.

For authors looking to improve their queries: I have worked at three different literary agencies and currently hold a position at a top agency. I accept and reject hundreds of submissions per week and know what you need to do to stand out.
English (US)
Christian Non-Fiction
Political Science & Current Affairs
Writing & Publishing
Contemporary Fiction
Cultural & Ethnic
Short Story


  • Seymour Brick Memorial Prize

Work experience

Developmental editor

March, 2020 – Present (over 1 year)

I have provided developmental and line edits for a number of books including memoir, fiction, and academic pieces.

Geology and Astronomy Developmental Editorial Intern

W.W. Norton
January, 2020 – March, 2020 (2 months)

• Reviewed and prepared digital manuscript resources for review by instructors
• Assisted the marketing team with social media content, online trend data, and other promotional materials

Editorial intern

Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
January, 2019 – May, 2019 (4 months)

• Coded manuscripts for Executive Managing Editor Debra Helfand and assisted the production team in transferring copyedits and editing front and back matter for works before publication, including those by Lydia Davis, Robert Lowell, and Elizabeth Bishop
• Read and wrote reports on solicited manuscripts for 10+ novels a week for Assistant Editor Julia Ringo
• Provided comments for Editor-in-Chief Eric Chinski on contracted work, including that by Jonathan Safran Foer and Sherrod Brown


The Columbia Review
September, 2016 – May, 2020 (over 3 years)

As editor-in-chief of the country's oldest collegiate literary magazine, I sourced submissions from authors like Lydia Davis and Dan Popnick, copyedited and proofread pieces, organized meetings, and promoted the biannual magazine.

Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Bishop, Elizabeth, Lowell, Robert, Travisano, Thomas, Hamilton, Saskia

Madeline has 6 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Carmen Fields
I am a first-time author and sought developmental guidance on a memoir about my father's travels as a big band leader. I required a quick turnaround to meet a deadline set by a potential (academic) publisher. Over about four weeks, she gave weekly feedback as she reviewed the manuscript chapter by chapter. Her observations were thoughtful and mostly on point. After the developmental portion, I ...
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Carmen Fields, September 2021

Sharon Harris
Good work.

Sharon Harris, June 2021

Emily Jordan
Maddie was wonderful to work with. Her focus on detail was impressive, and her follow-through was thorough. She completed the project in a timely manner and answered questions I may have had. I highly recommended her!

Emily Jordan, April 2021

Terese Svoboda
Very professional.

Terese Svoboda, January 2021

Mary Maeve McGeorge
Madeline has been my saving grace over the past few months. I have intentionally been taking the query process slowly, and after receiving three form fill rejections and seven non-responses, I decided to seek help to ensure my query and story was in the proper place before I submitted again. Madeline has a true knack for understanding the best way to grab a reader from the get-go, as well as h...
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Mary Maeve McGeorge, December 2020

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Jonathan Campion

An experienced and friendly editor. I specialise in perfecting texts by non-native English speakers, and books translated into English.

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Christopher Reese

Accomplished editor specializing in general and Christian non-fiction. Editor of 60 published books. Here to help you tell your story!

Gallatin, United States

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